What better way to celebrate Fall than by saving some money? (Okay, jumping in a pile of leaves is just as great.) With the temperature beginning to drop, it’s time to start looking around the house for ways to save on energy costs. Follow these savings tips below to reconfigure your home for energy savings in the colder months, as well as take advantage of some great tax credits and deductions for energy-efficient purchases.
Free and Easy
Some of the best ways to save money as it gets cooler are also completely free.
- Open your window shades during the day to let the warmth of the sun heat your home and take the bite out of the cold.
- Turn the thermostat down a few degrees below your preference at night and fill in the warmth-gap by bundling up under the covers. Even if you don’t have a closet full of unused blankets, a warm flannel comforter costs less than a month of electricity.
- You know that switch on the side of your ceiling fan? Flip the switch and reverse your ceiling fans to help circulate the warm air above your head.
- Close the air vents to the rooms that you’re not using. Only heat the rooms that are occupied on a regular basis. No sense in keeping your lonely furniture nice and toasty!
- Whether you’re heating your home with a fireplace or with a central heater or furnace, keep your hot air inside by double checking your insulation and weather stripping. Fill those gaps in the windows and doors, and make sure the attic has the necessary defense against the cold air outside.
Saving While Spending
Let’s face it, sometimes we have to repair or upgrade our homes. And with those somewhat intimidating words comes one thing: spending money. But when it comes to creating a more energy-efficient home, you could save on your energy bill and taxes.
The Residential Energy Efficient Property Tax Credit offers you some major tax breaks when it comes to purchasing qualifying energy-efficient appliances. The IRS is offering a credit on your tax return for 30% of the cost of alternative energy purchases – Wind Energy from Wind Turbines, Solar Energy from Solar Panel Systems, and Solar Hot Water Heaters.
Not only will these alternative resources save you money each month, but they’ll reduce the amount of taxes you owe, helping to turn your tax bill into a tax refund. What makes this credit even better is that there is no limit on the amount of available credit. Your credit is 30% of your qualified purchase.
And get this, if your credit is greater than the amount of taxes you owe during this current year, the government will let you roll over the remainder of your savings to the next tax year. Uncle Sam, what a guy!
Don’t worry about knowing the tax laws. TurboTax will ask you simple questions and give you the tax deductions and credits you are eligible for.