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MVAC Weatherizes Southern Minnesota Low-Income Homes

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Snow has fallen in parts of Minnesota and Iowa, catching some people off guard.

But it's not too late to make sure your home is weatherized.

Minnesota Valley Action Council has been weatherizing homes for years.

Housing services director for MVAC, Judd Schultz says, "Weatherization has been around since I believe the later seventies. So, that's when the program was created in response to the energy crisis at that time so we've been doing weatherization for that long."

Preparing low income homes for all weather seasons in Southern Minnesota for free.

Schultz says, "People just don't realize what insulation they have in their home. They don't know what's in their walls or what's in their attics. They don't know where those gaps are that air is coming into the home. So that's why this program does a great thing."

Doing the work for you to keep costs low for the household, by insulating walls and attics, installing weather stripping on doors, along with other energy efficient services so you can keep your hard earned money from slipping outside.

William Soule says, "You can't heat outside Minnesota, it's not going to work. If you don't have the insulation for it, you're going to waste a lot of money. And for families that are already struggling to make ends meet, having to spend more money on energy kills them."

Judd Schultz says, "When a home is weatherized it's immediately producing a payback by saving on the energy costs for that household. In fact, statistics show that it saves up to thirty percent of a household's energy costs."

A program focused on keeping southern Minnesota households healthy, safe and energy efficient.

Here are some tips from MVAC on how you can weatherize your home:

1. Inspect furnace filters at least every month and clean or replace them as needed. Clogged filters cut heat flow and make furnaces run longer.

2. Have your furnace inspected by a qualified heating contractor annually.

3. Set your thermostat a degree or two lower. Every degree above 68 degrees Fahrenheit adds about 2 percent to your heating bill.

4. Keep radiators, air registers and baseboard heaters clean and be sure they aren't blocked by furniture or drapes so warm air can flow freely. Place material that reflect, like aluminum foil, behind radiators with the shiny side toward the room to send heat back into the room. To work best, there should be a gap between the wall and the material. Bleed radiators as necessary. It will keep the heating system working more efficiently.

5. Install plastic deflectors on warm air registers that are located near windows. This will help direct warm air into the room.

6. Use duct sealant or foil duct tape to seal air leaks in heating ducts that run through unheated areas of your home.

7. Install pipe insulation on any water pipes to prevent freezing pipes.

8. Be sure fireplace dampers are closed and in good working order when fireplace is not in use.

9. Check storm windows to be sure that they are completely closed during the heating season.

10. Use your drapes or blinds the sun's warmth into your home in the winter, keep it out in the summer.