If your old furnace seems to break down every time winter storms begin to brew and the temperature drops, it may be time for you to consider replacing your heating system. Even a highly skilled furnace repair company can only do so much to keep an old furnace going. The good news, however, is that as you learn more you'll find that today's fuel efficient furnaces will save you significant sums on utility costs. You can also get a substantial break on this year's taxes if you have certain types of energy features installed in your home. New construction and existing homes qualify for the tax credit as long as they are your primary residence and you are the homeowner rather than a renter. Following are four energy-efficient home improvement additions that will provide you with a tax credit of 30 percent provided they meet the requirements of the federal Energy Star program.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pumps operate on the same principle that their electrically powered counterparts do, except they use the natural heat from the Earth rather than outside air to produce household heat, hot water, and air conditioning. A properly installed geothermal heat pump that meets the requirements of the Energy Star program can reduce your hot water bills by half during the winter months and provide you with hot water for free during the summer. Geothermal heat pumps also use from between 25 to 50 percent less electric than other systems, so you'll save a significant amount on heating and cooling costs right from the start. They can also be installed almost anywhere in the United States because the ground temperature is relatively constant throughout the country.
Residential Wind Turbines
Small wind turbines convert the wind's kinetic energy into electric that can be used to fuel your home's electrical system. Residential wind turbines aren't the answer for everyone, however -- they won't work well in areas that don't get consistent wind activity over 10 mph. Before you make a financial commitment to having a wind turbine installed, schedule an appointment with a qualified HVAC contractor to discuss whether it's a viable option for your particular location. They work best in areas with stable wind patterns rather than locations that are relatively calm except for blustery seasonal storms. Wind turbine systems are programmed to turn off when wind speed exceed 25 mph in order to avoid mechanical damage to the system.
Residential Fuel Cell Systems
Residential fuel cell systems utilize hydrogen technology to produce clean, efficient energy that offers an excellent alternative to the use of fossil fuels. Like geothermal energy, fuel cell systems can be used in the majority of locations and are also non-polluting -- water is the only by product of hydrogen. Because hydrogen can be produced anywhere that has water, fuel cell systems are perfect for those who choose to live off-grid. Hydrogen-based power will undoubtedly become increasingly popular among as modern homeowners seek to find ways to migrate away from the heavy usage of fossil fuels.
Solar energy has been around for decades, and the technology has been refined to suit a variety of situations. Simple solar panels are still an excellent way to provide home interiors with heat, and more sophisticated systems are available that can work with home electrical systems to provide homes with the necessary power to provide household lighting and to run appliances. Many modern homes also have stand-alone solar powered appliances such as hot water heaters. Although solar energy naturally is more abundant efficient in areas that receive substantial amounts of sunlight, today's solar technology is so versatile that it can even be used to help cut energy costs in homes situated in cold-weather climates such as Alaska.
Many modern households utilize a customized combination of the above energy-efficient strategies to ensure maximum savings.
Do you desperately desire to remodel your kitchen? Before you can begin this worthwhile task, you’ll need to secure a reputable contractor in your area. Inform this professional of your specific wants and needs for your space. For instance, you might wish to remove the wall separating your kitchen from your living room. Your contractor can determine if this wall is a load bearing one. You may also want to move the sink in your kitchen from one location to another one. On this blog, I hope you will discover valuable tips to help you design the kitchen of your dreams. Enjoy!