Friday, May 2, 2008

Should You Buy CFLs if You Live in an Apartment?

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) are a mainstay of articles both on living green and on saving money. But the high up-front cost can be hard to justify if you are only planning on staying someplace for a year.

Why pay more for CFL bulbs so the next tenant can reap your savings? (According to the Energy Star website, a CFL bulb saves $30 or more over its lifespan.) Of course, it’s the environmentally-friendly choice, but it’s not always possible to make the green choice when money is tight.

A clever solution is to purchase CFL bulbs, but keep the halogen bulbs. When you move, return all the halogen bulbs to the light fixtures, and take the CFL bulbs with you.

Alternately, if you move to another apartment, you can switch the halogen bulbs from your new place to the old. (I’d only do this if the old place had halogen bulbs when you moved in; otherwise it’s a down-grade and a bit of a rip-off for the landlord.)

When my husband and I moved into our first apartment, we replaced all of our bulbs with CFL bulbs. We moved five years later and took those bulbs with us. (Actually, we had far more CFL bulbs than we needed for our new place, and left several there.) It was another year before the first of the CFL’s finally burnt out.


Anonymous said...

I bought CFLs in my last apartment and took them with me when I moved. Shortly after I moved here, the property management announced they were putting CFLs in all the apartment fixtures. So I waited until they installed them, then replaced them with the CFLs I had purchased for the previous apartment. When I move, I'll take the newer CFLs with me.

Missy said...

Nice move, mjjoe!
And way to go to your property manager for putting in CFLs.
I hope they'll do more green/money saving things in the future for you!