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Winterize And Be Warm

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Agenda Publications
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Arm Arbor's winterization ordininance is a little-known secret, made law in 1985 by energy-conscious and tenant activists. If you're a tenant, you have a right to be warm all through the winter, no matter who pays the heat bill in your home. The City Housing Code along with the Ecology Center weatherizationprogram and Ann Arbor Tenants Union guidelines can ensure that you have a warm winter, without paying exorbitant heating bilis. A properly weatherized home has an insulated attic and all doors, Windows and cracks or gaps to the outside caulked, weatherstripped or otherwise insulated so that cold air cannot enter. Attic insulation must be not less that R-30 valué (this figure pertains to the type and thickness of the insulation), unless it was ins talled prior to 1985, in which case itneed only be R-19. All rental housing in which the tenant pays the heat bill, pays the landlord for heat in addition to rent, or is subject to rent increases when utility bilis go up, is covered under the winterization ordinance. (Exceptions include an owner-occupant landlord and a home which would require significant structural changes in order for proper winterization to take place.) The City Housing Code also says that no matter who pays the heat bill in rental housing, the heating system must be capable of heating every room to at least 68 degrees, three feet off the floor. On heating andor winterization problems, you may cali the Housing Inspection Bureau for an inspection. If your home is not winterized, notify your landlord. The landlord may agree to do the job, or you can notify himher that you will weatherize and send the bilí for material s and labor along with your next rent check. If your landlord is unreasonably slow to respond, one surefire way to get hisher attention is to deduct your heat bill from your rent Send your reduced rent check, a copy of your heat bill, and a letter explaining that you will give your landlord the withheld funds once weatherization is installed. The Ecology Center of Ann Arbor has a Home Energy Works Program to help Ann Arbor homeowners and renters conserve energy through weatherization. For all income-eligible persons, a representive of the Ecology Center will visit your home, talk with you about weatherization, go through the house and show you where to use caulking, weatherstripping and plastic, leave you the appropriate materials, and wrap your hot water heater with fiberglass insulation material. The Ecology Center will install the weatherizaion for seniors citizens and disabled persons. Households are income eligible as follows: $21,5501 person, $24,600 2 people to $34,6506 people. The Ecology Center receives funds under a Community Development Block Grant (federal money administered by the City) to do 110 home visitations per year. Non-eligible persons may cali the Ecology Center and request information through the mail or use the Ecology Center library. For further information, cali the Ann Arbor Tenants Union, 4001 Michigan Union, at 763-6876 or the Ecology Center, 417 Detroit Su, at 76 1 -3 1 86. Theresa Schneider is the Ecology Center Home Energy Visit Program Coördinator.


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