Weatherizing your home saves you money on energy bills

If you choose to have a professional home-energy audit and meet the requirements, you might qualify for the Pennsylvania’s Weatherization Assistance Program.

Last year’s bitterly cold winter left many people struggling to pay higher-than-normal home energy bills. As we head toward the coldest months of the year, there are ways you can winterize your home to keep heat in, cold air out, and money in your pocket. Many businesses offer professional home energy audits, but you can perform your own by inspecting areas where heat escapes and cold air leaks in.

One easy way to start is by locating air leaks. Common air leak locations include gaps along baseboards and doors to the outside, along with windows and junctures of the walls and ceiling. These leaks can sometimes be fixed by caulking holes and gaps or by applying weather stripping to doors and windows.

It’s also easy to lose heat through poor insulation. Especially in older homes, insulation in attics and garages can wear down over time or simply not be adequate by today’s standards. Inspecting the quality and type of insulation you have and replacing it if necessary could keep your home much warmer during the winter and cooler during the summer.

The type of light bulb you use can also save money on energy bills. Consider replacing inefficient bulbs with energy-saving incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps or light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

If you choose to have a professional home-energy audit and meet the requirements, you might qualify for Pennsylvania’s Weatherization Assistance Program. This program, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, increases energy efficiency in homes by reducing energy costs and increasing comfort.

For more information on this program, visit this website or find a local agency that can offer assistance here.

You may also qualify for Pennsylvania’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP. LIHEAP issues cash grants directly to your energy company for help with monthly bills, along with grants for home heating emergencies, such as a furnace failure. For more information, please visit this page.