Weatherized home keeps heat in, Mother Nature out


Images of the miserable cold are enough to make people want to stay in a cozy warm home, but how do you stop the cold from getting in? That was the case for one Decatur family when temperatures plummeted. Jacque Bean and her husband were sleeping in front of their fireplace in their living room because their bedroom was too cold, but after Tuesday, her house will be much warmer and her power bills will be much cheaper. She is the first person this year to have her home weatherized by Decatur's Easter Seals weatherization program.

"For the last few days it's been so cold, you could see your breath right here in this room right here," Bean described.

She applied to have her home weatherized by Decatur's Easter Seals program.

"Oh it's been painless," she said. "We've just kind of sat off to the side and just sitting around drinking coffee."

Terry Henkel and Sobottka Insulators did the work.

"We picked a nice, cold day to do the work here simply because the home needs it," Henkel said.

The home needed to be sealed and insulated.

"By providing that attic insulation, it goes a long way in making that home much, much more efficient," he explained.

An extra eight to 10 inches of insulation is added to the attic, and in the basement, Henkel put in pocket insulation and attached a hot water heater blanket.

"So what we do to help it get more efficient is we put a hot water wrap around it," he explained while applying the blanket.

Once Bean's home is completely weatherized, she could save several hundred dollars a year on her power bills.

"Our bills have been running anywhere from $130 a month so now we're looking to be somewhere maybe around $100 or under that," Bean said.

Bean will feel a difference, though, right away, so that means she can put away her coffee and rest comfortably in her warm, weatherized home.

Bean said the process took just several weeks, from the time Bean applied until Tuesday. Home weatherization by Easter Seals is available for moderate income homeowners who qualify. Henkel said he weatherized 50 homes last year.

People can pick up an application form from Easter Seals in Decatur on 27th Street. Once they apply, they will find out if they qualify for the program. The service is free.

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