Although only 3 percent of the electric bill of the average American household is attributable to lighting costs, consumers can save money without needing to turn off the lights. Energy Star estimates that homeowners that replace five of their most frequently used incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs could save more than $65 annually in energy costs. These savings will compound each year because CFL bulbs last up to 10 times as long as their incandescent predecessors.

Once a mainstay in U.S. households, incandescent bulbs are being phased out of the marketplace by the U.S. government, with the goal of them being completely off the market by 2014. Congress voted in 2007 to ban the bulb, beginning with the 100-watt model. Some consumers have responded to the ban by hoarding as many incandescent bulbs as they can. These consumers, seemingly content to not make 100 percent energy efficient homes, may benefit from an Alban Inspections home inspection.

For 20 years, Alban Inspections has worked in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia and Pennsylvania to help homeowners achieve cost-effective solutions to energy problems. Alban Inspections provides detailed home inspections that will identify lighting concerns that don’t include using candlelight.

Widespread incandescent bulb use coming to an end

Incandescent light bulbs have been the preferred choice of American homeowners since the 1800s. They produce light by heating a metal filament contained within a glass bulb. These bulbs produce a high amount of heat energy and most consumers think they produce a “warmer” light than do CFL bulbs. But because incandescent bulbs produce so much heat, they are not as efficient at producing light over an extended period of time. Many governments plan to transition away from incandescent bulbs during the next decade.

Costs saved by implementing CFL bulbs

The transition toward CFL bulbs should be a smooth one for homeowners, many of whom have already realized the long-term benefits of using such bulbs. Most CFL bulbs will fit into existing light fixtures and will produce light that is similar to that provided formerly by incandescent bulbs.

CFL bulbs are slightly more expensive than incandescent bulbs, and while the U.S. government does not provide tax credit for transitioning to CFL bulbs, the energy costs saved by using CFL bulbs far outweigh the upfront costs.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a 100-watt incandescent bulb costs $0.60 per bulb, $25 in annual energy costs and $134 over a five-year period, while a 25-watt CFL bulb costs $3.40 per bulb, $6 in annual energy costs and $29 over a five-year period. This cost difference is attributable to CFL bulbs lasting 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs because they require 75 percent less energy to emit a comparable level of light. In addition, CFL bulbs produces 90 percent less heat compared to an incandescent bulb.

Alban Inspections facilitates energy efficency

Alban Inspections features a product line of CFL bulbs and LED bulbs, which are about 90 percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs. Homeowners can come to Alban Inspections with any questions about CFL bulbs, including how to clean up broken bulbs, which contain trace amounts of mercury. Alban Inspections will even perform commercial inspections and complete detailed environmental testing, including mold testing.

Alban Inspections is concerned with the comfort of its clients and the costs required to maintain their comfort. Using knowledge provided by an experienced Alban Inspections expert, homeowners can transition to CFL bulbs by 2014 and discover additional methods of saving energy costs. Energy efficiency is obtainable for all homeowners, and Alban Inspections is committed to providing consumers the means to do so.