Kerry Veach, Owner/Broker RE/MAX Souther Realty - Destin Florida homes for sale, Destin Florida real estate

Posts Tagged ‘energy efficient home improvements’

Keep the Lights On to Conserve Energy…Sometimes

Friday, October 5th, 2012

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If your parents were anything like mine, then you grew up in a home conscious of energy conservation.  These messages were embedded into our brains via simple four-word phrases, such as “Stop cooling the neighborhood!”, “Quit running the water!”, and “Turn off the lights!”

While the first two are still good practices, the last one might need an upgrade.  As counter intuitive as it may feel, certain light bulbs conserve more energy by being left on.

When your parents were concerned about saving electricity (and money), it was because incandescent lighting was (and is) highly inefficient.  90 percent of energy is emitted as heat, leaving only 10 percent for light.  Halogen lighting is a little more efficient than this, but not nearly as good as CFL’s and LED’s.

Compact Fluorescent Lighting has far more advanced technology than its predecessors.  You can generally extend the life of a CFL bulb by leaving it on, as opposed to simply using it less.  This is because CFL’s use more energy to power up, so just leave the light on if you plan to leave a room for less than fifteen minutes.

Light Emitting Diodes have a completely different set of rules.  These bulbs are unaffected by the number of times switched on and off.  They also reach maximum power almost instantly, unlike other bulbs which have some degree of delay.  However, the lighting capability of LED’s are not as effective as CFL’s.

To get more energy (and money) saving tips, make sure you check the Veach View Blog frequently.  And as always, if you or anyone you know would like to buy real estate in Destin, FL, or sell a home in Destin, FL, contact Kerry Veach online or call him directly at 1.800.879.0309.

With over 1,000 closings, 20+ years of experience and a full-time real estate team, it’s no surprise that 95% of Kerry’s business comes from referrals.

Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Did you know that you could save big bucks by installing “green” home improvements such as an energy efficient roof and insulation, a geothermal heat pump, energy star windows and/or doors, or a small wind energy system?

Here’s the breakdown:

A small wind energy system consists of a small turbine which gets wired into your home’s electrical grid.  As the propellers turn, the turbine produces kinetic energy which is then converted into electricity.  This nifty little contraption could lower your electric bill by at least 50%, or $600/year, and can generate 30% – 80% of the electricity needed for an entire household.  It’s also eligible for a 30% tax credit for the total cost of equipment and installation.  A wind turbine is a good investment for households which average at least $150/month in electric bills.  And of course, it doesn’t hurt to live in an area that produces relatively good winds.

Don’t think that because it’s called a geothermal heat pump, it only produces heat.  In fact, a geothermal heat pump serves as a replacement for the more traditional HVAC system.  On top of that, installing one makes you eligible for a 30% tax credit.  And because it uses 25% – 50% less electricity than a traditional HVAC system, so you can save about $600/year on heating and cooling costs.

Anyone who has ever lived in a drafty home understands the importance of good windows and doors.  For storm door or standard door replacements, you can claim up to a $500 tax credit.  For storm windows or standard window replacements, you can claim up to a $200 tax credit.  For skylight replacements, you can also claim up to $200.  The only pitfall to this is that 2011 was the last year you could install to qualify for these credits.

Of course, energy efficient windows and doors will perform much better in a well insulated house.  If you added insulation to your home in 2011, you could qualify for a tax credit up to $500.

If you installed a new heat efficient metal or asphalt roof to your house in 2011, then you could qualify for a $500 tax credit.

And last, but certainly not least on the list, is a non-solar energy efficient water heater.  If you installed on of these in 2011, you can qualify for up to a $300 tax credit on equipment and installation.

To determine if the system or systems you installed qualify for the above mentioned credits, visit the Energy Star Website.  Make sure you save, or have saved, all receipts and certifications for equipment and installations.  And finally, file Form 5695 with your tax returns this year.

If you are thinking of selling or buying a home in the Northwest Region of Florida, contact The Veach Team for a complimentary consultation.


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