Stay Comfy Blog

How Much Do The New Light Bulbs Impact Your AC Budget?

How CFL Bulbs Cut Down on AC Costs AC budget

We’ve all heard how LED and compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are the greener option for lighting. They are made to last longer, use less energy, and can help you save money on your electric bill compared to an incandescent light bulb. But did you know how much the new light bulbs can impact your AC budget?

All About The Heat

An air conditioner works hard to remove heat and humidity from your home. While your AC is running, you’d be wise to avoid adding any extra heat or moisture to your house so your system won’t need to work that much harder. That means avoiding baking, long hot showers, or epic movie marathons, which can add heat to your home (you can get even more energy saving tips here).

Keith Hill, Minnesota Air’s technical support manager, says that light bulbs are another factor when it comes to internal heat gain. He says often times lighting is overlooked because people think lamps are too little to give off much heat – but they would be wrong.

“Since heat output is directly related to the surface temperature of an object, let’s look at temperatures of modern lamps,” he says. “An incandescent lamp is typically 300+° F, a CFL is right around 140° and an LED lamp is in the neighborhood of 90°.”

If you consider that heat given off into the home will have to be removed by the air conditioner, that means a traditional incandescent blub is a double-dipping on your electric bill – first for using more energy to emit light and also for emitting more heat than its greener counterparts.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, traditional incandescent bulbs (the kind that are no longer manufactured, but still sold in some areas) expend 90 percent of the energy as heat – not light. That equals a lot of wasted energy!

Their advice is to pick the five most frequently used lights in your home and makes the switch to an energy-efficient bulb. They say you can save $75 each year by using models that have earned the ENERGY STAR.

“It’s a good idea to choose low heat output devices when you can, and keep their usage to a minimum in AC season,” says Keith. “(Traditional bulbs) cost more to light up plus they add to your cooling bill – ouch!”

System Giveaway

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