The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) differs in many ways from what is commonly referred to as "weatherizing your home." The latter involves low-cost improvements, such as adding weatherstripping to doors and windows, to save energy. WAP takes the "whole house weatherization” approach that analyzes all of the building systems—the building envelope, heating and cooling systems, electrical system, and electric baseload appliances—through the completion of an energy audit, as shown in Figure 1.
Another distinguishing feature of WAP is the attention to the overall health and safety of the clients being served and the weatherization providers. Many dwellings receiving attention are old and in need of repair.
Weatherization service providers check the exterior of the building, known as the building envelope, and major energy systems to ensure there are no safety concerns for the occupants before installing any energy efficiency measures. In recent years, WAP providers in many areas combine resources from other programs to address other problems with the building.