Photo: Flickr via jnicholls357
While the mother of all heat waves continues to broil most of the U.S., now’s the time to make sure your home is working as efficiently as possible.Even if you’ve locked your thermostat at 78 degrees, installed light-blocking shades and ditched your A/C in favour of ceiling fans, you could be missing one of the biggest energy sucks in your home: all those dusty old light bulbs.
Heed this warning from Consumer Reports’ Mary H.J. Farrell:
“Replacing energy-wasting light bulbs with new efficient ones will certainly save you money but proper maintenance is also key to lighting efficiency. Light levels decrease over time because of ageing lightbulbs and dirt on fixtures, bulbs and room surfaces. Together, these factors can reduce total illumination by 50 per cent or more, while lights continue drawing full power.
To be sure your lights aren’t working against you, The Department of Energy recommends cleaning them every six months to two years and throwing out bulbs when they start to turn yellow and dim.
Just don’t toss them in the trash.
“(Light bulb) materials, like glass and aluminium, are highly valued recyclables,” says Earth 911. “Certain types of bulbs are accepted by major retailers as part of a take-back program and others can be disposed of at a household hazardous waste (HHW) facility.”
Check Earth 911 for a recycling centre near you.
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