Fact or Fiction: Energy Efficiency

Staff

4 Min Quiz

American homes consume twice the energy of the world average.

Americans use six times more energy than everyone else.

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Home duct efficiency in the United States could be as low as 50 to 70 percent.

It is that bad. Researchers at Residential Energy Efficient Distribution Systems estimated about 50 to 70 percent efficiency nationwide.

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Most American homes use natural gas for heat.

True -- 56 percent of American homes use natural gas.

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In the past 25 years, American energy consumption has risen faster than the population has.

Actually, thanks to advances in energy efficiency, the population has risen 24 percent and energy consumption has increased only 13 percent.

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A 2009 study showed that replacing old appliances is one of the most important things people can do to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

Yes, according to the 2009 study by McKinsey & Company, switching to newer, more energy-efficient appliances is the key to reducing emissions.

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Buildings with light-colored roofs use 40 percent less energy for cooling than buildings with darker roofs.

Your roof's color does matter -- light-colored ones are much more energy-efficient.

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Traditional incandescent light bulbs convert about half the electricity they use into light -- the other half is converted into heat.

Incandescent bulbs are terribly energy-inefficient -- only 10 percent of the electricty they use is converted into light.

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Replacing a front-loading washing machine with a top-loader could save you $100 a year in energy, water and detergent.

Front-loading is the way to go.

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The newest energy-efficient refrigerators use 40 percent less energy than conventional models did in 2001.

Yes, it's a fact -- today's refrigerators sporting Energy Star labels use 40 percent less energy than 2001 conventional models.

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If you're on the market for new home insulation, it's best to get one that has a high E-rating.

You do want to look for a high number, but it's an R-rating that you want, not E.

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A programmable thermostat will save you about $90 a year.

Even better -- you'll save about $180 by installing a programmable thermostat.

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If you have a programmable thermostat (which you should), your home's night temperature should be 10 degrees lower than the day temperature.

You should have a lower temperature at night, but the Environmental Protection Agency says you need to go only 4 degrees lower.

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You'll save 4 to 8 percent on cooling costs for every degree that you lower your thermostat in the summer.

Raising your home's temperature in the summer and lowering it in the winter will save you money.

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You should change your HVAC filter every six months.

Nope, according to EnergyStar.gov, you need to change your filter every three months.

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Properly sealing your home can cut your heating and cooling bills in half.

Ten percent annually is still a pretty hefty savings, and most homes aren't properly sealed.

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You can get a tax credit for energy-efficient improvements to a new home.

For 2009 and 2010, you can get tax credits for energy-efficient improvements to an existing home -- 30 percent of the cost, up to $1,500 total, for new windows, doors, insulation, roofs, HVAC systems and water heaters.

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There are even better tax credits available for geothermal heat pumps, solar panels and solar water heaters.

Yes, there are tax credits for those items at 30 percent of the cost, with no upper limit, through 2016.

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You could see a 140 percent return on your money over 25 years if you install a solar power system.

It isn't cheap to install a solar power system, but a 140 percent return over 25 years is well within the expected range.

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According to EnergyStar.gov, 30 percent of energy in commercial and industrial buildings is used inefficiently or unnecessarily.

It is 30 percent, which is still pretty shocking, no?

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A 13-watt fluorescent light bulb emits the same amount of visible light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb.

Yep, 13-watt fluorescent equals a 60-watt incandescent.

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About This Quiz

Becoming more energy-efficient means using technology to help you consume less energy. So, how much do you know about making your home more energy efficient?

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