Tax seasons is just around the corner. If you're expecting a refund, that would be the perfect time to take care of some much-needed upgrades, especially the kind that will increase the energy-efficiency of your home. Using your tax refund for home improvement projects will not only help you save money on your heating and cooling costs, it will also increase the property value of your home. If you're not sure which projects you should take care of first, here are four to help get you started.
Upgrade Your Current Windows
While you're making your list of ways to spend your tax refund, you should add windows to that list. Upgraded windows will help keep your home a comfortable temperature throughout the year. However, you can also choose an effective window treatment. For the best energy-efficiency, you want to make sure you choose dual-pane windows that can provide the maximum protection against energy loss.
Replace Your HVAC System
Depending on how old your HVAC system is, now would be a good time to replace it. Most HVAC systems will work well for at 10-15 years. After that, they may start breaking down more often, or become less energy-efficient. Before you're faced with an emergency situation, you should have your HVAC system replaced. When replacing your system, be sure to have fresh duct work installed too. That will ensure that your ducts are capable of handling the fresh flow of air that will be passing through them.
Invest in Fresh Insulation
If the insulation in your attic and walls have seen better days, your home isn't going to be as energy-efficient as it should be. Unfortunately, that means your energy bills will continue to escalate, and your HVAC system will need to work harder to keep you comfortable. Take control of your energy bills, and help your new HVAC system last longer, by adding some fresh insulation to your home.
Install a Fireplace Insert
When you use your fireplace to supplement your heater. You want to make sure that your fireplace is up to the task. Unfortunately, if it's not properly sealed, it could be wasting more energy than it's saving you. That's because air is able to leak out through the gaps in your fireplace. While you're making updates to your home with your tax refund, take the time to have an insert installed in your fireplace. The addition of an insert will make your fireplace more energy-efficient. It will also help take some of the pressure off your new heater.