Preparing to Fall Back

Howdy kids! Fall Back Day is Sunday and this here is the very last Halloween that will fall after the end of Daylight Savings Time. Why? The Energy Policy Act of 2005, extends Daylight Savings Time by 4 weeks! The result? An estimated energy savings of 1% nationally.

Unfortunately, this year we’ll still be Trick o’ Treating in the dark, so be alert. Here are a few things you should do around the house to prepare for Fall Back Day:

• Replace your power-sucking incandescent light bulbs with energy saving florescent ones, and save as much as 50% off your utility bill.

• While reprogramming the time on your devices, think about putting them all on one power strip that you can shut off at night. Devices can suck power while in “stand-by” mode. Might not want to do that with the DVR, though, if you’re, um, taping late night shows.

• Change the batteries on your smoke detectors.

• Take this opportunity to check your house for hazardous materials. If you find any, dispose of them accordingly.

• Reset your thermostat to drop 5 degrees at night and 10 degrees when no one is home. This could save you up to 20% on your heating bill.

[via consumerreports.org]

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  1. Useless Info:

    ‘Finally, one clever man used DST to avoid the draft.

    During the Vietnam-era draft lottery, the man, who had been born just after midnight DST, argued that Standard Time, not DST, was the official time for recording births.

    So he argued that he had actually been born the day before, on a day which carried a much higher draft lottery number. The draft board agreed, and left him alone.’

    KUSA

  2. Replace your power-sucking incandescent light bulbs with energy saving florescent ones, and save as much as 50% off your utility bill. This may save you 50% on your utility bill, but the flourescents cost like 6 times as much as the incandescents…

    • Change the batteries on your smoke detectors. Or consider removing the batteries altogether because smoke alarms are annoying as hell and, to quote Mitch Hedburg, if you’re flammable and have legs, you are not a fire hazard.

  3. Mauvaise says:

    “This may save you 50% on your utility bill, but the flourescents cost like 6 times as much as the incandescents…”

    Yes, but they last more than 6 times as long. Your standard 100w A-lamp has an average “rated life hours” of 750. If you replaced that with one of the self-ballasted 26w CFL lamps, they *start* with a rated life hours of 6000. So effectively, the cost of the lamp is the same *and* you get good energy savings on your utility bill to boot with the CFLs.

  4. trixare4kids says:

    Those “energy saving florescent ones” are nasty. I don’t care how much I’d save, the light they produce is ugly, ugly, ugly. I use them for places where I only pass through or only have to have on for a few minutes.. like the porch or a little-used back closet.

  5. homerjay says:

    I have to agree with Trixare4kids. I’d LOVE to save on my electric bill but when I tried CFL it was painful. If you’re only in a room for a couple minutes it takes twice as long as that for the light to brighten to its fullest.

    I really wish someone would respond and tell me that there are new types out there that react more like incandescent lights and give a similar light but for now, I’m not investing more money in CFL.

  6. Mauvaise says:

    Homerjay,

    I’m having lunch with my GE guy next week. I’ll make a note to ask if they are planning on coming out with anything like that (or if they currently have something like that). Feel free to e-mail me if you’re interested: mauvaise3 at yahoo dot com.

  7. The_Truth says:

    Actually there are. Its all to do with the incandescent rating of the light bulb etc. I cant remember all of the details, but yeah, the problems mentioned above have been fixed and they are not as expensive as above either.

    No links but a bit of searching will turn up some info!

  8. scudsone says:

    aren’t led bulbs match the color able to gamut of incandescents. actually don’t they exceed the fidelity of incandescents and give full “daylight” spectrum. too bad they still cost about $35 for a 100 watt equivalent. but that 100 watt equivalent is supposed to last 20,000-40,000 hours (they’re not sure how long they’ll last yet) and only draws 3 or 4 watts.
    fuck compact fluorescents

  9. Can someone tell me how we save 1% by changing our clocks at a different time?

  10. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I make extensive use of compact flourescents, and yes, they still have some issues.

    I don’t find the color temperature to be objectionable, but some of the bulbs take a minute or two to reach full brightness. For whatever reason, the ones I use in my recessed fixtures take a long time to “warm up,” while the ones that I have in regular table lamps seem to be more or less instantaneous. This problem is more pronounced the colder the room is.

    Typically, you get about 4 times the effieciency over an incandescent lamp. So, assuming your electric bill was based solely on lighting, you’d save 75% off your bill. Unfortunately, like many people, this month I only used about $50 in electricity but paid an additional $40 in BS charges and taxes.

    As far as cost goes, I can get a 6 pack for $15 or $20 at one of the evil overlord home centers. Life expectancy is claimed to be 10,000 hours (although out of the 50 or so that I have had in service for a year, I’ve had 7 or 8 of them croak already.

