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Replacing Inefficient Lighting and Appliances

inefficient lighting, appliances, handyman, light bulb, energy efficient, lighting costs, incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs, cfl's, watts, led bulb, kwh

If you can change a light bulb or unplug a cord, you have all that is needed to easily benefit from updating your lights and appliances to more energy efficient types, even if you are not a handyman.

  • Reduce Lighting Costs - The easiest and quickest way to directly lower your electrical energy costs associated with general home use is to replace your standard incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL's) . Not only can you save energy, but you can increase the available light for any hard to light areas.
     
    • For example, let's say you have two living room table lamps that have a maximum bulb size of 60 watts. With both lamps turned on, the maximum amount of light you could produce would be 120 watts. By changing to fluorescent, you could replace each 60 watt bulb with a 20 watt compact fluorescent bulb (75 watt equivalent light output) and end up with a total of 150 watts of usable light, or you could replace the 60 watt bulbs with 23 watt compact fluorescent lights (100 watt equivalent light output) and end up with 200 watts of available light. Less power and more light. You can't beat it.
    • For a clear comparison, lets look at the final cost per hour of using either a 60 watt incandescent bulb -vs- a 13 watt compact fluorescent bulb and a 3.6 watt LED bulb.
       
      Data 60 Watt
      Incandescent Light Bulb
      13 Watt
      fluorescent Light Bulb
      3.6 Watt
      LED Light Bulb
      Life of Bulb
      1500 hours 10000 hours 70000 hours
      Number of bulbs used
      46 7 1
      Unit Cost per Bulb
      $ 0.75 $ 2.5 $ 55
      Total Cost of Bulbs
      $ 34.50
      (46 bulbs at $ 0.75 each)
      $ 17.50
      (7 bulbs at $ 2.5 each)
      $ 55.00
      Total KWH Used
      4200 kWh 910 kWh 252 kWh
      Cost per KWH $0.15 $0.15 $0.15
      Total Power Cost $630.00 $136.50 $37.80
      Total Cost of Power plus Bulbs
      $664.50 $154.00 $92.80
      Extra Costs vs fluorescent:
      $510.50    
      Extra Costs vs LED:
      $571.70 $61.20  
      • An average 60 watt incandescent bulb has a life span of 1500 hours and costs about $0.75. That equates to 60 watts * 1500 hours / 1000 = 90 KWH x .15 per KWH = $13.50 lifetime power cost + $0.75 bulb cost = 14.25 total cost / 1500 bulb hours = $0.0095 x 1000 = $9.50 per KWH of light.
      • An average 13 watt compact fluorescent bulb (with an equivalent 60 watt light output) has a life span of 10000 hours and costs about $2.50. That equates to 13 watts * 10000 hours / 1000 = 130 KWH x .15 per KWH = $19.50 lifetime power cost + $2.50 bulb cost = 22.00 total cost / 10000 bulb hours = $0.0022 x 1000 = $ 2.20 per KWH of light.
      • An average 3.6 watt LED bulb (with an equivalent 55 watt light output) has a life span of 70,000 hours and costs about $45.00. That equates to 3.6 watts * 70000 hours / 1000 = 252 KWH x .15 per KWH = $37.80 lifetime power cost + $45.00 bulb cost = 82.80 total cost / 70000 bulb hours = $0.0012 x 1000 = $ 1.20 per KWH of light.
      • To summarize, the 60 watt incandescent bulb costs an average of $9.50 for each 1000 hours of light, while a 13 watt compact fluorescent bulb uses an average of $2.20 per 1000 hours of light and an LED bulb uses as average of $1.20 for each 1000 hours of light. This means you can save from 76% to 85% on overall lighting and product costs by switching from incandescent to fluorescent or LED lights.
  • Take a Closer Look at Your Appliances - Washing machines, driers, refrigerators, dishwashers, ranges and cook tops that are 10 years old or greater, are using more power than necessary. Though we would never recommend replacing an appliance that appears to be functioning well, as time passes and you do notice other issues with the appliance, keep in mind that when you do replace it, some of your expense will be returned to you due to lower power use.
  • Energy Vampires - A final source of power waste come in the form of what has been dubbed 'energy vampires' or 'power vampires' or 'vampire power'. These are all the electronic devices you use that remain plugged in when not in use. Having performed many tests using a 'Kill-A-Watt' device, the following energy use data was assembled.
     
    • Cell phone chargers and blue tooth headset chargers use virtually no power (less than 1 watt) when plugged in and not in use.
    • Small to medium TV sets, along with any associated DVD or VCR player may use from 3 watts to 7 watts when not being used.
    • Larger TV sets along with DVR's and DVD players may use from 12 to 20 watts when not in use.
    • A standard set of mini Christmas lights uses 40 watts.
    • A coffee pot with LCD clock that uses a carafe and does not maintain surface heat uses 1 watt when not in use.

    Yearly Costs for Wasted Watts - Washing machines, driers, refrigerators, dishwashers, ranges, cook tops Overall, we found that many of the smaller things that consume minor amounts of power (eg. 2 watts wasted = 2 watts x 24 hrs x 365 days = 17520 watt hrs / 1000 = 17.52 KWH per year) , cost an average of $1.75 a year to operate at 10 cents per KWH. With this being the case, unplug these items if you wish, but don't purchase any special energy saving devices for these items since the amount of energy consumed to create the energy saving device will easily exceed what your item may use over several years.
     
    Another solution for these 'mini vampires' is if you could combine them all to one special power strip. This is often not practical, but if you could place all your charger items in one place, then, with each item wasting about $1.50 each year in power, having control over shutting off 6 of then at once, with the cost of just one power strip, you'll save enough in a year or two year to validate the power consumed to both create and purchase the power strip.

In most cases where you are looking for practical reasons for saving energy, it's not until you hit items that are wasting at least 7 watts that you find reason to justify any extra expense to save energy. Still, for any item, large or small, you can easily save power at no cost to you by simply changing your habits and unplugging things you rarely use.

To get a better handle on how much any watt level will cost in a years time, review our 'Yearly Costs for Wasted Watts' chart which indicates yearly costs from 1 to 100 watts of power at 10 cents, 12 cents and 14 cents per KWH. This chart assumes the item is always plugged in and does not account for when the item is actually in use, so the actual 'wasted amounts' may be slightly lower.

 


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<- See 1st Step of Being Green


 

 
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