If 'cash for caulkers' starts, we should rethink how we heat our homes


A "cash for caulkers" program being studied by the Obama administration should look at much more than caulking windows and other simple ways to give households money to pay for weatherization projects.

Filling in air gaps where heat escapes from homes is a good start to cutting heating bills and thus cut America's energy use, but any stimulus project aimed at homes should look at how most American homes are heated and how to do it more efficiently.

New York Times columnist David Leonhardt recently wrote about the home weatherization version of the wildly successful cash for clunkers program. It would help put contractors and construction workers back to work insulating homes and caulking air leaks, while saving homeowners money in the long term by weatherizing their homes.