Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Weatherization Assistance Program FAQs

Question: What is Weatherization?

Answer: Weatherization describes the services and energy conservation measures applied to a dwelling to help reduce energy use. Proper weatherization results in a more comfortable home (especially during the hottest and coldest times of the year) and decreased utility bills. From installing simple measures such as weather stripping and insulation, low-income weatherization has evolved into a technically sophisticated approach that is based on site-specific diagnostic testing and targeted treatments.

The main measures provided by the Weatherization Assistance Program include:

  • blower-door guided air sealing
  • heating system safety tests, repairs, and tune-ups repairs (replacements if existing equipment is unsafe or inefficient)
  • duct insulation and sealing
  • attic and underfloor insulation
  • hot water system safety tests and repairs (replacements if existing equipment is unsafe or inefficient)
  • energy-related home repairs
  • in-home energy education, including how to operate and maintain equipment

Question: How can I get my home weatherized?

Answer: Contact the WeatherizationAssistance Program Provider in your community.

Question:  How do I find out if I qualify?

Answer:  In order to qualify for this program, your income must be below 200% of Federal Poverty Level.  The guidelines are found here.

Question: What happens when my house is weatherized?

Answer: Weatherization professionals perform a thorough home energy audit to identify house-specific deficiencies and opportunities for energy conservation. This audit can take two to four hours.

The audit includes:

  • visual inspection to document current efficiency levels of the building
  • diagnostic testing on the building envelope (walls) and air distribution system to find where air is currently leaking out
  • assessing the efficiency of heating and cooling equipment
  • assessing any potential health hazards such as appliances that may be leaking carbon monoxide.

After the audit, the costs and energy savings for each energy conservation opportunity are identified and the cost-effective opportunities are selected. House repairs necessary for the proper performance of selected measures are also identified.

Once energy conservation opportunities are identified, experienced installers make repairs and install the improvements.

In addition to the repairs performed, in-home energy education is a complementary element of our Weatherization program. This energy education instructs people in the proper operation and maintenance of new or existing energy systems so that the full potential of these systems is realized. Topics frequently covered include changing furnace filters, thermostat operation, strategies to reduce cooling load such as closing window shades, and use of the ventilation system.

Question: What Weatherization programs are offered in Idaho?

Answer: CAPAI administers two federally-funded programs which provide weatherization services at the local level: LIHEAP Weatherization (LPW- funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) and the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP- funded through the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy).

The mission of the Weatherization programs is to reduce heating and cooling costs for low-income families, particularly for the elderly, people with disabilities, and children, by improving the energy efficiency of their homes while protecting their health and safety. The funds provided by Congress and administered by CAPAI are used to improve the energy efficiency of low-income dwellings using the most advanced technologies and testing protocols available in the housing industry.

The energy conservation resulting from the efforts of state and local agencies helps our country reduce its dependency on foreign oil and decrease the cost of energy for families in need, while improving the health and safety of their homes.

Question: Why should I weatherize my home?

Answer: The four main benefits to having your home weatherized are:

  1. saving on your monthly utility bills;
  2. knowing that your home has been checked for carbon monoxide and other safety issues;
  3. a more comfortable and energy efficient home; and
  4. reduced energy consumption means fewer greenhouse gas emissions and a healthier environment for everyone.