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Cooler weather pushes locals to winterize their homes

By Ed Brock

On Friday Ron Bailey was rolling down the aisles of the Lowe's home improvement store in Stockbridge with fat rolls of pink insulation stacked on a flatbed cart.

“It's for a crawl space that was just never insulated,” Bailey said. “I've been meaning to get around to it.”

It was a $75 mail-in rebate that finally drove Bailey to take care of that chore rather than the sub-freezing temperatures that chilled Clayton and Henry counties Thursday night. Nor was it the looming possibility of higher heating bills this weekend, though Bailey said that is on his mind.

“We were paying 69 cents a therm and now we're up to $1.09 a therm,” Bailey said. “I heard it's going to peak.”

Apparently a lot of other people are also taking steps to keep their heating bills down this summer and not all of them are do-it-yourselfers like Bailey.

Business is jumping at Don's Insulation in Ellenwood. They install insulation in floors and attics.

“Evidently this business about the high cost of fuel, people are taking it into their minds,” said owner Don Schafer. “Where we would get a call a week we're now getting a call a day.”

That surge in business doesn't come without some mixed feelings, however.

“I hate seeing high prices but that's when people call you, then and in the summer when it's really hot,” Schafer said.

There are dollars to be saved in winterizing a home, said Karl Goldhahn, owner of Home Renewal Inc. in Stockbridge.

“In my own house I replaced all the windows,” Goldhahn said.

The new windows have double panes of “low emmisivity” or “Low-e” glass.

“It bounces the radiant heat back to the source,” Goldhahn said.

Also, between the panes is a layer of argon gas that adds further insulation. Of course, the windows cost around $380 for a regular size window.

Goldhahn has also replaced the doors of his house with insulated doors and even put insulating foam gaskets under the cover plates of his outdoor electric outlets and switches.

“Generally speaking a lot of air infiltration comes in through the light switches,” Goldhahn said.

Other popular items at Lowe's on Friday were space heaters, firewood and, for Sandra Grantham of Stockbridge, cedar wood chips for her dogs.

“To winterize their home,” Grantham said. “They're upset that I didn't buy it yesterday.”