The first official day of winter is still a month away, but many residents are already feeling the effects of the upcoming season in the air and in their wallets. Before winter really gets underway, residents can take time now to prepare their home for the colder weather by implementing a few energy efficiency improvements.
Energy efficiency is the key to not only reducing electricity and gas usage, but also saving money. Examples of energy efficiency improvements for the winter season include:
• Installing energy efficient windows made from composite framing materials, which incorporate Low-E glass coatings with argon gas between each glass layer to keep the temperature in the home consistent
• Insulating walls and attics to help reduce the amount of energy needed to heat the home
• Sealing openings, such as doorways, windows and garage doors, leaky air ducts and vents to prevent drafts that increase energy use
The Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation offers the Home Rehabilitation Program which provides eligible Virginia Beach homeowners with an affordable low interest loan to make energy efficiency improvements. Eligible activities include window replacements, insulation upgrades, HVAC system replacements and water conservation upgrades. The program can also assist with correcting interior and exterior code violations and making homes more accessible for the physically disabled. The program does not allow for remodeling and is provided one time only.
Program participants must own and live in the home and cannot own additional property. Additional eligibility requirements apply. Assistance is based on availability of funding. For more information, contact Olin Walden at 385-5760 or visit www.vbgov.com/housing.