Heating and cooling a home is about more than just comfort. It’s about staying safe, staying healthy, and staying within a budget. Weatherizing a home against the elements plays a critical role in the lives of residents, but too often it can be difficult for those on a fixed income to make the repairs or adjustments required to ensure their long-term needs are met.
Peggy Wolford of Leander has been living in her Johnson County home for six years, all the while enduring the of extremes Kentucky weather without proper insulation. In the winter months, Wolford’s energy bill soared to around $300 each month. She said her heater was constantly running, but that the house was still cold inside. “It was like it just wouldn’t get warm enough inside [for the heater] to kick off,” she said. Wolford said her fixed income combined with the constant cold made it difficult for her to live in the home.
A friend living near her home told Wolford about Big Sandy Area Community Action’s Weatherization Program, which is designed to help people with low-incomes get the repairs they need at no cost, offering them a long-term solution instead of just a small bandage. “I didn’t even know [the program] existed, and she was telling me about it, and I said I’ll call and see, and it’s wonderful,” she said.
Licensed inspectors with Big Sandy Area Community Action’s Weatherization Team took a look at Wolford’s house to find out what the problem areas were. She said, “It was just so cold. I didn’t think there was any insulation at all in it, but apparently there was, just not enough.”
Inspector Steve Mullins found that there was no insulation at all underneath the home and very little in the attic. In addition to the lack of insulation, Mullins and his team found a large hole in the floor of the attic where air was escaping.
The team went to work and added insulation underneath the home, fixed the hole in the attic, ensured there was the proper amount of insulation in the attic, sealed duct work, added caulk where needed, and installed a CFM vent fan. The crew even added smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide detector to the house to ensure that Wolford was left with the safest home possible.
The crew spent five days at Wolford’s home completing the difficult work at no cost to her. She said she was “very comfortable in their presence. Everyone was very respectful and nice. And they worked very hard.”
Once her repairs were finished, Wolford said she felt much better about her home. “It was much warmer after they did the insulation. I could tell a big difference,” she said. She also noted that now, in the heat of summer, she can tell a difference in the air conditioning as well.
Wolford hopes that others will take to opportunity to learn more about Big Sandy Area Community Action Program and their Weatherization Assistance Program. She said, “I hope other people learn about the program. It’s very helpful.”
Big Sandy Area Community Action Program is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a vast array of services, such as employment and training assistance, weatherization of homes, and area Head Start programs, in order to assist individuals and families in obtaining self-sufficiency. Through collaborative efforts of community and organizational partnerships, BSACAP seeks to improve the overall quality of life within the Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike County communities. To learn more about BSACAP and their programs, visit www.bsacap.org or call (606) 789-3641.