A weatherization installer or technician could...
|Help a family save money by installing insulation in the home's attic and crawlspace.||Perform an energy audit on a home to decide what weatherization techniques are most cost effective.|
|Install energy efficient windows to keep a house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.||Conduct a blower door test to evaluate how leaky a house is and determine the best way to fix the leaks.|
Key Facts & Information
|Overview||Houses are made up of walls, doors, windows, ducts, and attics. Our lives are centered around the rooms where we eat, sleep, and spend time with our friends and family. But, while walls, doors, windows, and ducts shelter us, they can also cost money in wasted energy. If any of these things "leak"—if they are not sealed tight or insulated—your house can be subject to changes in the weather, becoming too hot in summer or too cold in winter. In either case, keeping a "leaky" house comfortable can make the air-conditioning system or heating system work harder than necessary. Weatherization installers or technicians work on the homes of their clients to insulate, stop any potential leaks, and make their clients' homes more energy efficient and comfortable. This is a green career that combines mechanical skills with helping people.|
|Key Requirements||Focused work habits, timeliness, teamwork skills, dedication, physically fit constitution|
|Minimum Degree||Vocational school degree|
|Subjects to Study in High School||Physics, algebra, geometry; if available applied technology|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)||Average (7% to 13%) In Demand!|
Training, Other Qualifications
Weatherization installers or technicians can train for and earn Building Performance Institute (BPI) certification. Installers can seek training and certification in a variety of areas. BPI-certified professionals are regarded as specialists in their chosen fields by employers.
Education and Training
The minimum degree required for an entry-level position as a weatherization installer or technician is a high school degree. Candidates with high school degrees go through extensive on-the-job training. Community colleges, in preparation for training workers for green jobs, are offering weatherization installer courses. These courses are open to high school graduates with basic skills in math and carpentry. Candidates with training beyond high school will have an advantage when seeking employment.
Nature of the Work
Weatherization installers or technicians perform a variety of activities to weatherize homes and make them more energy efficient. They conduct energy audits on their clients' homes and advise them on possible energy conservation techniques. When working on a client's home, weatherization installers or technicians first determine the location of the home's thermal boundary and then identify all potential air leakage points. Leakage points can occur in ducts, around doors and windows, and in attics and crawlspaces. They determine the best methods and materials for sealing the air leakage points and then seal them. Weatherization installers or technicians also determine the best insulation for each application and make sure that their work is in compliance with all building and fire codes. They install blown-in cellulose insulation, fiberglass insulation, sealing, and other weatherization products in residences. Weatherization installers or technicians also repair and replace windows, roofs, or ventilation systems.
To help them make a home or building more energy efficient, weatherization installers or technicians use a variety of diagnostic tools:
- Blower doors are weatherization installers or technicians' go-to tool. They are used to measure the air leakage of a building. Once weatherization installers or technicians have fixed the leaks, the blower door can determine if the fixes are successful.
- Digital combustion analyzers are used to test for carbon monoxide and to ensure that the home's furnace is working at its highest possible efficiency.
- Infrared cameras detect thermal defects and air leakage in buildings.
Weatherization installers or technicians need physical stamina because the work frequently requires prolonged standing, bending, stooping, and working in attics, crawlspaces, and inside homes. They also may be required to lift and carry heavy objects.
A standard workweek is 40 hours.
On the Job
- Inspect buildings to identify required weatherization measures, including repair work, modification, or replacement.
- Recommend weatherization techniques to clients in accordance with needs and applicable energy regulations, codes, policies, or statutes.
- Test and diagnose airflow systems, using furnace efficiency-analysis equipment.
- Apply insulation materials such as loose, blanket, board, and foam insulation to attics, crawlspaces, basements, or walls.
- Explain energy-conservation measures, such as the use of low-flow showerheads and energy-efficient lighting.
- Install and seal air ducts, combustion air openings, or ventilation openings to improve heating and cooling efficiency.
- Install storm windows or storm doors and verify proper fit.
- Make minor repairs using basic hand or power tools and materials, such as glass, lumber, and drywall.
- Prepare and apply weather-stripping, glazing, caulking, or door sweeps to reduce energy losses.
- Prepare cost estimates or specifications for rehabilitation or weatherization services.
- Wrap air ducts and water lines with insulating materials, such as duct wrap and pipe insulation.
- Wrap water heaters with water heater blankets.
- Apply spackling, compounding, or other materials to repair holes in walls.
- Clean and maintain tools and equipment.
- Contact residents or building owners to schedule appointments.
- Explain recommendations, policies, procedures, requirements, or other related information to residents or building owners.
- Maintain activity logs, financial transaction logs, or other records of weatherization work performed.
- Prepare or assist in the preparation of bids, contracts, or written reports related to weatherization work.
Companies That Hire Weatherization Installer or Technicians
Explore what you might do on the job with one of these projects...
Do you have a specific question about a career as a Weatherization Installer or Technician that isn't answered on this page? Post your question on the Science Buddies Ask an Expert Forum.
- O*Net Online. (2009). National Center for O*Net Development. Retrieved May 1, 2009, from http://online.onetcenter.org/
- Greendepot:Blog. (2010). An interview with Curtis McKinney of the Chicago weatherization program. Green Depot. Retrieved May 9, 2010, from http://blog.greendepot.com/green-products/an-interview-with-curtis-mckinney-of-the-chicago-weatherization-program/
- Green for All. (2009, October 30). Weatherization in NY: Tahlia's Story. Retrieved April 29, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5U6ZO-3XGw
- Weatherization Assistance Program Technical Assistance Center. (2011). Weatherization assistance program technical tools. Retrieved May 9, 2011, from www.waptac.org/Technical-Tools.aspx