Home weatherization can lower utility costs this winter

Program available to help low-income households

October is the perfect month to apply for weatherization assistance.

With the average U.S. home almost 40 years old, weatherizing a home to protect it from elements like the cold and rain can increase energy efficiency and lead to savings on utility bills, according to a Board of Public Utilities spokesman.

Weatherizing reduces leaks around the perimeter of a home, which includes sealing air ducts, bypasses, recessed lighting, as well as cracks around windows and doors. Weatherization saves households an average of 30% on heating costs in cold weather.

For those that might not be able to afford the upfront costs of weathering a home, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has weatherization assistance programs in all 50 states, helping more than 30,000 homeowners get weatherization assistance annually.

Locally, the Kansas Weatherization Assistance Program helps low-income households cover the cost of heating, cooling, and energy efficiency improvements – free of charge. It’s funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) and is regulated by the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation.

At no charge, income-eligible families can receive a comprehensive home energy audit, assessing their entire home.

Certified energy auditors will search a home, inside and out, looking for inefficiencies and safety concerns using advanced equipment and identify a customized account of areas for cost-effective improvements. The improvements will be provided free of charge by a network of professional crews and contractors.

For more information or to enroll, go to www.ECKAN.org/weatherization/ or call 785-242-6413.

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