The electricity bills for a ranch house range between $150 to $600. Lighting and air-conditioning are the two main heads of electricity consumption in a ranch house. Each 100 watt incandescent bulb sets you back by 2 dollars. With 50 bulbs in the house, it will cost close to $100 to light the house per month. Similarly a 2 ton air conditioner uses approximately $80 of electricity per month. LED lighting system can help cut your lighting electricity bills by 7X - from $100 to only $14 a month! If your ranch is located in an area with hot dry climate the savings in air conditioning bills will also be significant. After all they, unlike incandescent bulbs, do not produce heat.
There is a misconception that a bulb can help save electricity in winters as it generates a lot of heat. The answer to that is a resounding NO. Bulbs are housed in light sockets usually located at a height well above the ground. As heat rises, the heat from a bulb heads toward the ceiling first. Hot air tends to stay up. As a result the lower levels receive only a small portion of the heat. In floor heating and forced air heating systems are much more efficient by contrast.
Direct combustion heating systems
Direct combustion heating systems turn out to be the cheapest for producing heat. Electric heating is a much more wasteful process by comparison. Heat produced by combustion of fuel is converted to kinetic energy that in turn drives a turbine to produce electricity. After losses in transmission and distribution the electricity arrives at your home. It is only thereafter that it is converted to heat by electricity using heating devices. The incandescent bulbs are neither good for producing light or heat!
Converting an energy guzzling, Earth mean ranch to a green affair
Using solar panels and wind turbine can help produce electricity but that is not the real long lasting solution that you are looking for. It is only 1/2 the solution. The real solution lies in cutting your electricity usage. Switch off electricity consuming devices, avoid the standby mode, use power strips and energy star rated equipment. When investing in energy efficient technologies prioritize. Invest in technologies that have the highest rate of return first.
Solar and wind power sound attractive and are indeed renewable but they are erratic and expensive. Solar electricity works out to 30 cents per KWH compared to grid electricity which costs a third at 10 cents per KWH.
LED lighting with more than 80% rate of return ought to be first on that energy efficiency list. When the benefits in lighting and air conditioning costs are factored in, they can positively impact as much as 60% of your electricity bills - generating considerable savings in the bargain. Whether you are looking for pendant lights, tubes, chandelier lights, street lights, flood lights or any other you can find a LED lighting product suited to your needs.
You should take great care designing your solution. The location of air return ducts, for example, can cause a marked difference in your air conditioning and heating bills. If you are in an existing ranch you can resort to a plethora of retrofit options to reduce your carbon footprint.
Making your ranch a commercial success
There are different ways of making a success out of a ranch. You may choose agri-tourism like La Mota Ranch (Texas), cultivate flowers like Doepkens Farm (Maryland), or opt for managed hunting like others. Each one of these initiatives can help garner better, healthier returns from your ranch. You can even brand your ranch as a commercial green and eco friendly paradise.
If you would prefer to enjoy the atmosphere alone – go ahead. Whatever your choice - do not forget to discharge your debt to the environment. With repayment periods of slightly over a year and a decade of functional life - your investments - and YOU - will be handsomely rewarded.
Want to see how much LED can save you? Click here to try our new and simple to use Energy Savings Calculator