What is Weatherization?
Weatherization is a long-term solution for making homes more cost-effective.
Have you ever felt the cold air coming in through the windows during the frigid winter months? Have you ever struggled to keep the hot air in and the cold air out? Did constantly turning up the heat to try and keep the house warm drive up your electricity bills? Weatherization services are meant to help with problems exactly like those! Weatherization is the process in which upgrades and repairs are made to homes in order to protect them from the outside elements. Weatherization is intended to create more energy-efficient, safer, and healthier homes while saving families money.
The Department of Energy established the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) in 1978 to help families with low-income gain access to weatherization services at free or reduced costs. The US Department of Energy explains that WAP takes a “‘whole house weatherization’ approach that analyzes all of the building systems” through an energy audit that allows one to understand the total energy usage of one’s home. Weatherization includes services such as insulation, indoor air quality testing, heating system inspection and repairs, and more to help improve the energy efficiency of homes. The program is designed to lower summer cooling and winter heating costs. Providing services such as these to families with low income is crucial because families with low income tend to spend a higher percentage of their earnings on utility costs.
Benefits of Weatherization
Weatherization saves money by reducing the household’s energy costs.
Services such as caulking, insulating the walls and attic, replacing broken windows, and others aid in reducing the amount of energy required to heat and cool the house and contribute to environmental sustainability.
Weatherization improves indoor air quality.
Improved insulation and the sealing of air leaks help to eliminate drafts and create a more consistent indoor temperature. Sealing the gaps and cracks that cause air leaks can prevent the intrusion of outdoor pollutants, allergens, and dust, reducing and preventing ailments like allergies, asthma attacks, bronchitis, etc.
Weatherization leads to enhanced building durability.
Measures such as insulating walls protect the building from the infiltration of moisture. Reducing moisture prevents the growth of mold, rot, and structural damage.
What Weatherization Can Do For You
Weatherization CAN Assist With:
- Insulation in the attic space, under the home and/or the sidewalls
- Air sealing throughout the home
- Seal and insulate duct work
- Weatherstrip and/or caulk around windows and doors
- Installing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
- Venting and/or wrapping hot water heater and pipes
- Venting a dryer
- Installing energy-saving light bulbs
- Checking readings on appliances
Weatherization CANNOT Assist With:
- Repairing or replacing roofs
- Replacing all windows
- Structural repairs (e.g.: weak floors, ceiling damage, plumbing hazards, mold, electrical hazards)
- Building ramps, decks, porches, or steps
- Under-penning manufactured homes
- General house repairs
Does My Household Qualify
To receive Weatherization services, candidates must fit at least one of the following criteria:
- Total annualized income of residents at or below 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL), or 60% of the Area Media Income (AMI), or
- At least one household member must have received cash assistance payments under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (KTAP) sometime during the preceding 12 months prior to eligibility determination or
- At least one household member must have received Social Security Insurance (SSI) during the preceding 12 months; or
- The applicant household has been verified as eligible for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) bill payment assistance within the preceding 12 months.
Applicant income levels will be verified and documented through the use of the most recent check stubs or Social Security award letters, checks or statements, LIHEAP applications, SNAP benefit documentation, or other similar programs. All documentation will be obtained by the intake worker during the application process.
Click here to download the Weatherization application.
Once an application is entered, it is scored based on the household’s level of need. Once a household makes it to the top of the list, an inspector will come and perform several tests to measure the home’s energy efficiency, health, and safety. When the audit is complete, jobs go out to contractors.