Why we care
Saying goodbye to summer can be hard, but it can also be expensive and wasteful. Burning fossil fuels to heat your home accounts for about 40% of home energy use. Loss of this heat costs you money and contributes to climate change. Cracks and holes in floors, walls, and ceilings are where most heat escapes, with spaces around doors and windows following close behind.
Simple, positive change
Plugging air leaks with caulk or stripping materials is the first step in weatherizing. It will reduce energy costs and make your home more comfortable.
If a free home assessment through Clean Energy Works Oregon shows that upgrades would result in savings of at least 15%, you may qualify for weatherization work with no-money-down financing and a rebate of up to $1,500. http://www.cewo.org/our-program/
Energy Trust of Oregon offers weatherization incentives and provides the following evaluations. http://energytrust.org/residential/evaluate-your-home/
Home Energy Review. An Energy Trust advisor conducts a free one-hour walkthrough, and gives you a list of recommended improvements.
Home Performance with Energy Star. An Energy Trust approved contractor conducts a three- to four-hour analysis of your home and gives you a report detailing what you need and how much it will cost. The cost is between $150 and $550 (after rebate).
If you choose to do the work yourself:
To detect air leaks, see http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/insulation_airsealing/index.cfm/mytopic=11250.
For caulking and weather stripping, see p. 5-6 at http://www.rmi.org/rmi/Library/2004-13_HEB1BuildingEnvelope.
For attics and basements, see A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Energy Star Home Sealing at http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/publications/pubdocs/DIY_Guide_May_2008.pdf.