TK Tips

Thinking Big

The much larger cost fixes.

What else can you do now or in the future? Replace appliances, heating units, light fixtures and bulbs with high-efficiency replacements.

Unfortunately, it costs money to save money. But it’s good to keep in the back of your mind that many experts recommend buying high-efficiency windows and appliances as their predecessors wear out and you need to replace them anyway. Over time, the extra cost is recouped in improved efficiency.

  • Window replacement. While an adequate vinyl window might cost $100-$150, a double-paned window with a low e-rating can cost $50-$100 more. That can add up when you’ve got 17-24 windows in your house. You can add energy-saving$50-$100 per window for a professional carpenter to install them and it should not cost over $250 per a standard size window. You can either finance a total window replacement or replace a few windows as you save for it.
  • Furnaces over 20. Celebrating the 20th birthday for your furnace can be a wonderful but expensive day. According to Energy Star that’s the year you’re probably paying far more than  you use to for it.  Energy Star is a federal-government-backed program that promotes energy efficiency and that lends its name to energy-saving products. Furnaces bearing the Energy Star label are about 15% more efficient than a standard conventional older model. No need to worry about the cost of a new furnace it will pay for itself in 3-4 years.
  • No power costs money. Did you know that when a house looses its electric power that it looses its core temperature, refrigerator temperature, water filtration, blowers, fans and lighting. Appliances will need to run sometimes up to 1.5 hours to fully recover from a sudden power loss. Install a back up power system it will pay for itself in just a few outages.

Note: Many utilities offer discounts or rebates on energy-saving products. Call and ask your local utility company. Financing is sometimes available for major improvements that will incorporate energy-efficient products or to purchase a high-efficiency home.

Energy Tax Credit for Principal Residence 2010-2011

First of all the energy tax deductions must be for your existing home and your principal residence. This tax deduction does not apply to new construction or rentals. The tax credit is for 30% of the cost up to $1,500 for the following items;

  • Biomass Stoves
  • Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning (HVAC)
  • Roofs (Metal & Asphalt)
  • Water Heaters (non-solar)
  • Windows & Doors

Existing Homes & New Construction Principal Residence & Second Homes

This energy tax credit does not apply to rentals, but it will save you 30% of costs with no upper limit. The items listed here will qualify for this energy tax credit;

  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
  • Small Wind Turbines (Residential)
  • Solar Energy Systems

Existing Homes New Construction Principal Residence

This energy tax credit does not apply to rentals or second homes. You will save 30% of the costs and up to $500 per .5 kW of power capacity.

  • Fuel Cells (Residential Fuel Cell and Micro Turbine System)

Tax Credits

Tax credits are generally more valuable than a tax deduction because a tax credit reduces tax dollar for dollar. If you want to lower your energy bills, reduce air pollution, increase indoor comfort, lower gasoline costs, and release fewer emissions into the atmosphere then, please purchase fuel efficient vehicles and energy efficient appliances.

Federal Tax Incentives State Rebates

Some products will qualify for federal incentives and some will be eligible for state rebates. There are also state incentives for energy efficient homes, vehicles and equipment. You may want to check the online for each state’s energy office for more information on specific state tax information. I included some helpful links at the bottom of this page.

Learn More about Federal Energy Tax Credits & Deductions

If you would like more information about tax deductions or credits for energy efficiency you should visit your accountant. They have 100s of articles in their support section for just anything to do with taxes. Don’t miss out on one single deduction you deserve to claim when you file your taxes this year. Make sure your energy tax credit deduction doesn’t slip through the cracks and you get the biggest tax refund possible!

How Often Should a Preventive Maintenance Review be Done on an Electrical Panel?

TK Tips How Often Should a Preventive Maintenance Review be Done on an Electrical Panel? When was the last time you had your electrical panel serviced? Service Tip! – You should have your homes panel inspected on a yearly basis for loose connections.  Keep panel doors and box covers closed.  Dust and moisture are two of…

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Knob and Tube Wiring vs. Insurance Companies

TK Tips Knob and Tube Wiring vs. Insurance Companies Knob – and – tube wiring was the accepted method of electrical wiring for buildings constructed in North America from 1880 until 1950. This system of wiring is considered obsolete and a safety hazard. How Knob and Tube Works Knob and Tube wiring consists of insulated…

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Ice Storm and Blizzard Outage!

TK Tips Ice Storm and Blizzard Outage! Ice storms and blizzards can snap power lines just as easily as any hurricane. Heavy ice can accumulate causing overweight branches to come crashing down on power lines even days after a storm, spawning prolonged power outages during the darkest days of the year.2008 New England Ice Storm…

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Stores without Generators

TK Tips Stores without Generators During a blizzard blackout, you can’t just jump into your car and rent a backup generator. Heck you can’t find a generator for weeks. After 4 days without road access I was finally able to drive to Home “Sold Out” Depot. I said to the clerk ” I need a…

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Sizzling Idea

TK Tips Sizzling Idea If you purchase a portable generator, make sure you purchase a Manual Transfer Switch too. Why? Most furnaces don’t have electrical outlets. You can’t plug your generator into your furnace, electric oven, hot water tank, or light fixtures. Also, wiring your generator wrong can injure or even kill someone we love…

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Deep Freeze Warning

TK Tips Deep Freeze Warning If you’re traveling or work away from home often (like a vacation home in the mountains or a office in the city), buy a simple Temperature Alarm that will call you if the power goes out or THP201P_500the inside temperature drops significantly. We were rightfully concerned about the water pipes…

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Generator Safety

TK Tips Downed utility lines, power company blackouts, heavy snowfall or Summer thunderstorms could all lead to temporary power outages – some lasting for days, or even weeks. December 2008 we who were residing in the Northeast experienced a devastating Ice Storm right before celebrating the Christmas Holiday. Freezing rain downed trees and power lines…

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Extension Cords Can Pack a Punch.

TK Tips If plugging in extension cords inspect each cord for any damage like cuts, cracks or broken grounds (don’t use non grounded cords). Ungrounded damaged cords can lead to electrocution and even death. Large appliances require a heavy duty 20-amp outdoor extension cord plugged directly into the 20-amp outlet on your portable generator. Running…

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Transfer Switch is Key!

TK Tips For over 35 years I have installed generator systems and can tell you that the best way to use a portable generator is with a Power Transfer Switch. These indoor surface mounted transfer switches are designed for fast installation in residential applications. The 18-inch flexible conduit whip attaches to the load center and…

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16 Ways To Lower Your Heating And Electric Bills

TK Tips By: Timothy K. Lyden Jr. Cost of heating oil, natural gas and fuel in general keep steadily rising, but there are many things you can do to cut your costs this winter. As a homeowner I’m continuously trying to save on home heating and electric bills. It seems that the cost each year…

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Plugging Leaks

TK Tips The low cost of saving. The small things can take some time but one by one you can tackle them. First, have you ever notice the cold breeze across the living room floor? That’s the small leaks or gaps around the doors, windows and electrical outlets on outside walls. To find the leaks…

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