Home and Garden, Lifestyle, State News

Time to button up your home

With heating fuel prices at their highest level in years and winter just around the corner, Button Up Vermont is getting the word out: The best time to weatherize your home is right now.

The annual Button Up Vermont campaign, supported by a partnership of energy services providers and clean energy champions, works each fall to raise awareness of the need to weatherize and helps connect Vermonters with tools and resources to save. From tips on air sealing and insulation to weighing the benefits of upgrades like energy efficient heat pumps, Button Up Vermont works to encourage Vermonters to make their homes more comfortable and affordable in winter.

“Buttoning up your home is one of the best ways to make your family more comfortable this winter, while lowering heating bills in a time of high fuel prices,” said Peter Walke, Managing Director of Efficiency Vermont.

“Weatherization investments you make now will help you be more resilient for years to come, as climate change brings more volatile weather, and likely volatile fossil fuel prices as well.”

Signs that you need to button up

If your home is losing heat, it’s likely you’ve noticed one or more of these common problems:

  • Drafts. If cool air leaks in while your heat is on, you can be sure that energy is being wasted.
  • Snow melt. Snow melting in some areas of your roof and not others can indicate that your attic is not properly sealed and insulated.
  • Icicles. They may look pretty, but icicles often indicate that heat is escaping through your roof.
  • Mold. Lack of insulation can cause moisture to rise and get trapped in the attic.

What you can do

Stopping heat loss increases comfort and saves money. Here’s what you can do:

  • Attend an event to learn about buttoning up.
  • Sign up for a free Virtual Home Energy Visit with an Efficiency Vermont expert.
  • VGS customers with high energy use may also qualify for a complementary energy audit.
  • Complete DIY projects to stop drafts and get $100 back.
  • Find a qualified contractor through Efficiency Vermont’s Efficiency Excellence Network.
  • Install an efficient heat pump system to save on fossil fuel, with discounts from your local utility.
  • Get started on a comprehensive weatherization project to air seal and insulate your home.

Efficiency Vermont and VGS are offering incentives to cover 75% off project costs — up to $5,000 — to offset the cost of a comprehensive weatherization project. Combined with 0% financing for qualified households, the monthly cost for many households could be as little as $50. DIY incentives are also available to Vermonters who aren’t ready to take on a comprehensive project but want to roll up their sleeves and make small improvements to increase comfort this winter.

Income-eligible families may also qualify for free whole-home weatherization service, through the state’s Weatherization Assistance Program.

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