This winter, make sure your house or apartment is ready for the cold weather. Keep repair costs low by weatherizing your home and using these resources to prepare for freezing temperatures and snow. Below are a few of the weatherization assistance programs and home repair services available to help you ready your home for the winter.
Weatherization Assistance Programs
ACTION housing provides homeowners and renters with free weatherization services. The services are designed to improve energy efficiency, reduce utility bills, and create a more comfortable home.
To be eligible for the program, you must:
- Meet certain income eligibility requirements (see table below)
- Live in a City of Pittsburgh Ward, Allegheny County, or Washington or Greene counties.
- Have lived in your home for three months and be able to provide us with three months of utility bills.
- If you do not own your home, you must have the approval of the home owner to seek weatherization services.
- Complete the entire weatherization application.
- Be willing to allow us to perform our services on the property as we deem necessary.
For more information, see ACTION Housing’s website.
This free weatherization program is for low-income customers who need to reduce their natural gas usage but cannot afford to make improvements. To be eligible, you must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. For more information, fill out Columbia Gas’s online form or call 1-800-537-7431.
Emergency Repair Programs
Columbia Gas provides some emergency funds for customers who are in need of repairs or replacements of gas furnaces, water heaters, gas lines and space heaters in emergency situations. For more information about funds available and eligibility, call 1-800-537-7431.
LIHEAP Crisis Grants may be available for households experiencing a heating crisis, such as
- Broken heating equipment or leaking lines that must be fixed or replaced
- Lack of fuel
- Termination of utility service
- Danger of being without fuel (less than a 15-day supply) or of having utility service terminated (received a notice that service will be shut off within the next 60 days)
LIHEAP Crisis Grants can be directed towards your main heating supplier, whether a gas or electric company. To apply, call 412-770-3677 or contact your local county assistance office.
Habitat for Humanity offers home repair assistance for eligible households experiencing both major and minor problems. In addition to energy efficiency and weatherization repairs, Habitat for Humanity can also provide crisis repairs for emergency situations, especially dealing with health and safety hazards. See the program guidelines for eligibility requirements. You can also apply by contacting Michelle at 412-450-8520 ext. 10 or [email protected]
Tips for Winter Home Safety & Efficiency
- Repair caulking on windows and doors. If you cannot do this, get window and door insulators for low cost at places like Walmart and Aldi.
- Have an emergency heating source like a portable space heater, kerosene heater, or wood fireplace.
- Install and check smoke detectors.
- Keep pipes from freezing by wrapping them with newspaper. You can also leave a small drip in some of your home’s faucets.
- Keep flashlights, extra blankets, a first-aid kit, nonperishable/ready-to-eat food available in case of emergency.
- Do not leave space heaters running when you leave the home.
- Avoid blocking heat registers, radiators, etc. with furniture or cloth items.
- If you rent and have questions or concerns about your home’s heating system and safety, talk to your landlord.
- To lower heating costs, keep the thermostat set around 68 degrees F and wear warmer layers indoors.
For additional tips on home safety and security in the winter, check out these tips.
If you need assistance with utilities, shelter, winter clothing, or other winter-preparedness and need help connecting to any of these resources, contact ISAC by calling 412-742-4200, emailing [email protected], or filling out the online referral form. We will communicate with you in the language you are most comfortable speaking to help you navigate these services.