Quiz: Energy Efficiency IQ – Which is the Most Energy Efficient Decision?

It’s not news to you that the less energy you consume, the better. Any environmentalist will tell you that the less we use energy, the less we burn fossil fuels that pollute our air. But frankly, all the reason you need to conserve energy is the hole your energy bill is burning in your pocket. Let’s see how much you know about conserving energy with this brief quiz:


Which is the most energy efficient decision? (Look out for the answers at the end!)



1. You want to save energy. Should you charge your phone overnight?


A: Yes. Charge it whenever you want for as long as you want.
B: No. Even a fully charged phone uses energy.
C: It doesn’t really matter. Worrying about it only saves a small amount of energy.



2. You’re going on a long vacation. Should you unplug your refrigerator?


A: Yes. It costs several dollars per month to keep a refrigerator running.
B: No. Running a refrigerator is a negligible cost.
C: No. It costs more energy to plug in a fridge once you’ve unplugged it.



3. You’re looking for a quick way to heat up food, and you’re considering whether to get a toaster oven or a microwave. Which is more energy efficient?


A: Microwave
B: Toaster oven
C: They’re equally energy efficient



4. How much money can you save every year by air drying your clothes?


A: Around $20
B: Around $50
C: Around $100



5. Which energy-saving measure is the most efficient way to save money on your energy bill?


A: Turning off your lights before you leave the house.
B: Opening a window instead of turning on the air conditioning.
C: Hand washing dishes instead of using a dishwasher.





1. C. It doesn’t really matter.
2. A. The savings aren’t much, but they can add up.
3. A. Microwaves use a fraction of the energy of a toaster oven.
4. A. You can save around $20 per year if you dry one small load of laundry each week.
5. B. Manage your home climate!


3 Easy Ways to Increase Your Refrigerator’s Efficiency

The refrigerator is America’s most popular appliance. It makes sense: the need to preserve food with spices is, in large part, what drove Columbus across the ocean blue. But are you getting the most out of your favorite appliance? Studies have shown that a significant percentage of Americans (particularly those who own more than one fridge) throw hundreds of dollars away each year on excess refrigeration. We want to help you make your home as efficient as possible. Here are three easy ways to increase your refrigerator’s efficiency.



1. Keep Your Fridge Around 75% Full


When your refrigerator hits the just-right proportion of 75 percent full, your stored foods team up with your refrigerator in a really cool way. The foodstuff, cooled to a low temperature, actually helps maintain the chilly ecosystem of the fridge when the door is opened and warm air rushes in. But be careful! Overstuffing limits air circulation, causing the unit to work with less efficiency.



2. Set Temperatures to That Goldilocks Level


Most refrigerators should be set between 37 and 40 degrees in the main section, and 0 to 5 degrees in the freezer. If you keep your food too warm, you can lose the cooling effect described in tip #1. If you cool your food too much, you are losing out on energy efficiency. In order to increase your refrigerator’s efficiency, check your owner’s manual to be sure these settings are appropriate for your unit.



3. Keep Up Your General Maintenance


Experts say that at least twice a year you should unplug your unit briefly to rid the condenser coils of dust. Once the unit is unplugged, use a long brush or the crevice attachment on your vacuum cleaner. If the condenser coils aren’t cleaned, the buildup of dust can keep heat from being dispelled and cause your unit to overheat.


Regular cleaning can dramatically increase the life of your refrigerator.


It is also important to keep the inside of your refrigerator clean. Everyone is familiar with those puddles of mystery food that form in our fridges over time; cleaning will keep your food odor-free and fresh-tasting. Every two months be sure to wipe down the inside of your refrigerator with a safe and effective baking soda and water solution.