If you want to reduce your home energy use, winter heating and heat conservation are the first places to look. Take this fascinating quiz to rate your efforts to conserve heat energy and get some valuable information and tips on how to improve!
Find the way to more earth-sustainable home heating this winter, and see how you score. You might be an eco-angel! Take the quiz here:
The lower your score numbers are, the better. See what each of your answers scores, then add your points at the end.
1. In winter, during waking hours, I keep the house temperature around __F.
a. below 64 or off (2pts)
b. 64-66 (4 pts)
c. 66-68 (6 pts)
d. 68-70 (8 pts)
e. 70 or above (10 pts)
HINT: Pile-lined clothing is great for keeping warm around the house and saving energy. Pile fleece is light and comfortable and can pay for itself in one winterís energy savings. Sporting goods store and mountaineering supply catalogs carry pile clothing.
2. In winter, during sleeping hours, I keep the house temperature around __F.
a. below 55 or off (2 pts)
b. 55-59 (4 pts)
c. 59-62 (6 pts)
d. 62-66 (8 pts)
e. 66 or above (10 pts)
HINT: Do not sleep under an electric blanket. Research indicates that electric blankets could be a health hazard and can disrupt the immune system of those sleeping directly under them when they are turned on. You can warm up the bed with an electric blanket before you get into it, but turn it off when you enter the bed.
3. The house I live in is insulated ____.
a. super well (walls, ceiling, double paned windows) (2 pts)
b. well (4 pts)
c. moderately well (6 pts)
d. only fairly well (8 pts)
e. poorly (10 pts)
HINT: Ten times as much heat escapes from a single-pane window as through a wall. Drapes can reduce the heat lost through a window by 50% if the drapes are insulated and sealed at the bottom. Double-pane windows and reflective coatings are also effective at cutting heating costs.
4. The doors, windows, pipes, and electrical outlets in my house are caulked, weather-stripped, or sealed _____.
a. super well (1 pt)
b. well (2 pts)
c. adequately (3 pts)
d. poorly (4 pts)
HINT: The cracks and gaps in many U.S. homes are equivalent to a 3-foot by 3-foot hole in the wall, which translates to about 15% of home heating energy. These holes can be sealed with caulk. Doors and window frames can be sealed with specially-designed weather-stripping, available at hardware stores. Check for leaks on cold nights when the house is warm by feeling for cold air coming in. Caulking and weatherstripping leaky doors and windows can decrease your energy costs by 10%.
If you scored less than 10 points, you are an eco-angel!
10 to 20 points means you are doing pretty well, but could stand to look at the tips to make your home heating use even smarter.
20 to 30 points means there is improvement possible.
Over 30 points means your home heating strategies could definitely use some help.
Adapted from EarthScore: Your Personal Environmental Audit and Guide, by Donald W. Lotter (Morning Sun Press, 2002). Copyright (c) 2002 by Donald W. Lotter. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Adapted from EarthScore: Your Personal Environmental Audit and Guide, by Donald W. Lotter (Morning Sun Press, 2002).