Weatherization is home improvement done to increase energy efficiency. Examples of weatherization are improved air sealing, insulation, moisture controls and ventilation. A weatherized home will be healthier, safer and more comfortable for living.
A weatherized home saves you money by lowering energy costs and improves the quality of life for those living in the home. Weatherization often saves a noticeable amount of money on your electric or natural gas bills. Weatherization benefits can save additional dollars that might have been spent on medical bills. For example, fewer asthma triggers in a home result in fewer medical visits because of asthma attacks. People with weatherized homes, reported cost savings made it easier to pay their energy and medical bills, pay for food, and avoid high interest loans.
According to the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, after a home has been weatherized there other health-related non-energy benefits have been noticed such as:
- Reduced Carbon Monoxide Poisonings
- Reduced Home Fires
- Reduced Thermal Stress on Occupants
- Reduced Asthma-Related Medical Care and Costs
- Increased Productivity at Work Due to Improvements in Sleep
- Increased Productivity at Home Due to Improvements in Sleep
- Fewer Missed Days at Work
- Reduced Use of High Interest, Short-Term Loans Increased Ability to Afford Prescriptions
- Reduced Heat or Eat Choice Dilemma Faced by Pregnant Women
- Reduced Need for Food Assistance
Several groups can help you determine if your home could benefit from weatherization. There are home improvement, air quality or energy efficiency companies who can improve your home. Some weatherization repairs may seem expensive, though many weatherization improvements will pay for themselves over time as you save money on utility bills.
A good place to start is by contacting your energy provider. Many utility companies have websites, newsletters or in-home services to help their customers understand energy consumption and weatherization. Some utilities will even offer an energy audit. They can also find out if you qualify for the U.S. Department of Energy Weatherization Assistance Program.
There are other groups that advocate for weatherization. These groups may have grant money available to help homeowners weatherize their home. For example, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) provides grants for eligible homeowners. Depending on the circumstances, these services may fund home improvements or propose an action plan. There are other energy advocates in Tennessee who also help with weatherization.
The weatherization assistance program works to help low income households meet their energy and weatherization needs. Click to the Department of Energy Weatherization Assistance webpage for more information. The DOE shares ways to determine eligibility, how to apply, and the actions to take if accepted into the assistance program.