ELEVA, Wis. (WAEU) -- The winter is fast approaching which means it's time to crank up those heaters. But as mercury rises, so do our heating bills.
It’s the low-income members of our community who'll feel burden of rising costs, as homes with drafty windows and little insulation are expensive to heat in the winter. But, there is help.
October 30th is the National Weatherization Day.
Western Dairyland Weatherization Assistance program has helped thousands of families to make it through the winter.
The service is available to eligible households in Eau Claire, Buffalo, Trempealeau and Jackson counties free of cost.
“Once we weatherize their house, hopefully they won't need heat assistance next year,” said Dale Karls.
Karls, with Western Dairyland says that's the ultimate goal.
Their crews weatherize around 300 homes a year.
“it’s wonderful. I was just so pleased that they were able to do it for us, and I'm amazed at the number of things they are doing to weatherize our house,” said Kris Schreiber.
Schreiber's mom - Marian owns the house that received weatherization services Wednesday.
Her mom's house got energy-efficient light bulbs and insulation for the basement and the attic among other upgrades.
“Up in the attic the guys will go up there and they'll do air-sealing; make sure there is not air leakage inside of the house and up in the attic,” said Mike Canaday.
He has spent three decades with the weatherization program.
He says anyone can weatherize their home by simply adding insulation and sealing air leaks in their windows.
“Any owner can do it, they won't have some sophisticated equipment, but they can still feel where the air is coming from clog it and seal it,” said Canaday.
Weatherizing your home could save you about 25 percent on our energy bill each year. That could add up to nearly 400 dollars for some.
And the saving is year-around.
Canaday says just as weatherization stops cold air from coming in the winter, it will keep the cool air-conditioned air inside in the summer.
“It's good for the environment; we're going to save on heating bills, so it's benefiting us all to conserve a little energy,” added Dale.
There are some easy ways to help reduce energy costs. For example, raise your blinds and let the sun into the house during the day.
Western Dairyland says people who are already a part of a Heat Assistance Program may qualify for the free Weatherization Program as well.