Rethink Energy: Insulate or Air Seal, Get Paid

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment. Got a question? Email us at [email protected]!

Did you know Arlington now offers Home Energy Rebates? You can apply for up to $575 in rebates by replacing your water heater or heating/cooling system with an efficient model, or if you add insulation or air sealing.

Today we’ll focus on adding insulation and/or air sealing. Up to 50% of your expenses (excluding labor) are eligible for the rebate if you spend a minimum of $200.

Why suffer year after year with uncomfortable spaces in your home? In most cases, the fixes aren’t complex and the cost will likely be less than you expect. In one day you can have your home insulated and be comfortable year after year.

Doesn’t my home already have insulation?

It probably has some, but 9 out of 10 homes don’t have enough. Older homes are even more likely to be deficient. Signs of inadequate insulation or air leaks include drafts, rooms that are uncomfortably warm or cold, or high energy bills.

In most houses, the attic is the easiest and most effective place to air seal and insulate.

Why air seal?

Access hatches and doors into your attic are places where your cool air escapes and heat enters you home. Weather-stripping gaskets can reduce that energy loss. Other common places of air leaks are around can lights, electrical boxes, around air ducts, plumbing and electrical holes, and more. Expanding foam and caulk works wonders to seal those areas. Attic access hatch doors can make a huge difference for your home too.

How do I get started?

The easiest step is to find a contractor that specializes in this type of work. Here’s a searchable directory.

If you’re handy and ready to take matters into your own hands, an insulation or air sealing project is as simple as a trip to your local store and an afternoon in your attic. ENERGY STAR has great resources to help you identify inadequate insulation, install insulation and air seal your home.

It’s that easy. Just make a decision to be comfortable and reduce your utility bills. Install insulation and/or air sealing. Apply for a rebate!

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