How green is your home? Take this quiz and find out how savvy you are about saving energy and living more gently in the environment.
True or false? Lowering your thermostat in the winter for a few hours doesn’t make that much difference and can be costlier because your furnace has to work harder to warm up the house when you raise it back up.
False – If you lower your thermostat by 10 or 15 degrees for 8 hours a day, you can save 10% on your heating bill according to the U.S. Department of Energy. As for taking more energy to recover the warmer temperature, it’s just not true. Bruce Harley in his book Cut Your Energy Bills Now says, “In cold weather, when the house cools off, the smaller temperature difference means less heat flow to the outside – and that means fewer BTU to buy, even while the house is recovering.”
True or false? Air sealing and insulating your home can save up to 20% on your heating and cooling bill.
True – EnergyStar, a joint program of the EPA and the Department of Energy, says yes, a knowledgeable homeowner or skilled contractor can save 20% on heating and cooling costs, a 10% savings on your total energy bill, by sealing and insulating. The first thing you need to do is have an energy audit done on your house to pinpoint the places where air is leaking. This can be done by your utility company or a private contractor. In The Earth Friendly Home, a Creative Homeowners book, it tells how you can do your own home energy audit.
The best setting for your water heater is a) 120 degrees, b) 140 degrees, or c) 160 degrees?
The answer is a) 120 degrees. Not only does this reduce carbon emissions by 480 lbs, it prevents accidental scalding. According to Yvonne Jeffery in Green Your Home all-in-one for Dummies, the water heater accounts for 20% of a typical home energy budget so find out how to take care of yours to get the most efficiency from it.
A leaky toilet can waste up to a) 20 gallons b) 200 gallons c) 2,000 gallons of water per day.
The answer is b) 200 gallons, according to WaterSense, an EPA partnership program. Did you know flushing accounts for more than 1/3 of total water use? In Knack Green Decorating & Remodeling, Heather Paper says replacing a conventional toilet with a low-flow model can save nearly 2,000 gallons of water per month.
It’s amazing how often saving energy and water can be good for your budget and the environment! Be sure to attend our annual Green Fair on Saturday, April 16 for more ways to go green. This year’s theme is “Get Your Green on – 150 Ways.” Coming soon on Facebook we’ll be asking for your best tips on how to get your green on.