Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities
 

Weatherization Program Helps Low Income Households Beat Old Man Winter

TDHCA's Energy Assistance section offers a wide variety of weatherization services to low income households through its Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). WAP provides these services through a network of 33 local contract services providers serving all 254 Texas counties. The program’s goal is to reduce the burden of energy costs on individuals and families at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty threshold.

WAP services begin with an energy audit, a comprehensive review of a home’s energy efficiency, which identifies where air leaks may be occurring or which appliances are not operating at peak efficiency. Based on the audit’s findings, the Department’s contract service provider can install weatherization measures such as insulation, weatherstripping, and caulking to increase the energy efficiency of a home or replace certain appliances with newer, more efficient units.

Although any household meeting the income guidelines may qualify for services, the Department places a priority on serving households with young children (typically six years or younger), households with elderly persons, households that include persons with disabilities, and households with the highest energy burden and the lowest income.

To learn which WAP service provider serves your county, visit the Energy Assistance page or call (877) 399-8939 toll-free between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm.

The Energy Assistance section reminds Texans of all income levels that a properly weatherized home can keep you warm and save you money. Best of all, weatherization is often a simple process and doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. For example, keeping the drapes closed at night can reduce the chilling effect of winter on your home. Here are a few tips from TDHCA to fight back against winter’s chill:

  • Check the level and quality of insulation in your attic; proper levels of insulation can reduce heat loss by as much as 20 percent, helping you save on energy costs.
  • Weatherstripping exterior doors helps keep warm air in and cool air out.
  • Caulking and tightening loose window panels can help prevent cold air from infiltrating your home and warm air leaking out.
  • Replacing the filter in your heating system on a regular basis ensures efficient operations.
  • Remove furniture and carpeting from heater vents to ensure proper circulation.
  • Adjust the thermostat to slightly lower temperatures when your family is sleeping or away from home.
  • Where windows face the sun, keep drapes open during the day to let the sun help warm the room; closing the drapes at night will help reduce the chill.
  • Be sure to close the damper when the fireplace is not in use.
  • A programmable thermostat can help you control energy costs when you are away from home.