You may already know that using CFLs saves about 75% in energy costs when compared to incandescent bulbs. In today’s tight economy though, you’re no doubt looking for even more cost savings and performance. By following these simple tips from Energy Star (energystar.gov), you’ll get the most from your CFLs and reap the benefit in your energy bottom line.
- Do the twist! Screw in a CFL by holding the ballast (the white plastic part), not the glass tubing.
- Don’t flip too fast. You’ll maximize the lifetime savings and effectiveness of your CFLs by keeping them on for 15 minutes or more at a time.
- Choose 3 for 3. Only use bulbs labeled as three-way in three-way sockets.
- Don’t dim a non-dimmable. Only use CFL bulbs labeled as dimmable in fixtures with dimmer switches. (Editor’s note: Using non-dimmable CFLs in fixtures with a dimmer switch may actually use more energy, not less, and it can also shorten the life of the bulbs).
- Check your controls. Most photocells, motion sensors and electric timers are not designed to work with CFLs. Always check with the manufacturer of the control for compatibility.
- Give them air. CFLs are sensitive to extreme temperatures, so place them in open fixtures if using indoors. Using them in enclosed indoor fixtures can create a hot environment that will reduce the lifetime of your bulbs. Note also that covered reflector bulbs are best used in recessed can lights.
- Protect them outside. Protect CFLs from the elements by placing them inside enclosed fixtures if using outdoors. If using in colder climates, check the manufacturer’s instructions on the package for optimal operating temperatures.
Check the energystar.gov website for more information. This is a great, free resource with lots of other money-saving ideas that can really benefit your property.