This year more than ever, tax payers are anxiously awaiting their tax refund. But instead of spending it on a luxury items as they may have done in the past, most people are planning to either save it for a rainy day or spend it on a necessity for their family. In an economic world that has been completely turned upside down, a tax refund offers a rare chance to get a little ahead.
One way that homeowners can maximize their tax refund is to invest part of it in affordable home energy efficiency upgrades. By using those precious extra dollars to reduce energy used on a daily basis, they can continue to save on energy costs year after year.
There are several affordable ways to make your home more energy efficient, and many of them you can do yourself:
Paint on Insulation - Purchase insulating paint and increase the thermal resistance of your walls, ceiling and water heater. One insulation coating called Nansulate HomeProtect (http://www.nansulate.com/homeprotect.htm) offers resistance to mold growth, is painted on with brush, roller or sprayer, and costs only 50 cents per S.F. Customers report energy savings between 20%-40%, which can add up fast to extra money in your pocket.
Upgrade an Old Appliance - Do you have an old washer, dryer or refrigerator that is eating up energy whenever it runs? Now may be the time to upgrade to a new energy efficient model - and get a nice government rebate. A new government initiative offers rebates to consumers who purchase energy efficient appliances. Visit http://www.energysavers.gov/financial/70022.html and click on your state to see how you can take advantage of this program.
Increase Window Energy Efficiency - Invest in a few simple fixes and reduce the heat loss/gain through windows by making them more energy efficient. Caulk around windows to reduce air leakage; Use window treatments or coverings to control heat transfer through windows; Improve insulation and reduce leaks by installing storm windows. Low cost fixes that can lower your heating and cooling costs.
Make the Switch to CFL - You hear about them all the time, so why wait any longer? Invest part of that tax refund in Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL). Each bulb can save you about $30 over its lifetime and pay for itself in about 6 months. Switch over all the light bulbs in your home to CFL and reduce lighting energy costs by 75 percent over incandescent bulbs.
With a few smart investments to increase home energy efficiency, you can maximize your tax refund and keep it working for you and your family for years to come.