With winter approaching, Virginia residents step up efforts to increase efficiency

As recent weather phenomena has demonstrated, the change of the seasons can bring unexpected and costly hardships to homeowners who aren't prepared for the worst. This is why homeowners from across the country are taking stock of their property's durability and making necessary preparations for the upcoming winter.

On October 20, residents of Alexandria, Virginia teamed up to help winterize 25 homes belonging to low-income, disabled, veteran or elderly inhabitants who are unable to accomplish the refabs on their own.

Sponsored by Sears, Lowes and other local companies, volunteers from the non-profit Rebuild Together Alexandria (RTA), a group devoted to strengthening the community through restoration efforts, took on the challenge of making these homes more livable and energy efficient.

“With winter on its way, a little weatherizing can go a long way in keeping homeowners who face health and income challenges living in their homes," said Katharine Dixon, executive director of the RTA, in an article from Alexandria Patch.

The group not only performed renovations, but they also issued a statement to Alexandria residents laying out possible upgrades they could implement to make their properties more energy efficient.

Among these small steps included installing a programmable thermostat to better control utility consumption, as well as increasing insulation in your attic, as this is where the most heat escapes from your house. They also recommended adopting more energy efficient habits, like keeping hot-water heaters around 120 degrees and air-drying dishes.

For homeowners who want to take their utility conservation to the next level, an energy audit from a home inspection contractor can help them to outline where the most waste is occurring in their home and give them tips for how to curb it.