More and More people feel cold in their homes - A cheap solution could help them
One-third of the children in Hungary live in unhealthy, damp, moldy homes. This is often because of doors and windows that are not insulated properly, but many families cannot afford to have them replaced. What can you do if you can’t afford to buy new windows, but you have had enough of having to heat the street? With the method of Ökoszolgálat, the draughty doors and windows of a home could be insulated for up to ten years, with a cost of only a few thousand Forints. Anyone can contribute to the initiative even with a little money, giving long-term support to underprivileged families.
Paradoxically, in Hungary, the poorest live in the homes with the highest heating expenses, with insufficient insulation. They have to pay a significant portion of their monthly expenses on overhead costs – heating, among others – and their homes still aren’t warm and dry enough. Homes with a lot of draught and mold are very unhealthy for those living in them, including children. However, proper, long-term insulation could be achieved in an average home by filling the gaps with silicone, from only 10-20.000 Forints and without the need to replace the doors and windows. This method, contrary to using sponges could insulate draughty doors and windows for at least 10 years. In the past six months, the staff of Ökoszolgáltat insulated the homes of 26 underprivileged families with the help and participation of volunteers and the home-owners themselves. They also held an eco training for them and distributed gift packages that contained eco-friendly and cost-effective tools such as citric acid and washing soda, to be used for cleaning.
This is just a drop in the ocean, but at least the method is available now, and it’s important to pass it on and share it! - a staff member of the organisation, Gyula Szabó says. With the help of a spechial machine that can be hired by anyone, the gaps of the doors and windows of a smaller home can be filled in just a few hours.
Besides gaining healthier living conditions, the families can save at least 15% on their heating costs, so their expenses may decrease significantly in the following years. Thus taking steps against energy poverty can improve the circumstances of underprivileged families in the long run. Despite this, there is hardly any government or municipal support available for the replacement or insulation of doors and windows. The organisation is now collecting donations at the Adjuk Össze crowdfunding website. Supporting insulation is a truly long-term investment with substantial effects. While a donation of food, clothing or cash in the value of a couple of tens of thousands of Forints does not make much difference to the finances of a family after a few months, with proper insulation, the family will be able to enjoy the support even after several years. Thanks to the decrease in heating costs, the financial value of the donation multiplies over the years. Donations of even HUF 1000 are very welcome at the crowdfunding website. This initiative can live on and make a real difference even on a small scale – through the insulation of one home at a time. However, it has the potential to make the lives of thousands of families and children healthier and more cost-effective.