The Benefits of Energy Efficiency

Just as there are many ways to make your home more energy efficient, from better insulation to new windows and doors, from solar panels to the newest in energy efficient whole-house heating and cooling systems, there are just as many benefits to making your home more energy efficient. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is the immediate savings in utility costs. A homeowner with a new system can expect to save between twenty and forty percent compared to an old, less efficient system. A new system also gives you the peace of mind that comes with confidence in the reliability of your furnace and air conditioner. One benefit you may not have considered, though, is this…

The Residential Energy Efficiency Property Tax Credit

That’s right, the U.S. Department of Energy is offering real, tangible tax credits through the end of 2016 when you make your home more energy efficient. These tax credits are valid on qualifying equipment installed in your existing home during the years 2015 and 2016. The cumulative maximum amount of tax credit that can be claimed by a taxpayer in all years is a combined $500. In fact, even if you have already claimed a tax credit of $500 for purchases made in a previous year, you may still be eligible for additional tax credits for new equipment purchases.

Qualifying equipment

Qualifying equipment includes energy efficiency improvements to your existing home, including heating, cooling and water-heating equipment. The credit is equal to the full cost of the equipment, with different caps depending on the item. Qualifying equipment includes:

  • Hot water heaters, electric heat pumps and central air conditioners that meet established energy efficiency standards
  • Advanced main air circulating fans
  • Insulation materials and systems designed to reduce a home’s heat loss or gain
  • New doors and windows that meet established energy efficiency standards

As they say on late night infomercials, “But wait, there’s more!”

Nonbusiness Energy Property Tax Credit

Equipment and materials may also quality for the NonBusiness Energy Property Tax Credit if they meet efficiency standards set by the Department of Energy. You can claim these credits for 10% of the cost of Qualified Energy Efficiency Improvements and 100% of Residential Energy Property Costs, up to certain caps depending on the equipment.

Qualified Energy Efficiency Improvements include:

  • Home insulation
  • Exterior doors
  • Exterior windows and skylights
  • Certain roofing materials

Residential energy Property Costs include:

  • Electric heat pumps
  • Electric heat pump water heaters
  • Central air conditioning systems
  • Natural gas, propane or oil water heaters and boilers
  • Stoves that use biomass fuel
  • Natural gas, propane or oil furnaces
  • Advanced circulating fans for natural gas, propane or oil furnaces

Bottom line…

Improving the energy efficiency of your home will pay off, in more ways than one.

Are you ready to make your home more energy efficient? Call Crown Group Ohio to find out more!

Common Home Heating Mistakes

Do you feel like your energy bills have skyrocketed for no reason? Or are you suddenly finding that uneven heating is an issue in your home? You may be making a common home heating error! Read on to find out what they are and how you can fix these mistakes.

Installing the wrong size unit

One of the most important factors with any new furnace is size. A furnace that’s too big can lead to overly high energy bills, uneven heating and a system that frequently has to turn on and off in order to function properly. A furnace that’s too small will have to run constantly to maintain temperature and may not be able to heat up your entire home efficiently.

Solution: Always work with an HVAC company you can trust to ensure your unit is properly sized for your home’s needs.

Not using curtains properly

Homeowners often feel that in the winter, keeping the curtains closed at all times will help keep the cold air and drafts out. While that’s true to a certain extent, uncovered windows can also help to let the natural heat of the sun in when used strategically.

Solution: Keep curtains open when it’s sunny out (even when it’s cold!) in order to naturally heat your home. Close curtains when it’s dark outside. Properly seal around all windows to ensure the cold air and drafts stay out.

Neglecting to change the filter

The filter on your unit collects dust and debris before it makes its way into the air you breath. When the filter is not changed or cleaned frequently, unwanted build-up can accumulate which will not only negatively impact indoor air quality in your home, but can also cause your system to overwork and break down completely.

Solution: Change your filter regularly, generally every 2-3 months or more often depending on the type of filter and unit you have.

Skipping maintenance

Regular furnace maintenance will help to detect problems before they arise, but it’s often something that many homeowners overlook or simply decide to forego. During a maintenance appointment, your furnace will be inspected thoroughly and cleaned, which will help it to run more efficiently and prevent inconvenient breakdowns.

Solution: Schedule regular maintenance appointments with your HVAC company to ensure your furnace is working efficiently.

Closing or blocking the vents

Many people think that closing off the vents in rooms that aren’t used very often will save money and energy. However, this can cause major airflow issues. Blocking airflow can actually end up costing you more money as your unit may have to work harder and the increased pressure may cause air to escape through ducts and cracks where it should not.

Solution: Leave air vents open and don’t block them with furniture or rugs.

Are you making any of these home heating mistakes? Call Crown Group Ohio if you need help correcting them!