Together, the Energy & Community branch focuses on the three C's of weatherization: Cost, Comfort, and Conservation. Whether you're interested in reducing utility costs, creating more comfortable living spaces, or conserving our natural resources, our weatherization services can help! Members of Green Iowa AmeriCorps undergo training and earn Building Analyst Professional certification from the Building Performance Institute (BPI). Armed with this training, our service teams assess a home's efficiency, evaluate problem areas, and seek potential solutions.
Learn about how our branch works with our Iowan communities
to implement more energy efficiency in households!
Home energy performance audit
A Home Energy Performance Audit is the first step in assessing how much energy a home consumes and evaluates what measures can be taken to make the home more efficient. These are always free to everyone and open to the entire public.
Our energy audits consist of two parts: the blower door test and the initial walk-through. The blower door is specialized equipment that allows us to measure the level of air infiltration by surveying the extent of air leaks in the home envelope. Air infiltration raises the price of utility bills due to its impact on heating and cooling systems. While the blower door test is running, members will walk through the home and search for areas where such energy loss might be occurring. By the end of this two-step process we will have an idea of how much work will be needed and provide an estimated cost.
Depending on the results of the initial Home Energy Performance Audit assessment, Green Iowa AmeriCorps members will schedule a follow-up weatherization to address problem areas.
Members spend anywhere between 2-8 hours reducing air infiltration and making efficiency improvements listed below. Each home is quite different, but the cost of labor is always free.
Windows: Permanent solutions such as caulking and sealing around the window frame, installing sash locks. Seasonal (temporary) solutions include rope caulking and window kits.
Doors: Installing weather stripping, door sweeps, caulking.
Attic Access: Insulating attic access door, seal perimeter with foam tape, ensure a tight seal with a latch lock or weight.
Outlets: Insulating outlets and light switches with foam gaskets.
Rim Joints: Sealing the area where the foundation meets the house frame with friction-fit rigid foam and caulk.
Ducts: Sealing duct joints with HVAC tape and/or mastic
Water Pipes: Insulating hot and cold water pipes with foam sleeves to reduce conductive heat loss.
Efficiency Improvements: Installing Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and low-flow sink & shower aerators
Evaluation & Education
After making the needed adjustments, the team will conduct a post-weatherization blower door test to calculate the effectiveness of the service. If requested, members can also inform the resident on energy and money saving strategies or refer them to their local utility provider for additional information.