By New York State Senator Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome, 47th District
We might not want to think about it yet, but winter will be here before we know it.
It is a good time make sure your home is ready for the snow, ice and colder temperatures while the weather is mild.
Here are some tips for winterizing your home
- Unblock the Vents. Make sure not to block floor and wall vents with draperies, furniture, or rugs. Also, clean vents regularly with a vacuum or broom.
- Buy a Good Thermostat. Use a programmable thermostat with your heating system to lower the temperature automatically when no one is home or at night. You can save nearly $200 a year without sacrificing any comfort.
- Plug Up the Cracks. Keep the warm air in and the cold air out by adding insulation, caulking and weatherstripping around doors, attic access, windows, outlets and any area that can let the cold air in and the warm air out.
- Let the Sun Shine In. Take advantage of natural solar heating. It’s free. Keep blinds and drapes of sun-exposed windows open in the daytime and closed at night.
- Use Your Fan. Ceiling fans can keep you comfortable in the winter, too. Reversing the direction of the blades pushes warm air down into the room.
- Unplug the Appliances. Electronics, appliances, and adapters continue to use energy even when they’re turned off. In fact, just two cable/DVR set-top boxes use the same amount of electricity as a standard refrigerator.
The federally funded Weatherization Assistance Program, or WAP, provides money-saving (and in some cases, life-saving) energy efficiency home improvements at no cost to those who qualify. The program serves people with low incomes, particularly elderly adults, disabled individuals, and families with young children.
As part of WAP, a contractor will visit your home to determine what energy saving steps can be taken. On average, weatherization saves consumers more than 20 percent on their heating bills. Examples of weatherization services include weather-stripping, repair or replacement of heating systems, replacement or repair of windows and/or doors, addition of insulation, replacing problem furnaces and minor repairs.
Program eligibility is based on household income, and both renters and homeowners may apply.
For more information on the Weatherization Assistance Program, visit https://www.energy.gov/eere/wipo/weatherization-assistance-program.