Still haven’t swapped out your old, inefficient lightbulbs for CFL bulbs? Then I bet your 2010 electricity bills were a lot higher than mine. But if you’ve resigned yourself to the higher bills because CFLs have mercury in them — even though the mercury in those bulbs are still a lot less than the mercury put into the atmosphere by the coal burned to light inefficient incandescent bulbs — you likely fear that your bulb will break, exposing your home to mercury.

Perhaps a new CFL bulb cleanup guide from the EPA will assuage your fears. The EPA had simple cleanup instructions for cleaning up broken CFL bulbs before — basically pick up the pieces then vacuum the area — but now, the agency’s providing very detailed directions. We’re talking three pages of instructions — available as a web page or PDF — with separate guidelines for hard surfaces versus carpets and rugs.

And in case you want to tote around these instructions with you in case of bulb emergencies away from home, you can print them out in an attractive, double-sided tri-fold brochure! (PDF)

Of course, the easiest way to clean up a CFL bulb is to — not break the bulb in the first place! And EPA’s got tips to help you keep your CFL bulb intact — mostly by not doing dumb things like trying to unscrew the bulb when it’s too hot to handle.

Still concerned about bulb breakage — but really don’t want to pay those high electric bills in 2011? There are always LED bulbs. Yes, they’re expensive — but they don’t pose mercury problems and will last you a quarter century.

Also on MNN: 5 ways to dispose of old CFLs

New guidelines for CFL cleanup
Still using inefficient bulbs because you fear the mercury in CFL bulbs? The EPA's new guidelines could help you conquer your fears in 2011.