People who know me know I'm a landlord. The housing crash happened just as I came into a small inheritance, and I used a lot of the money to buy houses that I rent out to support myself since my job evaporated.
I'm not a slum lord. I maintain my houses to the best of my ability. I respond to tenant concerns. I work with my tenants when they are having financial difficulties.
But, the nature of the business is that tenants come and go, and I'm regularly in the process of preparing a house for a new tenant.
One of the things I pride myself on is energy efficiency in my houses. I can't afford to put solar arrays on every roof, but I do make sure that the heating and cooling is as efficient as possible and that every light fixture has either a CFL or LED bulb.
And this points to one of my pet peeves. I'm preparing a house right now. I just spent $80 on light bulbs. Ceiling fans always get LED bulbs because the CFLs don't tend to hold up under the vibration of a fan. (Just my experience -- not any proven principle.)
Energy efficient bulbs are expensive compared to the old incandescent bulbs, but supposedly, they last long enough to make that up.
Heh... trouble is, as soon as most tenants move in, they substitute old-style bulbs for all my energy efficient bulbs. And they don't save my bulbs, they throw them away. (Going forward, I'm amending my lease to make it clear -- they will be charged for every missing LED or CFL bulb when they move out.)
Why do they take my bulbs, that are going to save them money on their electric bills, and throw them away? Because right-wing news idiots told them that CFLs are dangerous because of the mercury inside. (For the record, I only use CFLs in closed fixtures, open fixtures get LEDs.)
COME ON, PEOPLE! USE YOUR HEADS! The mercury is inside the bulb. If the bulb does not shatter, it can't escape. How many times a week do you deal with a broken light bulb?
The best way to avoid harm from the mercury in a CFL bulb is: If the bulb breaks for any reason, don't eat the broken pieces. Don't let your children eat the broken pieces.
The average CFL contains a miniscule amount of mercury -- 4 or 5 milligrams. It will not sneak out at night and kill your children.
The dangerous thing to do with a CFL is throw it in the trash, where it ends up in a landfill, along with all the other CFLs thrown out by ignorant people, where the tiny amount of mercury in each one can add up to a significant threat. And 30 years later, the EPA has to use a superfund to clean up the landfill.
I put the green bulbs in to save money on the tenant's electric bill -- not because I want to poison their children.
Now, I admit, if a child goes and gets a ladder and climbs up to the closed ceiling light fixture, opens the fixture and takes out the bulb to play with it, then accidentally drops it and breaks it and eats the glass shards -- the outcome will not be good. However, it won't be much better if the bulb is incandescent.
I'm getting tired of replacing light bulbs. I blame Fox News.