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A look at several ways to lower your monthly bills, including utilities

Turning off Thermostat set to 24 degrees Celsius

Homeowners are constantly looking for ways to save money when it comes to their monthly and annual utility expenses. Now more than ever, there are a wide array of opportunities available to residents of Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., to give their properties energy-efficient overhauls that will pay off both in the long and short term.

With average interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages at or near all-time lows, homeowners are finding that by refinancing their home loans, they can save significantly on their monthly payments. With those savings, they can invest in projects that improve their home's energy efficiency, which will contribute to a monthly decrease in household expenses.

There is also a tax credit available through the federal government that will give homeowners up to $500 back if they have improved their property's energy efficiency over the past year. Congress recently passed legislation that would allow homeowners who undergo such projects in 2013 to enjoy similar tax deductions on next year's forms. This means that if you already filed your taxes for 2012 but started a project to improve your home's efficiency at the end of last year that bled into 2013, you can still get your money back next January.

The energy efficiency tax credit applies to some types of water heaters, furnaces, insulation, windows, roofs, heat pumps, boilers and central air conditioning units. If you choose appliances that feature the Energy Star label, these too may go towards qualifying your household for a tax break.

If you are curious about giving your home an energy-efficient overhaul, contact an experienced Arlington contractor like John C. Flood today. We have been offering our services to area residents and businesses for over 100 years.