TOPEKA - In honor of National Energy Awareness Month, Governor Sam Brownback and Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) are highlighting the financial and environmental benefits of a properly weatherized home. Besides creating a more comfortable living space for the home's occupants, weatherization measures cut utility costs, lower energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions.
Brownback proclaimed October 30th as Weatherization Day in Kansas. View the proclamation here. KHRC, which administers the Weatherization Assistance Program on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy, is encouraging Kansans to review how they use energy and take steps to winterize their homes.
"Installing programmable thermostats, washing only full loads of laundry and turning off the lights when you leave a room are simple ways to increase your home's energy efficiency," said Al Dorsey, KHRC's Director of Housing with Supportive Services. "Energy Awareness Month is an ideal time to take common-sense actions that will save energy, save money and improve the environment."
Additional steps residents can take to lower energy costs in colder weather include:
Enlist a professional to conduct an energy audit and identify energy waste in a home, especially in difficult-to-access areas like crawl spaces and attics.
Install foam gaskets behind electrical outlets and light switches to reduce air leaks.
Caulk and weather strip gaps, cracks and joints to reduce drafts and save on heating and cooling costs.
Regularly replace air filters on HVAC units or use an air filter whistle to be reminded when filters are clogged.
Set the thermostat to 68 degrees; turn down the water heater to 120 degrees.
Always unplug gadget and small appliance chargers.
Open curtains during the day to allow the sun to warm your house; close shades at night to help keep in the heat.
KHRC's weatherization services, installed free-of-charge for qualifying low-income homeowners and renters, may include weather stripping, caulking around doors and windows; cleaning, testing, repairs or replacement of refrigerators, heating and/or cooling systems; adding insulation to walls, ceilings and foundations and infiltration reduction.
Eligibility for the weatherization program is based on household income relative to federal low-income guidelines. If a household contains a member who receives Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits or utility assistance from the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, the household is automatically considered eligible for weatherization services.
Kansans seeking assistance in managing their energy costs are encouraged to visit www.kshousingcorp.org/weatherization.aspx to learn about weatherization providers in their area.