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Weatherizing Homes: An Introduction

The business of making existing houses more energy efficient is a growth industry for contractors

a transparent house outline filled with colored patterns showing hot and cold areas within

Weatherization—the process of making buildings more energy efficient—has gotten to be big business. Unlike the green building market, which may have stalled due to the queasy economy, tuning up and tightening existing homes is a growth industry, due in part to the Federal government's involvement.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, more commonly known as the Stimulus Package pledged $5B (that's Five Billion Dollars!) to the states for the weatherization for existing homes. While the majority of that money will be doled out by individual states through their existing agencies, there will also be opportunities for qualified private contractors.

Rising fuel costs and the desire of many Americans to lessen the country's dependence on foreign oil have also focused the (CFL?) spotlight on the benefits of weatherization. On average, weatherization reduces heating bills by 25 percent and overall energy bills by $350 to $400 per year.

The following videos and study guides further explain the benefits and selling points of weatherizing houses. You'll also learn about some of the specialized tools involved, in particular, the blower door, which measures air leakage.

You'll also want to take a look at the websites of two companies that will train and accredit you to perform weatherization work as part of the service you offer customers: The Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI) and The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) offer classes at locations around the country.

These materials are adapted from Wx Workforce Training, a video-based weatherization training service.


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