Winter weather hits North Idaho on Saturday

SPOKANE, Wash. - Wednesday marks an important day in Washington State, Weatherization day.

Oct. 30 is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of weatherizing homes before the Inland Northwest's brutal winter temperatures take hold.

Ron Gaunt, a technical services coordinator for SNAP, and his team help weatherize homes for low-income families around Spokane.

Gaunt said something as simple as wrapping a pipe in a material resembling a pool noodle could mean the difference between a cold winter and a comfortable one for families in need.

 "It keeps the heat from escaping from these pipes, and instead it's going up into the apartments," Gaunt said. 

SNAP says they weatherized almost two hundred and fifty homes for low-income families in Spokane County in 2018.

The work SNAP does includes working on windows, doors, electrical and plumbing systems, furnaces, heaters and much more. According to SNAP, these kinds of weatherization programs can have numerous benefits.

The National Association for State Community Service Programs say weatherization can drop heating bills by an average of 30 percent.

It can also impact your health. According to the NASCSP, families in weatherized home reported drops in overall medical costs, issues with asthma and missed days of school.

Gaunt said people who want to weatherize their own homes should put down heat tape, change furnace filters, place a weather strip around doors and caulk up any holes around windows or doors that could cause drafts.

Gaunt wants to help people in Spokane be happy and make sure they're saving energy. He says his community lets him know what they think of his work.

"I probably have a wall of about 500 letters," Gaunt said. 

An application for SNAP's weatherization program is available here. The organization is also looking for people to join the weatherization team, and more information can be found here.