Save Energy in your Home or Small Business.
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Proper disposal or recycling of your CFL is important because it contains a small amount (3 to 15 mg) of mercury. Massachusetts EPA has qualified a number of locations where these lamps can be recycled. Find a CFL collection site near you.
Always turn off lights when you leave a room and think about how many lights you really need on when you are in the room.
Use compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) in fixtures throughout your home to provide high-quality and high-efficiency lighting. CFLs are much more efficient than incandescent (standard) bulbs and last up to seven years, which saves you the expense and hassle of frequent light bulb replacements. Using new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in your home by 50% to 75%. Moreover, each CFL can prevent the emission of between 1,000-2,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
The best targets for conversion to CFLs are 60-100W bulbs used several hours a day. CFL bulbs now come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes making it possible to replace almost any incandescent bulb. Some newer CFLs are also capable of producing a warmer light which is closer to the light produced by incandescents than that produced by some earlier CFLs. There are guides to help you select the right CFL for your fixture.
Windows account for 10% to 25% of your heating bill. If your home has single-pane windows consider replacing them. New double-pane windows that are gas filled with low emissivity (low-e) coatings on the glass will reduce heat loss.
During the heating season, keep the draperies and shades on your south facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
Unplug appliances that you are not using; many draw electricity even when not in use. Turn off your computer if you will be away from it for more than an hour, set it to sleep or stand by when you have not touched if for a few minutes. Select energy-efficient products when you buy new heating and cooling equipment or appliances.
For furnaces, look for high Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings. The national minimum is 78% AFUE, but there are Energy Star models on the market that exceed 90% AFUE.
For air conditioners, look for a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The current minimum is 13 SEER for central air conditioners. Energy Star models are 13 SEER or more.