Posts Tagged ‘#Insulation’

Get Tax Breaks & Save Money With Home Insulation Projects

Whether it is summer or winter, one thing that you will probably agree on is that your house is a lot more livable because of having home insulation. If you added insulation to your house before the end of the previous year, you now qualify to collect an energy tax credit of $500.

Tax credit deadlines and limits:
It is a lifetime credit of 10% of expenditures for all green energy improvements combined, which equals to nearly $500 for the year.

You are eligible as long as you had installed insulation in your house by December 31, 2013. Make sure you have labels and receipts as proof. Keep in mind that IRS Form 5695 will have to be filed with the return.

Insulation Costs
It is a comparatively affordable home improvement project to add insulation to your house, and you can feel the savings almost immediately. If you are a Do-It-Yourselfer, you can even tackle an insulation project yourself over a weekend.

So for instance, if you have a 2,200 square-foot home, adding attic insulation will cost you anywhere between $1,000 and $2,500 including labor. This depends on how much is put it and how easily the home insulation can be installed. When being added around ductwork that is hard-to-reach or to exterior walls, expense and effort can go up.

R-Values Of Insulation
The insulating power of insulation depends on its number value, which is a measurement of how well it resists heat flow. For most attics, the recommended R-values of insulation should be anywhere between 30 and 60. The sweet spot for most attics is usually R-38, which depending on the type of insulation is anywhere between 12 and 15 inches. In colder climates, insulation with an R-Value of R-49 is recommended.

Energy Audits & Savings
Depending on your location and how much home insulation is currently installed in your house, you can trim your household cooling and heating costs up to 50% with the addition of more. With merely 6 inches of R-30 insulation, around $200 can be saved annually. Even more ways of saving energy can be uncovered with energy audits.

Last year, the tax break for many energy-efficient home improvements made through 2013 was extended by Congress. That is why up to $500 can be received in total tax breaks if you qualify for any home green energy improvements you have made since 2006. If you have not already claimed a break of $500 or more for home improvements, such as home insulation, then go ahead and take it now.

Prep for winter

1. Close Sprinklers
If you have a sprinkler system, make sure you close the pipes by hiring a professional contractor who can use a machine to drain the water out of the pipes so that the pipes wont break when water freezes.

prepare your home for winter2. Plant for spring
Its a good idea to seed or patch your lawn before the winter so you can have a good lawn next year. Also plant some tulips and other annuals. Sometimes you get really good deals on plants as nurseries want to get rid of plants.

3. Turn off air-conditioners
Its a good idea to turn off the air-conditioners and keep them covered during the winter.

4. Yard and Gutter cleanup
Clean up all the leaves in your yard and gutters so that ice will not damage the gutters.

5. Check furnace and heater
As you will be using the furnace a lot in winter, hire a professional to take check on the heating system including the water heater.

6. Duct/Vent Cleaning
Clean your ducts and vents to make sure there is no blockage or dust. Replace air filters.

7. Seal doors and Windows
Make sure your doors and windows are sealed properly and no leaks exist. If you have the budget use a film on your windows that will stop heat loss.

8. Fireplace & Chimney Cleanup
If you have a wood burning fireplace then you can hire a pro to inspect the chimney and clean up the chimney and fireplace. Generally you do not need a pro to cleanup fireplace as you can do it yourself unless you are hiring a pro to cleanup chimney.

9. Get room heaters
Now a days you can get local room heaters inexpensively that will keep the area heated where you are seated. There is no point in heating up an entire house if you are going to be in family room watching TV for 4-5 hours.

10. Winter tools
Keep a shovel ready to cleanup minor snow. If you get lot of snow, then either buy a snow blower or hire someone to remove your snow. Also buy a remote starter for you car and have snow removal tools in your car.

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