October 30th marks Weatherization Day, a perfect time for a reminder about the many benefits of weatherizing your home, as many Americans prepare for colder temperatures in the months to come.
Keep in mind a few tips for how to get the most value out of weatherizing your residence, enhancing the comfort of your home, and saving on your energy bills as we head into the winter season:
Assess your home’s current energy use with a home energy assessment. Also known as a home energy audit, the best way to begin the process of weatherization is to gain a full understanding of the current status of your home – how much energy it uses, where inefficiencies may lay, and what areas you should prioritize. You may want to consider working with a professional to provide the most comprehensive analysis possible, or you can take a “Do-It-Yourself” approach with a thorough self-assessment.
Consider ways to air seal your home as a cost-effective way to reduce heating and cooling costs. Caulking and weatherstripping are two of the most effective air-sealing techniques you might consider to reduce the amount of air that leaks in and out of your home on a daily basis–especially as we enter colder months, when too much air may enter your home if you’re relying on air leakage for natural ventilation. A professional weatherization expert can help to test your home for air tightness, and address doors and windows in your home that are leaking air.
Consider the right ventilation strategy for your home. Ventilation is a critical component of ensuring that your home is as energy-efficient as possible, helping to control moisture and reducing air leakage. There are primarily three general ventilation options to choose from:
- Natural ventilation, or allowing the uncontrolled air movement in and out of cracks and small holes in your home, which can be unpredictable and uncontrollable
- Spot ventilation, which improves the effectiveness of your home’s ventilation by removing indoor air pollution and moisture at its source using tactics like localized exhaust fans
- Whole-house ventilation, which provides controlled, uniform ventilation throughout your home using fans and duct systems to exhaust stale air and supply fresh air to your home.
Check on your eligibility for assistance from DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program. This year also marks the 45th anniversary of DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program, which has provided weatherization services to more than 7.4 million low-income households since its inception in 1976, while helping to create 8,500 new jobs annually. As families living below the poverty line can pay as much as 30% of their annual income on energy costs, this program plays an essential role in helping to boost the health and safety of many of the nation’s most vulnerable households.