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Tips to keep your heating costs down and a Metro Council effort that aims to help

A row of homes and a row of cars dusted with snow.
Erik Mclean
/
Unsplash
There is$15,000 available to some District 4 residents for home repairs.

Louisville Metro’s home repair program is in high demand and funds rarely cover the needs of everyone who’s eligible.

Democratic District 4 Council Member Jecorey Arthur represents downtown and some neighborhoods in the West End. He set aside $15,000 of his district’s funds to go toward emergency home repairs for some of his constituents.

“Furnaces are the obvious low-hanging fruit of what that repair might be,” Arthur said. “It also might include weatherization of somebody's home, if their heat is escaping.”

Arthur said, with temperatures plummeting, he wanted to help his neighbors stay warm.

“The priority for this funding, for this $15,000, was to go toward whatever repairs that they submitted for to help with heating their homes so that people are comfortable in the winter,” Arthur said.

The city’s Office of Housing will assess more than a dozen homeowners in Arthur’s district who have already applied for Louisville Metro’s home repair program and distribute the funds accordingly. Arthur said he’s prepared to request the transfer of more of his neighborhood funds, depending on the outstanding need.

When temperatures are below freezing for an extended period of time, it could impact how well household systems like heating and plumbing work. However, homeowners and renters can take steps to prevent weather-related damage.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, keeping cold air out is an essential step to protecting homes and balancing heating costs. Here’s some advice from the agency on how to do that:

  • Use caulk or weather strips to seal windows, doors and other areas where cold air is leaking.
  • Cover drafty windows with plastic sheets or heavy drapes.
  • Seal fireplace openings and block crawl space vents. 

Residents can also adjust thermostats and utilize natural light to prevent skyrocketing energy bills.

To maintain integral housing structures, like pipes, the Louisville Water Company suggests wrapping those exposed with insulating material. The agency also advises residents to open doors of cabinets that contain pipes and allow faucets to release slow, steady streams of water to keep piping from freezing.

Yasmine Jumaa is LPM’s race and equity reporter. Email Yasmine at yjumaa@lpm.org.