Winter Ready? CCE Podcast Shares Tips to Weatherize Your Home

Snowstorms and frigid temperatures make winter preparation in the Northeast a serious undertaking. 

Cornell Cornell Cooperative Extension’s (CCE) podcast Extension Out Loud hosted a “Winter Readiness Round Table” with extension energy experts across New York State to offer tips on winter preparedness and programs to ease the financial burden of weatherizing your farm or home. 

With an ambitious goal of reducing carbon emission by 85% by 2050, New York State offers many incentives to weatherize your home.

There is a three-tier system laid out by NYSERDA that breaks down the options for eligibility for financing and free improvements. An important note is that almost all New York residents qualify for a free home energy assessment cost. 

Katherine Herleman, Extension Disaster Education Coordinator, describes the free home energy assessment audit as an “amazing planning tool for residential and commercial buildings.” The audit creates a budget and cost-benefit analysis for homeowners interested in making energy efficient upgrades. 

There are also a few things homeowners can do annually to save energy within the house. Analyzing buildings yearly, filling in spaces around doors and windows, and considering insulation on pipes and a hot water heater can greatly increase energy efficiency. 

With winter comes winter storms and Herleman emphasized the importance of having an emergency preparedness plan  — especially if you live in a rural or suburban area. 

Creating a comprehensive plan and communicating the plan with family is crucial. Be sure to have an emergency kit on hand at all times and work toward having a back-up heating source. A woodstove, fireplace, or generator can do the trick. If purchasing a generator, be sure to read how to properly use and store because of the carbon monoxide poisoning risk with improper use. 

Urban residents will generally have a location they can go to (i.e. a school or hospital) which is designated as a shelter with back-up power. Find your county emergency manager by contacting your local Department of Emergency Services. 

Learn more specifics from the experts themselves by listening to the podcast.

Kelsie Raucher

Kelsie is from southwest Missouri and grew up on a 150-acre farm helping her family buy and sell horses and cattle. She credits FFA for finding her passion for agriculture and food issues and desiring a career as an “agvocate.” Since coming to Cornell, she has gained interest in local production, global food issues, and environmental impacts of and on agriculture. She joined the Cornell Small Farms Program in May of 2018 and is excited to gain experience to complement coursework in the Agricultural Sciences major and Communication major.
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