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Old 01-16-2008, 06:44 AM   #11
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Well, I read up on disconnecting the exhaust from electrical clothes dryers and gave it a try.

My washer/dryer are in my basement which is poured concrete floor/walls. After 1 load of laundry w/ the dryer venting in the basement, the walls were wet with condensation, the floor was sticky, and my windows were fogging over. Keep in mind I only run my thermostat in the townhouse at 68*F to save money (gas furnace).

I'm still thinking of switching over to flourescent bulbs in a few rooms. The kitchen for one ( I like it bright when I cook ) and the basement for another, where I do laundry and workout.

I got a $10 gift card from Lowes in the mail for some odd reason, figure I'll take advantage of that to purchase the Flourescent bulbs and possibly one of these dryer exhaust contraptions that may yield some of that moisture in the air so I can continue venting the exhaust in the basement rather than waste all that warm air.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:49 AM   #12
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To answer the original question, it depends. If the CFLs are expensive or you don't use them very much, you're unlikely to make up the cost. In MA, CFLs are state-subsidized, so we can get them heavily discounted -- usually $1-2 each for small sizes on sale.

I switched to CFLs a while ago but quite frankly, I don't use them much these days. I use a DIY LED headlamp and a couple of DIY LED candles; I run them off discarded batteries from work, and I haven't needed to replace them yet.

The headlamp is much more convenient than area lights when rushing around the house. No turning lights on and off. It's also more efficient, since it only puts light where I need it.

My electricity consumption is ~80kWh/month for just me in a small single-family home. The fridge uses the lion's share of electricity.

If you want to find out where your electricity is going, get a P3 Kill-A-Watt. I got one for Christmas; it's been pretty fun to compare tradeoffs. For example, my TV uses less than half as much electricity as the computer, and the radio uses a tenth the electricity of the TV. Radio is definitely best bang for the energy buck -- but not when you use the big stereo.

CFLs shouldn't be used in low/high temperature environments (e.g. oven/fridge), or where they're used only briefly (e.g. a small closet).

I line dry in summer, but it's too cold at this point. I've been venting the dryer into the garage lately. It raises the temp from 45 to 55°F and increases the humidity as well, making working out there a heck of a lot more tolerable. It also hypothetically warms up the radiator water a smidge, which would help FE on startup if I used the car that day.
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Old 01-18-2008, 06:24 AM   #13
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At a Lowes in MD, I bought 10 of them at a buck each and replaced almost every light in the house.

The house is just as bright at a fraction of the energy use.

Each bulb that replaces a 60W is 13W. So for example, I removed 3 60W lightbulbs from the bathroom and installed 4 13W CFLs -- quite a difference in energy use, and a bit brighter too.

My wife says she likes the "whiter" light of the CFLs as well.
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Old 01-18-2008, 08:05 AM   #14
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Haven't seen a dramatic drop in energy costs, and the light is a bit flat and cold. Plus, no dimming capability. We replaced about half of the ones in our house before we tapered off - not really seeing the benefit.

Oh, and we have a lamp that has the shade mount directly on the bulb itself - even the "domed" CFL's don't work with that one...but it's dimmed anyway.

Come 2012, the regular light bulb ban will just give me an excuse to go to Canada or Mexico a couple times/year and help me profit from a black market!
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Old 01-18-2008, 08:09 AM   #15
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The ban is kind of dumb. Yeah, fewer watts used, but the light is different. Then there's the disposal issue which might have a higher cost in the short and long term. The ban is an unreasonable intrusion into personal choice.

If it were that great, everyone would be doing it and regular bulbs would be unmarketable.
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Old 01-18-2008, 08:12 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD26 View Post
The ban is kind of dumb. Yeah, fewer watts used, but the light is different. Then there's the disposal issue which might have a higher cost in the short and long term. The ban is an unreasonable intrusion into personal choice.

If it were that great, everyone would be doing it and regular bulbs would be unmarketable.
Agreed 100%.

I should at least say, though, that our outside flood lights have been worth it. They take a while to warm up and throw any light that's worth having when it's below ~55* out, but...floodlights are expensive to run, so we're happy with the energy-saver floods.
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