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Local volunteers needed to make heating efficiency repairs to Waltham home

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  January 10, 2013 02:50 PM

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WATCH CDC, a Waltham-based community corporation, is teaming up with Cambridge-based HEET, a free weatherization work-party organizer, to recruit local volunteers to enhance heating effectiveness in a Carleton Street three-bedroom house in Waltham on the Saturday before Martin Luther King Day.

The volunteers will work Jan. 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to make simple, low-cost improvements to the home that will result in a reduction of heating oil, water and electricity use in the home.

The project will prevent thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide from going into the environment each year, while also helping the family who lives in the home save approximately $400 per year on bills, according to the organization.

HEET, the organization that pioneered the energy efficiency “barnraising” model, will send workers to provide technical expertise and support. The volunteering effort is funded by the Massachusetts Service Alliance’s MLK Day of Service grant program.

Earlier this month, WATCH conducted a resource-use audit of the home with HEET and the owners. Like many homes in Waltham, the Carleton Street house has many areas in the basement, adjoining garage, attic and throughout the three-bedroom home that let cold air in and allow hot air to escape.

During the project, volunteers will seal up the building to reduce heating costs and will also make changes to reduce use of water, and electricity. They will also insulate piping and venting, replace old light bulbs with compact fluorescents, set up power strips that prevent large appliances like televisions from using energy when not actively in use, seal up cracks and holes in the basement, and conduct other necessary repairs.

“I can’t think of a better activity for this holiday weekend," said WATCH executive director Erica Schwarz. "The homeowners will save significant money and live in a more comfortable home. The volunteers learn about cheap, simple, really effective changes they can use to save money at their own homes, and all of us feel great about working together to help a neighbor and protect the environment."

WATCH still seeks several more adult and teenage volunteers to ensure they can complete the tasks identified in the audit. No experience is necessary - just a willingness to learn. The event will end with a lunch, and volunteers will receive a parting gift for their own home before they leave.

Residents interested in learning more or participating should contact WATCH by January 17 at 781-891-6689 x200, or email watch@watchcdc.org.

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Follow us on Twitter: @yourtownwaltham, @jaclynreiss

Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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