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Using Incandescent Light Bulbs For Heating

17 June 2011

Incandescent light bulbs waste 90% of their electricity as heat.

Here in Minnesota, we’re pretty serious about heating.  With our long, long, long (LONG) winters, you’d think that we would jump at the chance to gain useful heat from any source we can find, right?

Here’s the thing – in Minnesota, electricity is nearly three times more expensive that natural gas.  Whatever useful heat you might gain from your incandescent light bulbs is being purchased at three times the rate of the heat coming from your furnace or boiler – and in a time where many Minnesota families are facing real financial challenges, paying 3x for heating is no small issue.

Also, because lighting is typically placed near the top of the thermal envelope, some of that useful heat from incandescents is lost to the attic – a place where you certainly don’t want heat escaping to cause costly and damaging ice dams.

CFLLastly, that useful heat in the winter isn’t as useful during the spring, summer and fall, and who wants to switch our one’s lighting each season?  It is much cheaper and easier to purchase and use EnergyStar-rated compact fluorescent light bulbs in high use areas.  Use light bulbs for lighting, and heating units for heating.

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