The United States loses more than $82 billion a year as a result of unhealthy and inefficient housing.
By simply weatherizing their homes, Americans can not only reduce their energy bills, but also improve their health in the process.
For more than 40 years, the Energy Department’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) has been doing just that for millions of low-income families.
During a typical year, WAP provides more than $1 billion in household health and other non-energy benefits for its clients. That’s roughly $14,000 per single family and mobile home.
Consider these 3 health and safety benefits of weatherization:
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be lethal in certain doses. The gas is produced any time fuel is burned and can harm people and animals. To help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning indoors, weatherization crews test furnaces and stoves for gas leaks and install alarms for smoke and carbon monoxide in the home.
Weatherization can reduce residents’ stress by strengthening energy affordability and their sense of security. After receiving weatherization services, residents reported sleeping better and demonstrated increased levels of energy.
With more than 10.5 million school days missed each year, asthma is the leading cause of absenteeism for school-age children.
Studies show that weatherization improvements, such as air sealing, insulation, and improved heating and cooling equipment, can reduce asthma triggers in the home.
After a home is weatherized, residents with asthma report fewer hospitalizations and trips to the emergency room. They also report missing fewer days of work during the previous year (a decrease from 8.5 days missed to 6.8).
How to Apply for Weatherization Assistance
More than 40 million U.S. families may be eligible for weatherization services nationwide. Energy services are provided by the states’ local weatherization agencies, and each state has slightly different eligibility requirements.
If you receive Supplemental Security Income or help to pay utility bills from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, you are automatically eligible to receive weatherization services.
To learn more about the application process and eligibility in your area, contact your state’s administrator of WAP on the map below.