If you are expecting a tax refund this year, you are not alone. The average tax return this year is expected to be nearly $3,000, and much of that money will be used to fund home improvements and make needed repairs.
Investing your tax refund in energy-efficient home upgrades allows you to make the most of the money. Even better, the energy-efficient improvements you make now will keep paying you back month after month, long after April 15 is a distant memory.
Purchase New Energy-Efficient Windows
If you are looking for an upgrade that pays you back now and later, you cannot do better than installing energy-efficient windows. When you replace your old energy wasting windows with newer and more energy-efficient ones, you start saving money right away.
You will probably see the difference on your very first energy bill. If your tax refund is large enough, you can replace all your old windows at once. If not, just take the money you save and use it to fund the next window replacement. By the time you are done, you will have a house full of new windows and much lower heating and cooling costs going forward.
Upgrade Your Home Lighting
Replacing your old-style light bulbs with energy-efficient LED lights is another smart way to invest your tax refund. Every light bulb you replace will help you save more money on your energy bill. You can see an estimate of the energy savings on every light bulb you buy.
You can start by replacing all the light bulbs in your lamps and light fixtures with LED versions. Do not forget to replace your outside light bulbs as well, including spotlights, security lights and accent lighting. If you are expecting a large tax refund, you should have plenty of cash to replace every light bulb in your home with energy-efficient LEDs.
Adding Insulation to Your Walls and Attic
Adding insulation to your walls, attic and crawl spaces is yet another way to make the most of your tax refund. If your home was built a decade or so ago, it may not have as much insulation as it should. You can check the amount of insulation in your attic by going up there and looking. The same is true of your crawl spaces. If you find your home is under-insulated, your tax refund can help you buy the insulation you need to keep your home warm and cozy no matter how cold the weather gets.
As with other energy-efficient upgrades, adding insulation to your home is a project that will save you money now and in the future. You might spend few hundred dollars now, but you will save money on your heating and cooling bills every month. The money you save will more than pay for the up-front cost of the extra insulation. Even better, you are letting Uncle Sam pick up the tab by using your tax refund.