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Old 02-12-2009, 01:02 PM   #31
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What do you guys do to save on your Electricity bill? (2009 Edition)


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Originally Posted by PirateKatz View Post
I don't know if it's an embellishment but I've been told that more mercury will be put into the atmosphere from the additional coal burned to power an incandescent than is contained in a CFL.
It depends on how you do the math. I think everyone agrees that the saved energy will offset less mercury and toxic metals in the air from burning coal, the question is whether it's more, or less, or about the same as the impact from disposal of CFLs.

But by the time you add in the CO2 and particulates and all the other nasty stuff, the CFL is still a pretty clear win.

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Old 02-12-2009, 04:37 PM   #32
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What do you guys do to save on your Electricity bill? (2009 Edition)


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What brands of CFL are you guys using that get 3 or 4 years life out of them? I wouldn't hesitate to use them if they last.
I also buy mine at Home Depot.
They will last longer if you don't cycle them so often. I believe that the trade-off between energy savings and bulb life is around 20 mins on and off.

I will have a good idea of that info after a couple of years. We have CFL's in the bathroom, and those lights do get cycled more often than 20mins. It's hard to know when someone will be entering and leaving the bathroom, except in the evening then it would be a pretty good bet to just let them burn all evening.

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Old 02-12-2009, 04:58 PM   #33
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What do you guys do to save on your Electricity bill? (2009 Edition)


Actually they just did a test on this on Mythbusters
If you will be out of the room for more then 30 seconds its less $$ to turn the light off

We turn ours off all the time
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:54 PM   #34
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What do you guys do to save on your Electricity bill? (2009 Edition)


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I have replaced all my light bulbs with those CFC's or CFI's don't know what they are called exactly, turn off all lights not in use, and shut all computer and stereo equipment at the surge protector. Once in a while I take off my meter and put it back upside down. Sometimes the Power Company owes me. Just kidding.
Well I replaced all my bulbs with GFCI,s like you said and I definetly use less electricity, but it is pretty dark in my house now.
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Old 02-13-2009, 02:26 PM   #35
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What do you guys do to save on your Electricity bill? (2009 Edition)


Why would you replace a bulb with a GFCI?
They are called CFL bulbs

They come in normal wattages anywhere from 9w to 23w
This is equiv to 40w to 100w
In some cases we have installed a higher wattage bulb
Or we may turn 2 lights on instead of only 1
Even with 2 lights on (26w) it still uses less then one 75w bulb

In addition they come in different "colors or "K"
Most common is the 3300k - which is like morning or afternoon light
But we also have 5200K CFL bulbs - looks more like bright daylight
We use a combination of these in the main rooms
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:14 PM   #36
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What do you guys do to save on your Electricity bill? (2009 Edition)


I've changed out nearly 50 bulbs with CFLs (keep your receipts).
My computer is on a switched outlet and turn off when not in use. (Pulled like 20W even when shut down.)
Entertainment center is on a switched power conditioner/voltage regulator (cable box or DirecTV box both have pulled around 30W in the off position.)
Sealed leaks in the HVAC system.
Sealed and insulated rim joists.
Installed a programmable thermostat (has a nice Energy button where I can see how many hours the furnace or AC has been running.)
Added approximately 8" of cellulose on top of 14" of loose fill fiberglass.
Installed outlet gasket to exterior walls.
Over the past few years we've purchased energy star appliances.
Installed a dimmer on the dining room chandelier.
Installed new weather stripping on 2 exterior doors.
Installed an adjustable striker plate on one of these doors.

Biggest advantage was when I signed up with an hourly pricing program with my utilities. (With this I schedule the use of major appliances in the early a.m. or on the weekend where the rates are often $.02 per KwH or less.)
Weekends I use two large oil filled, electric radiators and they heat the downstairs nicely. Furnace runs half the time and they're on all day. They're relatively inexpensive to run (attached Kill-A-Watt) with my hourly pricing program.
Use ceiling fans appropriately (family room & bedrooms) in the summer time with the thermostat set @ 78 degrees when we're home. Also run the AC more in the early morning with the lower rates to cool down the house.

