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Summer heat prompts home energy improvements and some tax credit

We Texans like to lead in everything, so that's why we're all pulling for more days with 100-plus temperatures. We want to be first in the hottest, driest, most uncomfortable state in the nation.

Too hot for dining al fresco_afagen_Flickr CommonsIf weather forecasters are to be believed, we'll soon get there, at least here in the Lone Star State's capital city.

Austin is on pace to break the record set in 1925 of 69 days when thermometers went over the 100 degree mark. We tied it in 2009; we are taking the title this year!

It's not just crazy "we're number one" ranters who are pulling for the almost unbearable heat to continue.

Air conditioning repair companies also are welcoming if not the weather, at least the extra work they're getting because of it.

Some folks will simply opt for fixing the AC problem as best, and cheaply, as possible.

But others will decide it's time to get a whole new HVAC unit.

Good move. In addition to cooling off their homes, the replacement could let them chill out a little more at tax filing time next year.

As today's Weekly Tax Tip notes, some energy efficient improvements to your residence could qualify for a tax credit.

Lower 2011 tax credits: The good news is that the tax savings could be up to $500 on your 2011 tax bill. Since the tax benefit is a credit, that means it counts dollar-for-dollar against any tax you owe and could possibly wipe out your tax liability.

The bad news, though, is that the total 2011 home energy credit amount is just a third of what the tax break offered in prior years. Still, any tax credit is better than none.

And be sure to pay close attention to any changes you plan to make.

The tax breaks this year for energy upgrades to your home are once again parceled out depending on which products you use and what energy efficiency changes you make to your home.

But if you're really committed to saving energy, you could get a better tax credit for certain geothermal, wind, fuel cell and solar home improvements.

Energy Star breaks down the all the various home energy tax credits, for 2011 and beyond.

Here's hoping your AC holds out for a while longer. But just in case it doesn't, be sure to check into replacements that could give you some tax savings, too.

"No al fresco dining" photo courtesy afagen/Flickr


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home energy

Awesome post, the content of this one are really admiring! The note of Weekly Tax Tip was right, some energy efficient improvements to your residence could qualify for a tax credit.

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