Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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December 13, 2011

5 tax credits for wintertime energy efficiency

If you're looking for ways to lower your heating bill and make your home more energy efficient this winter, now is a good time to act. Make certain home improvements before the end of 2011, and you can claim a federal tax credit when you file next year. But you’ll need to move quickly, because some of these credits expire at the end of this year.

New heating systems: An energy-efficient electric heat pump can earn you a credit of $300, and a new furnace or boiler can earn you $150. The U.S. Department of Energy has guidelines on what types of units qualify, so be sure to check energysavers.gov for the details. Not all Energy Star certified products qualify. This credit expires at the end of 2011.

Biomass stoves:  Biomass stoves burn natural fuel like agricultural crops and trees, wood waste, plants and other fibers to heat a home or heat water. To earn a tax credit of $300, make sure your biomass stove has a thermal efficiency rating of at least 75 percent as measured using a lower heating value. This credit expires at the end of 2011.

Insulation: Replacing the insulation in your home can go a long way in making your home more energy efficient and save money on your heating and cooling bills. The government offers a tax credit of 10 percent of the cost, up to $500, for certain types of insulation. The credit does not include installation and labor costs, and it expires at the end of 2011.

Windows, doors and skylights: Lots of heat can be lost through old or improperly sealed doors and windows. If you replace them with Energy Star labeled items, you can earn a tax credit of 10 percent of the cost up to $500, but windows are capped at $200. The credit does not include installation and labor costs, and it expires at the end of 2011.

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  • thermostat.jpg 5 tax credits for wintertime energy efficiency

    If you're looking for ways to lower your heating bill and make your home more energy efficient this winter, now is a good time to act. Make certain home improvements before the end of 2011, and you can claim a federal tax credit when you file next year.

    December 13, 2011 1 Photo

  • DangerousToys10.jpg SLIDESHOW: 10 most dangerous toys As you shop for the kids and grandkids this holiday season, keep an eye out for potentially dangerous toys. The nonprofit consumer watchdog group World Against Toys Causing Harm, or WATCH, has released its annual list of the 10 worst toys.

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    November 23, 2011 1 Photo

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    October 5, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

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    While the book-protesting actions of motivated parents and school boards make headlines, what gets lost in the shuffle is what goes on in each of our homes. As Banned Books Week begins, one librarian offers tips for parents weighing what kind of reading material to share with their children.

    September 26, 2011 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Bill-Gates.jpg List of richest people in America released

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    September 23, 2011 3 Photos

  • Let's play ball without scandals

    The Big 12 announced a TV deal with Fox that would bring in more than $1 billion over 13 years.

    Recent scandals reveal college football is ethically challenged and inadequately regulated.

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  • Garden sprinkler How to conserve water during drought

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