I have yet to insulate my poured, unfinished basement walls with 2" foamboard.
I'm also going to put some french doors on my 4 seasons room to help separate it from the main floor.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:16 PM   #37
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What do you guys do to save on your Electricity bill? (2009 Edition)


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Last edited by bobelectric; 04-02-2009 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:45 PM   #38
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What do you guys do to save on your Electricity bill? (2009 Edition)


CFLs aren't supposed to be used in a moist area (like bathrooms) because they are more likely to blow out. I think you can maybe buy certain ones or put them in certain enclosed fixtures to make them ok? Also, they're better in a room where the light is going to be on for an extended period of time - your typical bathroom visit isn't good for them with the constant on and off for a short period of time.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:30 PM   #39
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What do you guys do to save on your Electricity bill? (2009 Edition)


I'm on my 2nd bathroom CFL light in just over 5 years
I think the 1st one lasted 4+ years as I just replaced it recently
I use the 23w one in the overhead light
Same thing at my last house

The 3 vanity bulbs are also CFL
I was using the 9w globe CFL's for over 4 years
We just recentlly switched to the 13w Dayligt bulbs
Much better light

All standard fixtures
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:01 PM   #40
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What do you guys do to save on your Electricity bill? (2009 Edition)


I bought all my CFLs from Home Depot, I forget the brand, it's their main supplier, a sort of green colored package.

Anyways I've expericed about a 20% failure rate within a year, so replacing those bulbs ($$$) eats up a lot of the savings.

I work for a major medical electronics company who backs a lot of this legislation to ban the incandescent bulbs... oddly enough they're a major player in the CFL industry so go figure...

and yeah I've also heard as pointed out above, the amount of mercury in the bulb is less than what is released in creating the amount of energy saved by using said bulb.

But dispersion through air is different than a landfill filled with bulbs, I read one bulb contaminates 50gallons of ground water
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:10 PM   #41
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What do you guys do to save on your Electricity bill? (2009 Edition)


The bulbs have a warranty, you should be bringing them back
I date my bulbs & bring them back if I have any problem

I have over 200 CFL's in my Christmas display - no problems
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:40 AM   #42
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What do you guys do to save on your Electricity bill? (2009 Edition)


My electric company (LIPA) gives you free CFLs and if they break, they'll give you free replacements.
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Old 04-05-2009, 06:03 AM   #43
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What do you guys do to save on your Electricity bill? (2009 Edition)


Here's one that's got to help. I just overhauled the electric clothes dryer, 4th time in 15 years. I cleaned the element and blower and ducting and replaced the glides and shaft the drum rolls on.
I know this isn't the appliance post,but my dryer has to be way more efficient now. I pulled out some parts I last replaced in 2005 and was amazed at all the wear and tear (for a family of 5) that this thing suffers I taped up the exhaust boots, etc.
No way to put a number on it but my wife says the clothes are drying faster again and that old unit has to be a big $ sucker.
Can anyone tell me what the energy star clothes dryers do better or how much they are supposesd to save. Dryers are pretty simple. how do you make a more efficient element and drive motor or am I missing the obvoius?
Does anyone have a take on running a HE gas furnace on low continually versus auto?
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:06 AM   #44
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What do you guys do to save on your Electricity bill? (2009 Edition)


My understanding is that there are no energy star dryers, but I can't answer the main part of your question (how are new ones better).
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:23 AM   #45
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What do you guys do to save on your Electricity bill? (2009 Edition)


How about drying your clothes for FREE using your dryer ?

Do you live in a hot/warmer climate?
Have access to an attic?
This won't help people who have the dryer in the basement
But on a gree site I visit one guy rigged his dryer to draw the hot air out of the attic & thru the dryer!!
Cools his attic AND helps dry his clothes!!
He hasn't tested it fully in hot weather yet
Seems like a great idea

http://forums.treehugger.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9561

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