February 5, 2019
In “Prepare for winter weather challenges,” Jan. 29, Michael Randall discussed frozen pipes and suggested adding insulation and leaving a tap open. I’d like to highlight the importance of improving building envelopes, which will not only keep pipes from freezing, but increase your home’s energy efficiency and decrease your energy bills.
When the weather drops this low, families can experience high heating bills, drafts and damage to their homes. Catskill Mountainkeeper is part of the nonprofit and state-sponsored HeatSmart Ulster-Sullivan campaign which can connect families to local building science experts for a free consultation to learn how they can start living more comfortably, safely and spend less money on their heating bills. Building owners can benefit from using vetted contractors, reduced costs and expert installation of energy improvements which will protect their families, homes and wallets. Low- to moderate-income enrollees are eligible for huge state subsidies on eligible energy efficiency improvements, which our contractors can help them apply for and receive funding to complete. For example, anyone who qualifies for HEAP or other low-income assistance is eligible for free energy efficiency improvements in their homes. Homes with aging oil/gas furnaces should speak to an energy consultant about transitioning away from fossil fuels to new technologies such as air source heat pumps.
It is Mountainkeeper’s hope that this program will help families to improve their homes and quality of life. Sub-freezing temperatures are here and HeatSmart has the solution.