How green is your garden? Do you know your R-value from your U-factor? Knowledge is power when it comes to eco-friendly home improvements. Take this quiz to learn more about what it takes to make your home green while saving money.
R-value is the measure of an insulating product's ability to block heat transfer. This measurement can help you choose the most efficient insulation, windows and doors for your home. The higher a product's R-value, the better it insulates.
Insulation is one of the most versatile eco-friendly home improvements available. It can be used to fill spaces in walls, stop drafts and reflect solar heat.
Unlike a traditional water heater that stores a quantity of heated water in an insulated tank, a "demand" water heater heats water as it's needed, reducing the amount of energy used to make hot water.
Power companies are increasingly charging for gas and electricity based on demand. Energy during high- or peak-demand times costs more than it does during off-peak hours, when fewer people need energy.
While incandescent lights use the resistance of electricity flowing through a thin element to produce light, compact fluorescent bulbs use electricity to excite gas in a coiled tube, making it glow and using much less electricity.
Although all three of these appliances can consume a significant amount of energy, refrigerators and freezers are the most energy-hogging appliances in most homes. Look for Energy Star-certified models to save energy and, in the long run, money.
Solar energy is often used to create electricity using photovoltaic cells. But solar energy can also be used passively as a heat and light source through smart home design.
About 20 percent of the energy used to heat or cool your home leaks out through ill-fitting windows or doors with poor seals. Updating these will definitely save you money in the long run.