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Old 09-14-2010, 03:35 PM
 
1,055 posts, read 1,932,721 times
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I hope that doesn't sound too stupid but I couldn't think of a better way to word it. My situation is I moved into a townhome and the electric bill is ungodly despite keeping my A/C on 82 degs. I am looking for ways to lower my bill. I suspect the chandelier lighting in the living room/dining area may use a lot of electricity because of the 6 tiny bulbs in it which can't be converted to CFL's. Plus the light is too bright but its the only light I have in the entire room to eat or watch tv by. So I took 3 of the 6 bulbs out so I'm wondering will that lower my electricity usage or not?

Also have only strip lighting in the bathroom that has something like 7 bulbs above the mirror kinda like those Hollywood dressing room type lighting. If I climb up and remove some of those bulbs which again are way too bright anyway will that lower electricity use or does it still use electricity when its turned on even in the sockets missing bulbs?
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Pomona
1,955 posts, read 5,339,238 times
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Yes. Since those are incandescents, as long as the bulb is off, there will be zero power draw. For aesthetics, you don't have to remove them completely; just loosen them until they're off, and that'll be sufficient.

FWIW, Ikea does carry CFLs with the small chandelier base.
IKEA | Light sources & accessories | Light sources | SPARSAM | Low-energy bulb E12
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:03 PM
 
21,578 posts, read 36,422,679 times
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Default Not a stupid question at all...

Those bathroom strips with even 40 watt bulbs DO crank on the old electric bill. Switching em all to cfl might save some significant juice if you do not mind the poor color rendition.

I understand your concerns about how the fixture will react to unscrewing some bulbs, and the simple answer is that taking the bulb our will cut the energy flow / usage. Lights are not transformers that have a "parasitic" load even when they are not charging your cell phone or something...

You know, lighting tends to be a pretty small of most electric bills. Things with motors tend to be the real watt hogs. Refrigerators with old compressors are high on the hit list, so are air conditioners pumps, that sort of thing.

Heaters tend to be big energy uses too. Everything from an electric stove to a water heater to even an electric blanket that gets left on inadvertently will be huge...


If you can get your A/C serviced you might find it runs better, keeps you cooler for less. Adding insulation is another great way to help out...

Good Luck!
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 55,166,325 times
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Shade the east and west sides of your house
Use ceiling fans and box fans to move the air around and it will feel cooler
Pre cool the house in the morning with cool morning air

Walk around naked
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Lincoln County Road or Armageddon
3,711 posts, read 2,883,038 times
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Replace the switchs with dimmer switches on the incandescent lights. Make sure you turn off the breaker before doing it, though. Most CFLs aren't dimmer compatible, but some are.
Old appliances will kill you on electric bills.
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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What is ungodly? How many kilowatt hours?

You can easily figure out the cost of incandescent lighting. A Kilowatt hour is 1000 watt hours. That means a 100 watt lamp that is on for ten hours will use ONE kilowatt hour (abbreviated KWH on most bills).

If the average billing period is 30 days and you have 200 watts of incandescent lighting on from 6PM to midnight every day, that is 200 x 30 x 6 = 36 KWH. Since electricity costs are usually between ten and twenty cents per KWH, that equates to a max of about $7.20. I don't consider that ungodly.

Look instead for dripping hot water, AC that runs all the time, and high wattage stuff.
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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Since this is a townhome that I rent I cannot do all those rennovations especially not to things like insulation and appliances. What makes it worse yes all the appliances must be really old like at least 20 years old. I use cold water to wash the laundry and do not use the dishwasher at all.

I'm cold natured so I really don't mind the a/c staying at 82. The thing is because I am on the 2nd floor I think that is jacking up the electric bill as in even set at 82 degs my a/c stays on almost non-stop even at night. I'm guessing it has to do with having the hot roof and attic over me which keeps the building heated up. I wander around in the dark most of the day. There is one window in my townhouse and it has blackout curtains plus regular curtains over it and I have a room darkening vertical blinds over the sliding glass door that leads to the balcony. I keep the shades closed and rarely go outside so as to hopefully keep heat out of my place.

Oh and I did test my thermostat to see if it was even reading correctly by use of a digital and manual thermometer and both read same as the thermostat. I think the building is just no energy efficient and there's not many options but changing light bulbs that I can do since I rent it. I can't afford the summer electric bill and am terrified what winter will be like. On top of that they raised my rent 3 months after I moved in. And the electric company has raised the rate every month for past 6 months I'm told because we have had record heatwaves.
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:23 PM
 
Location: FL
7,141 posts, read 3,233,930 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtneer View Post
Since this is a townhome that I rent I cannot do all those rennovations especially not to things like insulation and appliances. What makes it worse yes all the appliances must be really old like at least 20 years old. I use cold water to wash the laundry and do not use the dishwasher at all.

I'm cold natured so I really don't mind the a/c staying at 82. The thing is because I am on the 2nd floor I think that is jacking up the electric bill as in even set at 82 degs my a/c stays on almost non-stop even at night. I'm guessing it has to do with having the hot roof and attic over me which keeps the building heated up. I wander around in the dark most of the day. There is one window in my townhouse and it has blackout curtains plus regular curtains over it and I have a room darkening vertical blinds over the sliding glass door that leads to the balcony. I keep the shades closed and rarely go outside so as to hopefully keep heat out of my place.

Oh and I did test my thermostat to see if it was even reading correctly by use of a digital and manual thermometer and both read same as the thermostat. I think the building is just no energy efficient and there's not many options but changing light bulbs that I can do since I rent it. I can't afford the summer electric bill and am terrified what winter will be like. On top of that they raised my rent 3 months after I moved in. And the electric company has raised the rate every month for past 6 months I'm told because we have had record heatwaves.
It could very well be because you are on the top floor. Years ago I lived in a nice apt complex and I lived down stairs. My mother had rented the apt above me until they purchased their home. Their electric bill was more than double of what I was paying because of the heat on the roof and not enough insulation.

If you have a electric water heater you may want to turn that off when you won't be home for hours of when you are going to bed. I did that years ago and saved about $10 to $15 a month.
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
2,187 posts, read 3,622,757 times
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Many states have libraries with voltage meters that you can rent to see how energy efficient your home is. Even with things unplugged, electricity is still used. It may be minimal in the grand scheme of things but it is very useful to audit your usage. I know that there are several websites out there that also help you figure all that out and become more energy efficient.
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,800 posts, read 22,783,014 times
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Pretty much what Harry said - incandescent lights are less efficient but typically if you are just using electricity for lighting you don't use much. If you are on the top floor and the sun is heating it, and A/C is running, that's probably your biggest drain. Turning the lights off does not make a lot of difference.

You need to figure out your kilowatt-hours, which you can do something about, vs the cost per KWH, which you can't do anything about.

If it's any comfort to you, in the winter you will get free heat from apts below you.
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