Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency Blog

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Weatherization: A True Blessing

Karina McMahanA single mom on a budget looks for every way she can save a dime in order to cover expenses from month to month. As Karina McMahan looked at her ever-increasing electric bills during the winter of 2015, she knew she had to do something to cut her energy cost, but she didn’t know just what that something would be until a neighbor told her about the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) with Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency.

Karina works full time and is going to school full time to become a dental assistant. With very little free time on her hands, she was at a complete loss of how to make her home more energy efficient. Once she applied for the WAP program and was approved, a weatherization technician from MCCAA evaluated her property and initiated several things to improve Karina’s home.

First the duct system in Karina’s home was leaking, so the technicians corrected and insulated it. Next, they measured how much air was leaking from the home and performed general air sealing to make the house more air tight. They then insulated pipes within six feet of the water heater and provided pressure relief piping. Since her roof was leaking, they corrected the leaks and included roof fiberglass insulation. They then replaced the bathroom fan to control fresh air in the home and keep it healthy with a fan compliant with the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). In addition, they provided proper venting for her dryer and installed new smoke detectors in every bedroom and within 20 feet outside each bedroom. They replaced her HVAC system with a new EnergyStar compliant heat pump system. Finally, the technicians replaced a damaged stud or vent on her drain line to allow waste water to properly flow out of her house. All of the improvements performed were designed specifically to make Karina’s home more energy efficient and create a healthy living space for her and her son.

According to Karina, “angels sent from God” helped her get approved for the program, and she praised the work of all the MCCAA technicians who performed her weatherization. While her former winter electric bills ran well over $300, her current high energy bill runs around $220. She is saving an average of $100 per month in electricity cost due to WAP. She would highly recommend the WAP program to anyone wanting to reduce home energy costs and explained, “You have been a true blessing to me!”

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Karina McMahan Weatherization

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Healthier and Happier

Anita SandersIn 2012, Anita Sanders was declared disabled after she almost died from complications from Wegener’s Granulomatosis, an autoimmune disease that overworks the immune system. No longer able to work her job as manager of a local movie theater, she found her life changing in ways she never imagined. She had to concentrate on keeping herself well and avoiding even minor illnesses if possible.

While attending a 4th of July gathering at her church in 2017, Anita met Leslie Sadler, who works for Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency. After striking a conversation, Anita mentioned a concern about air coming in through her windows and creating a draft within her home. Leslie told her about the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and suggested Anita apply for the program to help make her home more energy efficient.

After being approved for WAP, a MCCAA technician contacted Anita for an evaluation of her home. His recommendations included blowing more insulation in her attic, adding insulation underneath her home, wrapping her hot water heater, sealing large wooden beams on her ceiling, and sealing around her windows, doors, and underneath her sink. Air was escaping through her attic, so the technicians built a box to place in the pull-down steps to create a seal. They also added an American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) fan in her bathroom to redirect air outside the house. As with all homes, they added smoke detectors in every bedroom and a carbon monoxide alarm. In addition, they repaired duct work that had been damaged, allowing her air conditioning unit to better keep conditioned air in the home.

Since the weatherization was performed on her house, Anita has noticed that her tile floors are warmer. Her house is staying cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, thereby, using less electricity. She normally keeps her thermostat on 70 year round, and she is saving $150-$200 each month on average.

Anita is extremely happy with the adjustments WAP made to her home, and she frequently recommends the program to friends and relatives. WAP has been able to save her money and make her home a healthier environment.

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Anita Sanders Success StoryAnita Sanders Success StoryAnita Sanders Success Story

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