Weatherization refers to the process of making your home more energy-efficient through taking simple measures like caulking windows and weather-stripping doors. Like any home retrofit, there are many steps you can take depending on the unique characteristics of your home.
For example, if you have old, leaky windows, caulking around the edges may be the best place to start. Or if you’re losing a lot of heat through the top of your home, adding extra insulation to the attic could save you a lot of money.
The only way to make an informed decision is to have an energy audit performed by a certified energy rater. Depending on your income, you may qualify for a free energy retrofit through the weatherization program. Learn more about this weatherization program.
The state of Alaska has invested heavily into weatherization over the past decade with significant results for home occupants. From 2008-2012, the Weatherization Assistance Program produced an average home energy savings of 28% for single-family homes and 19% for multi-family units. This increased energy efficiency translates into an estimated average annual cost savings of $1300 for single-family homes and $400 for multi-family units.
Don’t Forget to Ventilate!
When weatherizing or retrofitting, it’s critical to look at the home as a whole system. If you tighten up the home without providing adequate ventilation, for example, you create the risk of trapping too much humidity in the house or backdrafting dangerous gases through your combustion appliances. That’s why it’s important to start with an energy audit to understand the way your home handles air and moisture.