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Cash for Caulkers Part 1: Home Star Rebates Reimburse Homeowners for Insulation and Air and Duct Sealing

6/18/2010 12:00:00 AM

Tags: caulk, caulking, home star program, senate, bill, retrofits, insulation, air duct sealing

The “Cash for Caulkers” home-retrofitting rebate program that President Obama introduced last March is getting off the ground. Dubbed the Home Star program, it passed the House last month, and supporters are confident that it will pass the Senate by summer’s end. The bill provides $6 billion in rebates for energy-efficient home improvements. Rebate amounts differ for each of the 13 different types of home retrofits.

home star insulation
Need to add insulation to your walls? The Home Star program offers rebates for that. Photo By Christopher Porter/Courtesy Flickr. 

Air sealing: Homeowners can receive rebates for sealing both interior and exterior air leaks. Sealants, caulks, foams and weather stripping are included.
Rebate Amount: $1,500 

Duct replacement and sealing: Replacement ducts must cover at least 50 percent of a home’s distribution system, and duct sealing must be installed by Building Performance Institute (BPI) standards.
Rebate Amount: $1,000 

Attic insulation: Added insulation must result in a total R-38 insulation value for climate zones 1 through 4, R-49 for climate zones 5 through 8, and cover at least 100 percent of an accessible attic or 75 percent of the home’s total conditioned footprint.
Rebate Amount: $1,000 

Wall insulation: To receive a rebate for wall insulation, the insulation must add R-10 of continuous insulation and cover 75 percent of the home’s total external wall area.
Rebate Amount: $1,500 

Crawl space of basement insulation: For a crawl space, the insulation must add at least R-19 of cavity insulation or R-15 of continuous insulation. For basement walls, the insulation must add R-13 of cavity insulation or R-10 of continuous insulation. In both cases the added insulation must cover at least 500 square feet. For rim joist insulation, the rim joist must be fully covered with at least R-10 of continuous insulation or R-13 of cavity insulation.
Rebate Amount: $250 for each rim joist insulation 

Check back in throughout the week for more details on the remaining eight retrofit categories.

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Leonard Kasper
6/4/2011 5:41:55 PM
I am currently working on a Habitat For Humanity home which has a requirement that confuses me. We are told that after wrapping the interior with plastic and the sheet rock being finished, the bottom of the trusses must be caulked with a bead of foam to the ceiling below. Every truss, both sides. Can you explain how this adds to thermal efficiency, or where I can find the information?

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