Don’t Miss Out on Home Energy Tax Credits: They’re Good Through Year’s End

September 23, 2013

Have an aging air conditioner or furnace? You can take advantage of the home energy tax credits to offset its cost until the end of 2013, when they expire. When congress avoided the fiscal cliff in January, it renewed the federal tax credits under the 25C program.

Homeowners who choose qualifying, high-efficiency cooling or heating systems can apply 10 percent of the cost of a new system to receive a tax credit. Cooling systems have a cap of $300, and the cap is limited to $150 for heating equipment. The minimum efficiency level to qualify for the credits depends on the type of equipment installed.

Package air conditioners or heat pumps must have a SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) of 14 or higher and the HSPF (heating season performance factor) of the heat pump must be 8.5 or better. A package system is one where all the components of the system sit in one appliance, on the roof, in the attic, or in the yard.

Split cooling systems are more common and the air handler sits indoors, while the outdoor condenser sits outside. The minimum SEER for central air conditioners must be 16 or more, while a heat pump’s minimum SEER to qualify for the tax credit needs to be 15 or higher. In addition, the HSPF for the heat pump should be 8.0 or more.

Heating equipment includes forced air furnaces and boilers, and both must have a minimum of 95 AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) to qualify for the home energy tax credits. The AFUE refers to how much fuel the system uses to create heat.

Systems with high AFUE ratings waste less fuel. In the case of a 95 AFUE, the equipment only wastes 5 percent of the fuel it uses. The minimum AFUE currently stands at 78, which means that it wastes 22 of the fuel. Most of the heating equipment that meets such high efficiency are condensing furnaces or boilers.

To learn more about the home energy tax credits, contact JD’s A/C. We provide top-notch, family-run HVAC services for homeowners in the Longview area.

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