Weatherization Saves Energy and Money

March 17, 2011

This post is made possible by energy-efficiency specialists WellHome and their Home Weatherization Giveaway Sweepstakes. Take a quick visual quiz of your home’s energy use to see your potential yearly savings. Hurry! For your shot at a grand prize of $2500 in energy efficiency upgrades, enter by March 20!

Worker caulking outside of houseIn a previous post we discussed energy audits and the benefits of performing them. Now that you have the information from the audit, what do you do with it? One option is to weatherize your home or building. “Proper weatherization can reduce your heating bill by 32 percent”, says Josh Peterson, writer for Planet Green.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, weatherization protects a building and the interior from the natural elements, particularly from sunlight, precipitation, and wind. Weatherization also modifies a building to reduce energy consumption and optimize energy-efficiency. 

Weatherization Tasks

From the results of the energy audit you should know what areas of your home need to be addressed. Focus on correcting those issues first, then move on to other areas as needed.

  • Sealing air leaks around windows and doors with caulking or weatherstripping.  Also seal around recessed can lights in the ceiling, as these may be leaking conditioned air into the attic.
  • Sealing ducts with mastic, not duct/duck tape.
  • Installing or replacing exterior materials, such as roofing, siding, and skylights, and making sure they are in good working condition.
  • Installing insulation in walls, floors, ceilings, around ducts, pipes, and water heaters.
  • Installing storm doors and windows.
  • Replacing doors and windows with energy saving newer models.

Weatherization Benefits

Saving energy is one of the main pluses of weatherization. Sealing air leaks and improving insulation result in more efficient conditioning of the indoor environment. Lower energy use means lower energy costs, so there is direct payback from energy savings.

Many states have weatherization programs that help low income households receive free weatherization services from approved contractors. With less money being spent on heating their homes, these families can then spend more on other essentials.

Government programs exists to help out those who are seeking home weatherization. The government provides this state-by-state guide (PDF).

As for the big picture, upgrades can lead to reduced dependence on foreign oil and lowering the amount of greenhouse gases emitted. This is good for both the economy and the environment.

Source: Energy Star, Planet Green

Photo courtesy of OERB.


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Dawn Killough

has over 15 years experience in the construction industry and is the author of Green Building Design 101, an e-book available from Amazon. She is a LEED AP and Certified Green Building Advisor, and has worked on the LEED Certification of three projects in Salem, Oregon.  
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