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Quiz: Is Your Home Energy Efficient?
For every 10 percent lost in energy efficiency, customers will pay 23 percent more in their utility bills. Is your home energy efficient?
Take this quiz to find out.
True or False: Our windows are caulked or I have weather stripping in place.
Heat lost through windows can account for 10% to 25% of your heating bill! Caulking cracks or holes, or installing weather stripping can help reduce the amount of money in your utility bills that literally “goes out the window”.
True or False: Energy efficient shades decorate my home’s windows.
Weather stripping isn’t the only way to insulate those windows. Install tight-fitting, insulating window shades. Adding cellular shades to your windows can block as much as 62% of the heat transfer through a window pane. Cellular shades offer a popular and stylish option for today's window treatments; the unique cellular design serves as a barrier to drafty windows during the winter while adding an elegant look to the window.
Because of their size, sliding doors can mean big heat loss during the cold months. But you can stay warm with a cellular slider, designed for insulating sliding glass doors.
And if you love the drapery look, but want these benefits of a cellular shade, you can also try insulating Roman panel shades – Roman shades with an insulating cellular liner that spells style AND energy savings for your home.
True or False: I regularly turn my thermostat down.
A general rule of thumb for thermostat savings: for each Celsius degree you lower your thermostat in winter, you can save about 10 percent in energy use! So turn it down when you’re not there, or when you’re sleeping. A programmable thermostat will lower your heat at pre-determined times, so you don’t have to remember to do it yourself.
True or False: On sunny days, I open the curtains to let the sun shine in.
Sun coming in through the windows can have a powerful effect on the warmth of your home. During the heating season, keep window shades and blinds on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow sunlight to enter your home (and warm-up rooms) and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
And now, with the miracles of modern technology, you can adjust your window shades – even when you’re not there. New, motorized options for window treatments allow you to pre-determine the times of day when your window shades should be open or closed. As the winter approaches, set your window treatments to rise during the day to capture the sun, but close before it gets dark so that you can trap the heat in.
True or False: I use Energy Star appliances.
Appliances and electronics with the Energy Star label can cut related home energy bills in each category up to 30%. So, when you need a replacement, consider Energy Star.
True or False: My furniture does not block any heat sources.
It sounds like a simple thing, but you might be surprised to find that a couch, chair, or other furniture has spent years blocking or partially blocking a heat source. Blocking the heat source makes the system work harder, so re-evaluate where you have things placed.
True or False: My hot water tank is wrapped in an insulating “blanket”.
As hot water runs through uninsulated pipes, it can cool, which means that heat is escaping! Trap it in by wrapping your water heater and any exposed hot water pipes with insulation wrap to reduce your electric bill by as much as 20 dollars a year.
True or False: I change or clean my furnace filter regularly
Ideally, you should change your furnace air filters every few months. Dirty filters can block warm air, forcing it to work harder. Changing or cleaning them could save you up to 5% on your utility bills.
True or False: I use compact florescent light bulbs instead of regular lightbulbs in most rooms of my house.
One of the simplest things you can do to save energy is to replace your regular lightbulbs with compact florescent bulbs (CFLs). These light sources will last up to ten times longer than regular light bulbs, while using only 1/4 of the energy!
If you hate the ugly, unflattering lighting that you associate with CFLs, never fear! Many manufacturers offer CFLs that are warmer in color and look very much like regular bulbs. So they can save energy and showcase your interior design style.
True or False: I turn off everything – lights, TV, computer, radios, etc - when not in use.
This may seem basic, but appliances left on when not in use results in huge amounts of energy being wasted. Make it a habit to turn off everything in a room before moving to the next room.
True or False: I use a humidifier during the winter months.
During the winter months, the air can get very dry. Not only will a humidifier add comfort to your home, it will also cause cooler temperatures to feel warmer.
True or False: I use ceiling fans – even in the winter.
Ceiling fans don’t just create a cooling off effect for the summer – if you reverse them in the winter, they’ll push the warm air that naturally rises back down to you, where you need it.
How did you Score?
Give yourself a point for every “True” response you had. Then calculate your home energy know-how here:
0-3: Room for (home) improvements
You have a few tips down, but when it comes to saving energy, there are many simple changes you can make to lower your heating costs. Try incorporating the tips listed above, and see the difference it will make in your energy usage!
4-7: Energy Saving Student
You have a basic knowledge of what it takes to be energy-efficient and you're still learning! By following these tips to maximize your home's energy efficiency, you can be on your way to Expert status in no time.
8-10: Energy Expert
You know your stuff when it comes to saving energy. The tips above can serve as a guide for extra steps you can take to make your home as energy-efficient as possible!
This article was provided by Comfortex Window Fashions for American Blinds Wallpaper and More.
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