Increasing your lighting efficiency is one of the fastest ways to decrease your energy bills. LEDs are approximately six-seven times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lights and they cut energy use by more than 80 percent. Here are some additional facts about LEDs.
- Unlike CFLs, LEDs contain no mercury and have less of an environmental impact than CFLs.
- High quality LED bulbs can last up to 25,000 hours or more.
- Unlike incandescent bulbs, which release 90 percent of their energy as heat, LEDs use energy far more efficiently with little wasted heat.
- LEDs emit light in a specific direction, reducing the need for reflectors and diffusers. This makes LEDs more efficient for many uses such as recessed downlights and task lighting.
- The average annual cost for a 12 watt LED bulb is $1.00 compared to almost $5.00 for an incandescent bulb.
- LED lighting is currently available in a variety of home and industrial products including Christmas lights.
Energy Efficiency Tips for Your Home:
- Have you checked your attic insulation lately? A professional needs to take a look. Southern Pine Electric recommends R-38 or better for attic insulation.
- Ceiling fans cool people, not rooms. If the room is unoccupied, turn off the ceiling fan to save energy.
- Spring cleaning: Be sure and clean dust and lint from under refrigerators and freezers. A build up of dust and lint could damage compressors and make them less efficient.
- Check caulk and weather stripping around your windows and doors. Seal other air leakage points around wiring, plumbing, attic access and fireplace flues. Use caulk for small holes and expanding foam for larger areas.
- Be sure to change your air conditioning filters every month. Keeping a clean filter is one of the most efficient ways to save money and help your air conditioner do its job. Clear away debris such as leaves, grass and plants that block airflow through the outdoor unit. Anything that collects on the unit’s fins will block airflow and reduce its efficiency. Grass clippings thrown by the lawn mower are a common problem. Occasionally clean the outdoor unit by spraying it with a water hose.
- In the winter dress in layers—this will allow you to set your thermostat a few degrees lower and still be comfortable.
- Most of the major contributors to residential energy bills are operated by thermostat. Your heating and cooling system, water heater, refrigerator, and freezer all run as necessary to satisfy a thermostat unless you turn them off. Recommended thermostat setting are 68° F or lower for heating and 78° F or higher for cooling. Each degree higher that 68° F can increase heating costs by 5-7%, and each degree below 78° F can increase cooling costs by 5-7% or more.
- On warm days, be sure drapes or shades are closed on sunny sides of your home to block the heat from the sun.