There was a time not that long ago when credit was a dirty word, when “reputable” people either bought what they needed by paying cash for it or went without. My, how times have changed. No longer must a person deny themselves even the most frivolous trinket until they have the cash with which to purchase it; they just whip out one of a stack of credit cards and shop to their heart’s content. Read more
For Your Home
The Energy Tax Credit is one of the best ways to save money on your taxes involving home improvements.
Here is a basic run down of how the tax credit currently works and which products are eligible.
1. Tax credits are available at up to 30% of the cost, with a cap of $1,500 in 2009 & 2010 (only for existing homes, not new construction, and must be your principle residence) for:
- Windows and Doors
- Water Heaters
- Biomass Stoves
Tax credits are available at 30% of the cost, with no upper limit, through 2016 (for existing homes & new construction – this doesn’t have to be your principle residence, for:
- Geothermal Heat Pumps
- Solar Panels
- Solar Water Heater
- Small Wind Energy Systems
The best energy efficient windows are the ones that keep the heat in during the winter months and the cool air in during the summer months.
However, many windows allow for air to pass through them easily. Which can be a huge part of your energy usage.
In fact, those with windows that are not providing a good amount of insulation can be losing up to 30 percent of their energy usage…”Right out the window!”
The Candle Check
You can’t always feel or see a draft from your window.
So take a leaf blower to the outside of your windows.
Inside your home, run a candle slowly along the edges. Notice where the candle moves. If there is movement from any area, then this is an immediate problem that’s costing you money.
Once you have an idea of where the problem areas with your windows actually are, you can remedy them by replacing or adding caulking around the interior or exterior of your home’s windows.
Consider weather stripping as well. You can purchase self sticking foam as well as rubber weather stripping that can be added to virtually any window.
Should You Replace? Read more
Do-it-yourself residential solar energy projects are great ways to save energy
In fact, solar energy for homes can make your home energy savings so high that you couldn’t call it home energy savings anymore…you’d have to call it something like…Free Energy”
The problem with adding solar energy panels for most people is that it’s not very cost effective.
When residential solar energy panels are installed by solar energy companies it can set you back over $30,000 and take almost 30 years to get paid back, depending on the current energy tax credits and your local utility rebates that may be provided for your area.
Who, in this economy, has that much time and money to invest in solar energy equipment?
Installing energy efficient light bulbs throughout your home is one of the many ways to save energy and one of the more practical ways to save money on your utilities.
In addition to replacing your old energy consuming incandescent light bulbs with your new energy saving light bulbs, try making it a habit to turn your lights off each time you leave a room. But don’t let the energy savings stop there…
If you have a string of say (4) lights in a particular room, you might consider utilizing just two of the light sockets in that room if it provides sufficient light for your needs.
So what are these new and improved light bulbs called? They are called “Compact Fluorescent Bulbs”, and they truly do “Outshine the Rest”!