Help Save On Heating Bills With Weatherization
In the 3 decades since the weatherizations program was founded in 1976, the U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program has provided weatherization services to almost 6 million American families to help them save on heating bills. The program can help reduce home energy and heating costs by 10%-35% and it can also improve the safety, comfort and conditions of a home.
Through this program, numerous weatherization service contractors and providers install energy efficiency measures in the homes of homeowners free of charge. A few examples of weatherization assistance services provided include :
Home Energy Audits (These you can do yourself as well)
You can easily conduct a home energy audit yourself. First, you need to make a list of obvious air leaks (drafts). The potential heating bill and energy savings from reducing drafts in a home may be from 5% to 30% per year, and your home will be much more comfortable afterward. You need to check for indoor air leaks, an example being gaps along the edge or baseboard of your flooring and gaps at junctures of the ceiling and wall. Check to see if any air can flow through these places:
- Window panes and frames
- Electrical outlets
- Fireplace dampers
- Switch plates
- Weather stripping around doors
- Attic hatches
- Wall- or window-mounted air conditioners.
You should also look for gaps around wires and pipes, electrical outlets, mail slots, and foundation seals. Check to see if the weather stripping and caulking are applied properly, leaving no cracks or gaps, and ensure they are in good condition to help save on bills.
Inspect your doors and windows for air leaks. You need to determine if you can rattle them, as movement means possible air leaks. Also, if you can see any daylight around a window or door frame, then the door or window leaks. You can almost always seal these leaks by weather stripping or caulking them. Be sure to check the storm windows to see if they broken or not fit. If new factory-made windows or doors cost too much, you can install low-cost plastic sheets over the windows.
Adding insulation to a home is a part of almost every weatherization project. Homeowners need to make sure there is enough insulation in the foundation, walls, attic, roof. Basically anywhere there is a barrier between the home and the outside. Insulation is one of the most important ways to make a home energy efficient.
Water Heaters Can Help Save on Heating Bills
Over two-thirds of weatherized homes receive some sort of improvement to their water heating systems. Most of these houses have insulation added to the water tank and pipes, and an even larger number of these homes receive low-flow shower heads. Reducing the flow of hot water through these low-flow water devices is an extremely effective way to reduce unneeded water consumption and energy use, and such devices are now commonplace.