Have You Changed Your Light Bulbs?Person Turning Off a Light Switch

Have you considered any ways to reduce your home’s energy use?  Have you ever looked at the cost associated with energy-related products and services?  Do you even care?

Well, as a realtor, an investor, a builder and a home-owner, I think reducing your home’s energy use is important, but there are many factors to consider.  When I decide whether or not to invest, I consider the project’s cost and return on investment.

Replace Your Light Bulbs, They Said

A while ago I invested time and aggravation to purchase and install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) throughout my whole house.  I bought them from Canadian Tire and Home Depot , rather than the dollar store, so the cost was significant.  The brand was highly recommended for energy efficiency and long life span, and they were supposed to outlast regular bulbs by many, many hours.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for me.  Several of them blew within a few months, and boy do they stink when they blow up.  One Sunday, just before we headed out for Church, I noticed a blown CFL in my kitchen light fixture.  I quickly grabbed a chair and jumped up and to replace it.  When I tried to turn the bulb, the thinner glass actually broke in my hands and cut me.  (I still have all my fingers, just a little less blood.)

That’s When I Read the Warning Labels

The labels said the bulbs were toxic! Pregnant or nursing mothers and children should be evacuated from the room.  Needless to say, with small children in my home, I have not bought another one since and never will.

Now, how about the cost of these things??  I will never get my money out of them!  Not sure what the big hype was all about, but I figure it’s all a scam.  Next time I go and try and be energy conscious, I will be cautious enough to research and ask around more.

So, CFL light bulbs will not be my favourite way to consume less power, but thankfully, there are other ways.

Try these strategies to reduce energy use in your home:

  1. Let natural light into your home during the day, as long as it’s not too hot outside.
  2. Plug into power bars with power switches. Turn the power off when you are not using them.
  3. Choose energy efficient brands when replacing your appliances.
  4. Use task lighting and table lamps. Turn lights off when you leave a room.
  5. Put timers on your devices so you use them as you need them, rather than leaving them on all the time.
  6. Use a programmable thermostat to regulate temperature according to your activities.
  7. Try using BBQs, crockpots and other devices to help you use your oven less in the summer time.
  8. Wash your clothing in cold water, do larger loads to run your machines less often, and hang your laundry to dry.
  9. Seal drafty widows and doors to keep your home warm in the winter.
  10. Ensure your attic is insulated properly, keeping the heat in, in the winter, and out in the summer.

These are just a few simple ideas to reduce your home’s energy use. If you want to go further, you could get a Natural Resources Canada Home Audit done. They’ll recommend renovations you can do to greatly improve your energy consumption.

Have you put much thought into reducing energy use in your home?  How have you been able to do it in a cost effective way?  Feel free to comment here.