A sugary shadow looms over it, but Oct. 30 is National Weatherization Day. And while it sounds a bit dry, the day gives observant consumers a shot to keep some cash in their pockets.
National Weatherization Day is an end cap to Energy Awareness Month, as well as a spotlight for the federal Weatherization Assistance Program. The 39-year-old program is the country’s largest residential energy efficiency program. Through it, 7.4 million Americans have had their homes weatherized with help from partner agencies, such as the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services, Economic Opportunities Advancement Corp. in Waco and Neighborhood Centers Inc. in Houston.
For qualified Americans, the program helps lower energy consumption and spending with the added benefit of reducing mold and moisture, lead and cases of poor indoor air quality.
Homeowners, renters and business owners who don’t qualify for assistance don’t have to spend tremendous amounts of money to get those same benefits.
Here are just a few tips:
Plug the leaks
The escape of heated or cooled indoor air – or the intrusion of outdoor air – causes heating and cooling systems to run longer and drives up spending. Make seeking the leaks fun by holding a candle at different points of door and window seals. If the candle flame flickers, there’s air and money floating by. Use the appropriate, and generally inexpensive, sealing product to stop that money from slipping away.
Keep the heat in the oven and the cold in the fridge
Cracked seals on oven doors and refrigerator/freezers allow internal temperature changes and cause those appliances to run more than necessary. Replacing these seals can be more challenging, but there’s a payoff in the end.
Kill the lights – or at least cool them down
Incandescent light bulbs don’t just use more electricity than compact fluorescent lights or light-emitting diodes – they also create heat. CFLs emit far less heat and LEDs are cool to the touch.
Western facing windows are a good opportunity for solar film, which allows free, natural light to enter, but blocks heat.
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs has a list of local WAP agencies and consumers can contact WAP agencies via (888) 606-8889.