County's free heat duct inspection expands

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Clark County Community Development has expanded an energy audit program to Ridgefield, so residents can sign up to have a free home heating duct inspection.

The testing, which gauges air tightness and insulation, had been limited to residents in unincorporated areas and the city of Vancouver.

The program received a grant from U.S. Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Since March 2010, the county has inspected 360 homes.

Based on findings, the inspector will refer the resident to private contractors who can seal the home’s ducts or make other fixes, according to a county press release.

Duct sealing for a 1,800 square-foot home typically costs $600 to $1,000; residents who use the county’s audit program and use a contractor from an approved list can receive a $100 rebate. Clark Public Utilities and Northwest Natural, through the Energy Trust of Oregon, also have incentives.

Applicants must live in Ridgefield city limits and have a forced-air heating system with at least 50 percent of the ducts accessible through a crawl space or attic. Manufactured homes are excluded, and a renter must have the landlord’s approval.

To sign up, call Steve Alexander at 360-397-2375, ext. 4752 or email steve.alexander@clark.wa.gov.