What is weatherization and what services are performed?
Weatherization saves energy in the home by repairing and improving specific areas of the building. The goal is to increase your home’s energy efficiency, safety, and comfort by eliminating drafts by weather-stripping exterior doors, patching small holes in walls, repairing damaged windows, and performing minor boiler maintenance and repair, insulation in roof cavities, walls, floor and perimeter, and insulating heating pipes or furnace ducts.
Will my resale value or taxes increase after my home is weatherized?
In some cases resale value may increase depending on installed measures (i.e. windows, heating system, etc.). Taxes should not be affected.
Are there different products used for homes and housing types?
Yes. Several types of homes are constructed very differently. The energy auditor will determine what services your home needs. Therefore, different construction types may have different priority fixes.
Why is weatherization so important?
Weatherization services will seal up drafts to prevent heated or conditioned air from being wasted by leaking to the outdoors. Your home will be insulated, lowering your energy costs, increasing your comfort, and making your home safer. Carbon Monoxide poisoning and gas leaks may be a big problem in some homes. The energy auditor will ensure that your appliances and heating system work efficiently and safely.
How long will the process take?
Homes and buildings are usually serviced on a first-come-first-serve basis. However, priority will be given to elderly and special needs clients as well as emergency health and safety services. You can expect that, from the time of the audit to completion of the work in your home, two to four months will have passed, dependent on the work needing to be done. Time frame of work scope will be further explained to you after the initial audit is performed.
What do I have to do to my home to prepare for weatherization?
Here are some helpful suggestions: make the attic (roof cavity) and basement accessible, remove excessive clutter from those areas to allow workers access to the space. Secure pets and animals in a safe location. Some dust may be generated, the contractors will do their best to contain it.
May I inquire about where I am on the waiting list?
We do our best serve everyone as soon as we can, but due to funding and scheduling constraints, or sometimes complications with your home, waiting lists can be between 2-6 months. If you have any questions, feel free to call our office during regular office hours.
What problems with my home will delay me from receiving these services?
Major moisture problems such as roof leaks and excessively wet basements, as well as major plumbing, electrical, or structural deficiencies, could slow down progress. The auditor will inform you if these problems will delay weatherization services. Problems with plumbing, electrical, the structure, or moisture may be worsened when the dynamics in your house change, as a result of weatherization work. In some cases, your project may be deferred or determined ineligible if any of these problems are significant enough and cannot be remedied to meet weatherization program standards.
Do I need to be home when this work is done?
It would be best if you could be available for the initial audit. Although it would be best if you could be present for the duration of the work, it is your choice if you want to be home when work is being performed. However, a responsible person should be home to allow the crew in when work is being performed at your home. Also, an adult must be present if minors are home.
Will I qualify for other programs if my home is weatherized?
Weatherization services will not disqualify you from other social service programs that may be available to you.
Are services really free?
Yes – State residents meeting the Weatherization or EmPower New York eligibility requirements can receive home energy services through the programs at no cost.
Do Weatherization and EmPower New York provide services to renters as well as owners?
Yes – both programs provide energy services to anyone who owns or rents a home and meets all of the eligibility requirements. Owners of rental properties that receive Weatherization funds are generally required to contribute a portion of the cost of the work.
What are some of the no-cost energy services that Weatherization or EmPower New York may provide?
- Replacement of old-style light bulbs with high-efficiency lighting.
- Replacement of inefficient refrigerators and freezers with new ENERGY STAR® certified models. • Added insulation to keep your home more comfortable.
- Strategic air sealing to reduce drafts.
- Heating system upgrades and repairs.
- Everyday strategies and tips to help you manage your energy costs.
- Minor repairs to ensure that the installed energy efficiency materials will perform correctly.
- Health and safety measures to help ensure indoor air quality.
- Identification of any hazardous conditions discovered during the energy audit.
If I accept work from weatherization and/or EmPower New York, is a lien going to be put on my home? Am I required to pay the program back if I move or my income changes?
No lien will be put on your home, and there is no cost or future obligation for eligible residents that participate in the Weatherization Program or EmPower New York.
Do the contractors perform code inspections?
No – Weatherization and EmPower New York contractors are not Code Enforcement Officials.
Can I hire my own contractor?
No – all work will be completed by a contractor accredited by the Building Performance Institute (BPI), a national organization that sets the technical standards for contractors in energy efficient building performance, so you know they’re applying the latest knowledge and technology to the energy efficiency of your home.
Can I get paid back for work I have already performed?
No – Weatherization and EmPower New York cannot reimburse you for work that has already been completed.