Weatherizing for Winter

With temperatures dropping below 40 and the roar of the furnace kicking on, we are all reminded of the little things we meant to do, but haven’t gotten done. Well, it isn’t too late.
For some of us the improvements are not so little. Big stuff like insulation, repairing or replacing an old furnace, and air sealing can mean significant savings on fuel and a more comfortable home. Of course, it takes money to save money

Fortunately, there are low interest and even no interest loans for those who are income eligible. Some loans don’t even require payment until the house is sold. These are available throughout the state through the NeighborWorks Alliance of Vermont.

Online information can be found at their website, www.vthomeownership.org. The site is very user-friendly and easy to navigate. It lists the various home ownership centers around the state that administer these programs. There is also detailed information about qualifying incomes, types of programs and payment options.

Whether the need is for roof repair or furnace replacement, the services offered go far beyond providing the needed funds. Their Rehab Specialists write the job description, approve insured contractors, help coordinate and evaluate bids, inspect the work and even manage payments to the contractors. All these services are provided at no cost.

Finding the right people to do the work is often as difficult as getting the money to pay for it. The NeighborWorks Alliance of Vermont is a tremendous resource in solving the issues faced by retirees on tight budgets trying to keep their homes livable and affordable.

Those who do not go online, can call Liz Curry at 802-527-2892. She will assist you in finding the home ownership center nearest you. Ms Curry can also explain the programs and income eligibility standards in simple, clear language. If you get her voice mail, don’t panic; she responded to my message quickly and I found her to be very, very helpful.

We may not be able to stop the cold from coming, but there are certainly things we can do to keep Old Man Winter outdoors where he belongs.

By the way, some of you may recall my announcing last winter that we were turning our thermostat extra 5 degrees. (It sent us to bed early some nights and kept us in sweaters while up and about.) That, a couple of new windows, and some air sealing saved us 20 percent on our heating bill! So, this weatherizing stuff really does make a difference.

Stay warm and remember, Aging in Place, it doesn’t happen by accident.

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About the author

Scott Funk has specialized in Home Equity Conversion Mortgage reverse mortgages for over a decade. He is a recognized Aging in Place advocate in his home state of Vermont. His monthly newspaper column Aging in Place has run for 7 years in 24 papers around the state. Scott is brings a lighthearted approach to his talks on Boomers, retirement and aging on purpose.

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