Home Energy Auditing: Part 1
GREEN HOME SHOW #1: Home Energy Auditing: Part 1 CFLs and Green History
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Today’s show topic or theme – Home Energy Auditing – “Today we’re going to tell you what a Home Energy Audit is, why you should have one done to your home and how to find someone to perform your Audit. Next week, we’ll discuss some of the upgrades that you may want to have done to your home as a result of the Audit and explore how to get Uncle Sam to pay for all or a portion of those upgrades.”
Today’s Green Tips (Doug) – 2:00 “Sponsored by: CMI Electric”
“Did you know that using compact fluorescent light bulbs (or as we like to call them CFLs) in any light fixture that you use for more than 2 or 3 hours a day can save you hundreds of dollars on your household electric bill over the course of a decade? While they are more expensive than traditional incandescent bulbs, CFLs last up to ten times longer and use only one-third the energy of their incandescent cousins. If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR rated CFL, we would save enough energy to light more than 2.5 million homes for a year and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of nearly 800,000 cars. In addition, consider these fun facts from Energy Star’s website:
A CFL will save $30 or more in energy costs over each bulb’s lifetime
CFLs generate 70 percent less heat, so they’re safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling.
In addition to other quality requirements, Energy Star rated CFLs must turn on instantly, produce no sound, and fall within a warm color range or be otherwise labeled as providing cooler color tones.
CFLs are available in different sizes and shapes to fit in almost any fixture, for both indoor and outdoor use.
There is one caveat…. CFLs contain small amounts of Mercury that can leach into the soil at landfills. The average bulb contains about 5 milligrams of mercury. To put that in perspective, older home thermometers contain roughly 500 milligrams and older home thermostats contain as much as 3000 milligrams. Even so, some manufacturers such as Philips make very low mercury content CFLs, and many manufacturers are working on a “mercury-free” bulb. In either case, these bulbs should be disposed of properly. Safe disposal requires storing the bulbs unbroken until they can be processed. Usually, one can either bring the bulbs back to the store it was purchased from to let them handle recycling or bring them directly to a recycling center. Consumers should seek advice from local authorities. Go to earth911.org for information on how to dispose of CFLs in your area.
It should be noted that coal power plants are the single largest source of mercury emissions into the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), (when coal power is used) the mercury released from powering an incandescent bulb for five years exceeds the sum of the mercury released by powering a comparably luminous CFL for the same period and the mercury contained in the lamp. Oh yeah, be sure to get the right bulb for the right job. Not all CFLs are created equal. For more information, visit your local Home Improvement store or visit Energy Star’s website.
Great and Strange Moments in Green History (Paul) – 2:00
Disclaimer: (Doug)“All or a portion of the information contained in the following segment may or may not be true and all or a portion of it may or may not be fabricated. WILM and its sponsors may or may not be privy to the information contained herein and they may or may not wish to deny any previous knowledge of the information promulgated in this segment.”
“It is a little known fact that in the winter of 1495, Fred DaVinci accidentally discovered the conversion of methane gas to energy while working in the lab with his older and better known brother Leonardo. Fred and his trusty pet goat Quatro Fromage had just eaten a hardy meal of beans and pasta fazoule when they began working on one of Leo’s human flight experiments. Suddenly, there was a release of methane gas from sources unknown while they were working near the Bunson burner (Bunson hadn’t been born yet) I mean near a propane torch (not for another 400 years) uh, the fire that heated the chilly workspace. The resulting explosion propelled both Fred and Quatro through the lab window, outside onto a local vendor’s wagon, which began to roll. The wagon came to rest over 70 feet from its original position, with the two lifeless forms still onboard.”
“Some weeks after his fatally injured little brother had been laid to rest, Leonardo wrote in his journal ‘while I miss Freddie, his accident has given me an idea. If we could only bottle this stuff, Freddie’s death will not have been in vain’. And the rest is, as they say, Green History!”