One House = Three Cars?

We all admit that the growing trend today is to be "green" and energy efficient. Some people buy hybrid cars, some swear by compact fluorescent bulbs, others even mount solar panels and wind turbines to their homes! Well, homeowners, you're in for a big surprise -- you can be trendy AND reduce your emissions without paying a hefty price.

But John, how could you possibly do this? I have one word for you -- weatherization. In the DC area we have a local organization that does just that, WeatherizeDC. Founded in 2009 and based in DC, they are on the hunt for inefficient homes. Their first goal is to fully weatherize 200 homes in the DC metro area. This is the equivalent of taking 600 cars off the road. 600 Cars! That's one sealed home for every three cars.

The weatherization process seeks to create an air seal in the home. This is sort of like a Ziplock bag for your house, no air goes in and no air comes out.. everything stays nice and fresh. By using the proper insulation and weather stripping around your home's orifices and cracks, you are able to create this seal. No cold air rushes in through the basement and your warm air doesn't leak through the attic. Nobody really wants to heat the whole neighborhood during the winter, do they?

Through volunteer energy assessments, WeatherizeDC brings volunteers who perform a free energy assessment and then provide a list of things that need to be done to your home. The best part about this is that they come back for a second time and show you how to install it all.

They calculate that these 200 weatherized homes will mitigate at least 3,645 metric tons of carbon. To break it down, that's around 6 metric tons per car, which is equal to the weight of an averaged sized Blue Whale. Those Blue Whales will save you around 30% on your annual energy bill. 30% of a $300 energy bill is a savings of $90. That adds up after 12 months.

So if you can't afford that new hybrid car or a geothermal water pump, why not weatherize your house. It's cheaper and makes one hell of an impact.

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