Archive for September, 2008

Home Energy Efficiency, or What Not To Do with a CFL


Image from CNET.com

Hi folks! I have migrated – from a generally “green” job in Santa Rosa, California to energy efficiency work in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In honor of this change, I will provide you with some home energy facts and tips.

* One CFL can save you up to $30 over the course of its lifetime, according to EnergyStar.gov.

* When you break a CFL, don’t vacuum it up. To avoid ingesting or inhaling the hazardous mercury inside, follow EPA guidelines: stop air from flowing, get everybody away (especially kids and pets), let it sit for 15 minutes, then “scoop and stick” – scoop as much as you can with a sheet of cardboard, then stick up the remaining pieces with the sticky side of duct tape.

* When a CFL is broken or used up, take it for proper disposal. Home Depot will accept them, as will IKEA. Your local household hazardous waste facility will happily take them in – check with your county waste department.

* The modern CFL was invented as a result of the 1970s energy crisis. Ed Hammer, a General Electric engineer, created the bulb in 1976 – it is now housed in the Smithsonian. It was shelved at the time because of the prohibitive expense to create the new manufacturing facilities required. Read more from CNET.

* CFLs probably won’t reign forever. More efficient, less hazardous LED lights will likely overtake CFLs as soon as production costs decrease.

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