Image: Getty Images, Gary Ombler
About This QuizMost of us couldn't live without our coffee maker, let alone our fridge or -- perish the thought -- even our toilet. These spoils of modern civilization are truly marvels of technology.
If you had a window air conditioning unit and no window to put in it, what would happen if you turned it on completely inside a room?
the room's temperature would go down
the room's temperature would go up
The net effect of an entire AC unit inside a room would be that the temperature of the room would go up. This is because the unit puts out more heat than cool air overall.
the room's temperature would stay the same
Which of the following materials are appropriate for a dishwasher?
This was a tricky one! Although plastic shouldn't go on the bottom rack because of the high heat there, it's probably safe on the top rack. Wood and cast iron, however, should be hand washed only.
Your coffee maker's tubes can get clogged with:
The tubes can get clogged with calcium. This is especially true of the aluminum heating tube. A good way to solve this problem is to run vinegar through the machine once, and then run two batches of water through to flush out the vinegar.
Microwave ovens heat food by:
exciting air molecules
exciting water molecules
Microwaves cook food by exciting water molecules, as opposed to heating the air inside.
exciting the atoms in the glass plate that rotates in a microwave
If you poured a dozen cups of water into a toilet, one after the other, the water level in the bowl would not rise. Which toilet component allows this almost magical effect to happen?
The curved tube behind the bowl, known as the siphon, keeps the water level steady in this scenario. It also allows you automatically flush a toilet by dumping a few gallons of water in at once.
What's the ideal temperature for a refrigerator?
between 35 and 38 degrees F (1.7 and 3.3 degrees C)
The preferred temperature is somewhere between 35 and 38 degrees F (1.7 and 3.3 degrees C). Higher temperatures will cause foods to spoil too quickly. It also presents food-poisoning problems, as described in several of the links below. Lower temperatures will cause foods to freeze.
between 38 and 41 degrees F (3.3 and 5 degrees C)
between 41 and 44 degrees F (5 and 6.6 degrees C)
The coils on the back of a refrigerator are where the refrigerant gas:
The coils on the back of the refrigerator let the hot ammonia refrigerant gas dissipate its heat. The ammonia gas condenses into ammonia liquid at high pressure.
Which cooking method is greener?
Gas burners provide instant heat, and cooks have greater control over the temperatures, so they're generally more energy efficient than their electric competitors
they are equally green
How does a toaster heat a piece of bread?
A toaster uses infrared radiation to heat a piece of bread. When infrared is absorbed, it results in atomic motion, and therefore, a rise in temperature.
What's the name of the system in a clothes washer that absorbs much of the machine's vibrations?
the brake system
the spring system
the damping system
A washing machine has a damping system that uses friction to absorb some of the force from the vibrations.
Getty Images, Gary Ombler