This week’s blog is an energy efficiency and building science quiz. Remember, using Google for research is cheating. Answers are at the bottom of the page.
1. During the winter, a home inspector climbs into an attic and notices that the underside of the roof sheathing is covered with frost and the rafters have stains indicating mold. The most likely cause of these problems is:
a. A roof leak
b. Insufficient insulation on the attic floor
c. Air leakage paths between the wet basement and the attic.
d. Bats or squirrels.
2. Which siding type is associated with more cases of wall rot: vinyl siding or stucco?
a. Vinyl siding
3. To calculate air changes per hour at 50 Pascals:
a. Divide CFM50 by the building volume.
b. Multiply CFM50 by 60 and divide by the building volume.
c. Multiply CFM50 by 50 and divide by the building volume.
d. Call up a HERS rater and ask.
4. Who first suggested that the solution to energy shortages is “Drill, baby, drill”?
a. RNC chairman Michael Steele
b. Senator John McCain
c. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin
d. Joe the Plumber.
5. Icynene spray polyurethane foam:
a. Is a good air barrier but not a vapor barrier.
b. Is a good vapor barrier but not an air barrier.
c. Is a good vapor barrier and an air barrier.
d. Can be used to repair holes in sofas and mattresses.
6. Of the following building scientists working in the U.S., who is the only one who was born in this country?
a. Wagdy Anis
b. Mark Bomberg
c. Eric Burnett
d. Andre Desjarlais
e. Achilles Karagiozis
f. Joseph Lstiburek
g. Iain Walker
h. Anton TenWolde
7. The blower door was independently and simultaneously invented by:
a. The “Princeton House Doctors” and Harold Orr
b. Max Sherman and Jim Fitzgerald
c. Gary Nelson and Rob Dumont
8. In 1966, which solar energy pioneer was building domes at Drop City, the famous hippie commune in Colorado?
a. David Bainbridge
b. Steve Baer
c. Harry Thomason
d. George Löf
9. Joseph Lstiburek’s last name is:
10. Who spoke these words in 1974: “Let this be our national goal: At the end of this decade, in the year 1980, the United States will not be dependent on any other country for the energy we need to heat our homes and keep our transportation moving”?
a. Amory Lovins
b. William Shurcliff
c. George McGovern
d. Richard Nixon
11. In walls with moisture problems, what is the most common water entry mechanism?
a. An inadequate vapor retarder allows water vapor from the interior to enter the wall cavity and condense.
b. Air leakage paths allow moisture-laden interior air to enter the wall cavity, leading to condensation.
c. Defects in flashing or other water-management details allow wind-driven rain to soak the sheathing.
12. When did the U.S. Department of Energy establish the low-income weatherization program?
13. Which of the following steps is most likely to reduce interior condensation on windows?
a. Keep the curtains closed at night.
b. Lower the indoor humidity level.
c. Improve the window’s weatherstripping to reduce air leaks.
14. According to the federal R-Value Rule, it is a crime:
a. To make R-value claims for fiberglass batts.
b. To insulate a house with hemp.
c. For a contractor to insulate any part of a house without providing the customer with a receipt showing the coverage area, thickness, and R-value of the insulation installed.
15. Spray polyurethane foam is used for:
b. Air sealing
d. Insulation and air sealing, but not roofing
e. Insulation, air sealing, and roofing.
16. Tar paper, otherwise known as #15 asphalt felt:
a. Should only be used on roofs, according to asphalt felt manufacturers.
b. Is a required product for exterior walls, according to the International Residential Code. (Approved substitutes can also be used.)
c. Both a. and b.
17. When comparing similar houses with different HERS indexes:
a. The house with the lowest HERS index is the most energy-efficient.
b. The house with the highest HERS index is the most energy-efficient.
18. When comparing windows with different SHGC ratings:
a. A high SHGC is always better.
b. A low SHGC is always better.
c. Orientation, shading, and climate determine whether a low or a high SHGC is best.
19. An under-slab radiant barrier is:
a. A layer of aluminum foil.
b. Foil-faced bubble wrap.
c. An oxymoron.
20. What will it take for global warming deniers to admit we have a problem?
a. The melting of the last chunk of ice in Glacier National Park.
b. The disappearance of the southern half of Florida under the advancing waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
c. No level of evidence will suffice, since evidence plays no role in determining the world view of global warming deniers.
Answers: 1: c. 2: b. 3: b. or d. 4: a. 5: a. 6: d. 7: a. 8: b. 9: b. 10: d. 11: c. 12: a. 13: b. 14: c. 15: e. 16: c. 17: a. 18: c. 19: c. 20: c.
Last week’s blog: “Windows That Perform Better Than Walls.”