  11. timmus says:

    I pay $400 in the heat of summer for a 30x40x20 ft (24,000 cu ft) house. Wal-Mart nearby is just as cool and they have a 550x375x25 (5.1 million cu ft) building. Somehow I’m guessing they aren’t paying (5100000/24000)*400 = $85,000 per month for their electricity. Either they have damn good air conditioners or I’m getting shafted on my utility bill.

  12. Homer Jay & Trixare4kids:

    “Those “energy saving florescent ones” are nasty. I don’t care how much I’d save, the light they produce is ugly, ugly, ugly.”

    They’re improving a lot. When we first started putting them in a couple years ago, we only used them in external porch lights and basement fixtures. They’ve improved so much in the last couple of years that we’ve started putting them in our reading lamps and ambient lamps. They’ve also come down in price in the last couple years. We have them in almost every fixture that will accommodate them.

    Lamp shades can also go a long way towards making the light “prettier” if you still don’t like it (our strategy with the slightly older flourescents that were between the first-gen ugly-ugly ones and the current near-normal ones). They also come on a lot faster and brighter now than the first-generation ones did.

  13. Christopher says:

    I’ll admit, the lower watt-equivalent bulbs do produce ugly yellow light, but the higher 100w-equivalent bulbs, especially the newer ones, create light that is very close to incandescent, yet only use 27w. They are bigger than normal bulbs, so they won’t fit into all fixtures, thus I’ve had to use 60w-equivalents in all of my hallway lights.

    I can’t wait for LED bulbs to become affordable. Those can create light that is purer white than incandescent, yet use less energy than modern fluorescent bulbs, and last nearly forever.

  14. notlazyjustdontcare says:

    Just as there will someday be kids who don’t know what a dialtone is, there will soon be kids who can’t believe we used to make light by heating up a wire until it glowed. I think we still have a long way to go: Even though fluorescent lights are much more efficient, they still turn about 95% of the power they use into heat.

    Also, I can’t stand the very low color temperature of tungsten. I’m very happy with my daylight-spectrum CFL bulbs, which don’t seem to have a warm-up delay at all.

  15. Sheik says:

    Electoral College Dropout says:
    Can someone tell me how we save 1% by changing our clocks at a different time?

    This is just a guess but pushing back daylight savings time will give us more hours of daylight. Meaning that we won’t use as much power for lights during that hour.

  16. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    We save the 1% in energy savings because (supposedly) we use more natural light during the waking day in the summer. It’s a free way for the government to look concerned about energy use. That’s assuming you don’t work in a windowless cubicle or that you’re a farmer.

    Of course, we could save 25% a year if everyone stopped commuting to work in 14 MPG Hummers, but that would require an automaker to lose money, and a government agency to acutally come up with a workable plan and impliment it.

  17. Plasmafire says:

    You can now get fast acting flourescents or you could wait a year or two for the new OLED’s to come out, they are going to completely replace all white flourescent lights, and can run on a single tiny battery’s worth of electricity, far less than incandescents or even flourescent lights, led’s and oleds will soon be everywhere.
    However I do find one advantage to the old style incandescents, in winter when the snow covers the christmas lights, the lights melt their way through the snow, the new LED strands don’t do that.

  18. Mike_ says:

    This is also a good time to change your passwords and PIN numbers.

    Early compact-fluorescent bulbs were expensive and produced that cold “industrial” light so many people (myself included) don’t like. The newer bulbs are inexpensive and give off much more comfortable light. I’ve switched about 60% of my bulbs, including in the spaces where I use lamps the most. They’re fine.

    EnergyStar.gov says that if every household switched just one bulb, we’d save enough energy to light 2.5 million homes for a year and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of 800,000 cars. Buy a bulb or two, and if you don’t like them in your living room or bedroom, use them in your closets and basement.

    It’ll probably take awhile for LED-based bulbs to increase in quality and (more importantly) decrease in price enough to make it worth throwing away your compact fluorescent bulbs. When you eventually do make the switch, be sure to dispose of the CF bulbs properly — they contain trace amounts of mercury.

  19. Plasmafire,

    I figure as the LED lights come out and increase in quality and decrease in price, I’ll gradually replace the flourescents as they burn out, the same way I went from incandescents to flourescents. :) Why wait and keep paying for incandescents when you can just gradually switch to flourescents and then LEDs?

    Also, w/r/t the LED Xmas lights, I kinda like seeing them glow through the snow on the bushes, although I suppose it depends on how much snow you get. :)

  20. johnemerson says:

    Replace your power-sucking incandescent light bulbs with energy saving florescent ones, and save as much as 50% off your utility bill.

    The Sylvania globe CFLs are for sh*t. We had year old CFL bulbs burn out in our bathroom fixtures before five year old incandescents gave up the filament.

    Expensive, they don’t last as long, they take longer to reach full brightness, and you can’t get the same size from month to month. On the upside, they run much cooler…when they’ve burnt out.

    Where do I sign up? [snark snark snark]

  21. I’m old school. I’ll use Halogen until LEDs are more available.