Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Saving Lives and Saving Money

Helpful Hints

This time of the year I think about when I was sixteen and was almost a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning . It was a chilly January day when everyone went to work leaving me, my younger sister, and my 18-month-old niece sound asleep.

About three hours later I awoke to my niece screaming in anger. She wanted up and as I slowly got out of bed I realized I had a terrible pounding headache and I was nauseous. I woke up my sister, telling her to take care of our niece because I was sick. She got out of bed and promptly fainted. I managed to get to the phone and call my mom who told me to open all the doors and windows and she was on her way home.

I still thank my niece for saving us. Thankfully, the bedroom she was in had a window that had been left cracked open and she hadn’t been affected by the carbon monoxide. Wires in the furnace had caught fire and smoldered unchecked and had consumed most of the oxygen in the house. We were lucky. The outcome would have been much different if my niece hadn’t been there to nudge us awake. This is why I believe in carbon monoxide detectors and encourage everyone who has any heater, fire place, stove, water heater, etc. that relies on combustion to have a CO detector. And make sure it is no higher than 18” off the floor. Carbon monoxide is heavier than air and fills the room from the bottom to the top.

Another thing I believe in is the compact fluorescent energy saving light bulbs. I remember twenty years ago our industry was first introduced to a different kind of florescent light that wasn’t the typical 48” tube that illuminated kitchens and garages. These CFLs were oddly shaped because they still needed a ballast to get it illuminated so they were circular in shape with the huge ballast attached at the base. Needless to say there was a lot of resistance. People didn’t like the silly shapes and they didn’t like the harsh light they emitted. The only thing they seemed to like was saving money on electricity. Improvements have been remarkable.

Today there is a wider selection of shapes and the type of light emitted--they come in cool white, daylight, soft white, and in bug light yellow as well as being dimmable. The normal incandescent bulb has a life span of 750 hours to 1,000 hours at most; CFLs life span is from 6,000 to 15,000 hours. CFLs are becoming more accepted. What is even more acceptable is the amount of money we can save on our electric bill. Sorry Edison, since I changed out most of my bulbs I am saving 40 percent on my electric bill.

We at Pioneer True Value invite you to come and visit us and check out our sale on CO detectors and CFLs. We are here to help you get your project done quickly and efficiently. And, for those getting anxious to start their spring garden, our seeds are here. We have a great selection of favorites as well as organic and heirloom vegetables. For all your home improvement and repair as well as garden we say, “ Start right. Start here.” Check out our ad on page 1.