EGEE 102
Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection

Introduction & Checklist


Welcome to Lesson 8!

More than 90 million single-family, multi-family, and mobile-home households encompass the residential sector. Households use energy to cool and heat their homes, to heat water, and to operate many appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, televisions, and hot tubs.

Nearly half of the energy used at home is for space heating. Conventional space heating systems in the U.S. emit a billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and about 12 % of the sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Reducing the use of conventional energy sources for heating is the single most effective way you can reduce global environmental problems.

Look a the graph below to see how energy is used in U.S. households.

How energy is used in U.S. Households

Click here to open a text description of the energy distribution in U.S. homes graph

How energy is used in U.S. Households

The list below shows the percent of total energy used for various tasks in homes in the U.S.

  • Other appliances and lighting: 23%
  • Refrigerators: 5%
  • Water heating: 17%
  • Electric air conditioning: 8%
  • Space heating: 47%

    The energy sources utilized by the residential sector include electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, kerosene, liquefied petroleum gas (propane), coal, wood, and other renewable sources such as solar energy.

    Look at the graph below to see the primary fuel used by U.S. households.

    Primary fuel used by U.S. households
    Data source:

    Click here to open a text description of the primary fuels used in U.S. homes graph

    Primary fuel used by U.S. households

    The list below is a percentage breakdown of the primary fuels used by U.S. households.

    • Natural gas: 55%
    • Electricity: 29%
    • LPG: 5%
    • Other: 0%
    • Fuel oil: 8%
    • Kerosene: 1%
    • Wood: 2%

    Lesson 8 Objectives

    Upon Completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

    • Explain the operating principles of various types of heating systems
    • List the main advantages and disadvantages of various heating systems
    • Explain the energy efficiencies of each of these heating systems
    • Describe ways to improve the energy efficiency of the heating systems

    Checklist for Lesson 8

    Here is your "to do" list for this week.

    Lesson 8 Checklist
    Step Activity Access / Directions
    1 Read the online lesson Lesson 8a - Comparison of Home Heating Systems
    Lesson 8b - Cooling and Heating
    2 Watch Lesson 8 - Guided Review (Flash movie). (A printable Review Sheet is also provided.)
    3 Read Lesson 8 - Questions for Review and Discussion.
    4 Review Lesson 8 - Resources (supplemental materials that are optional...but informative!).
    5 Complete Lesson 8 - StudyMate Activities. (You will obtain feedback for these exercises, but they will not count toward your final course grade.)
    6 Take Lesson 8 - Quiz (graded). The quiz is available in Canvas.
    7 Complete Home Activity 5: Insulation and Energy Conservation (A: Insulated Box Simulation & B: Insulated Wall Simulation)
    • (Located under the Home Activities link in the Lessons menu.)

    See the Calendar tab in Canvas for due dates/times.


    If you have any questions, please post them to the General Course Questions forum in located in the Discussions tab in Canvas. I will check that discussion forum daily to respond. While you are visiting the discussion board, feel free to post your own responses to questions posted by others - this way you might help a classmate!