Still Time to Use Tax Credits for Efficient Equipment, but Not for Long

Posted On: November 11, 2013

This year, fall’s cooler weather doesn’t just signal that it’s time for yearly fall maintenance on your heating and cooling systems or for you to check your insulation. This autumn is also a good time to take note that there’s not much time left to take advantage of federal tax credits for the purchase of efficient heating and cooling equipment.

Until Dec. 31, you can take tax credits of up to 10 percent of the cost of new equipment and energy-efficiency improvements that meet set minimum standards. This credit is limited to $50 to $300, depending on what is purchased, but that’s still significant savings. The cumulative limit to the tax credits is $500. This is a great opportunity to catch end-of-season sales to upgrade your cooling system, or to have a new heating system installed before winter arrives.

Your retailer or contractor should be able to confirm if your chosen equipment or improvements (windows and insulation also can grab a tax credit) meets the qualifications for these tax credits, but here is a quick overview:

  • Natural gas and propane furnaces must have an Annual Fuel Use Efficiency (AFUE) of 95 percent or higher. Oil furnaces and oil, propane or gas boilers must also have an AFUE of 95 percent or better. This credit is worth $150.
  • Central air conditioning units need to meet the Consortium for Energy Efficiency’s (CEE) highest standards, which are generally a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 16. The SEER measures how efficient a unit is over the cooling season. This credit is worth up to $300. Qualifying heat pumps also can leverage a $300 tax credit.
  • Biomass stoves, which burn fuels made from agricultural crops or trees, must have a thermal efficiency of 75 percent. Make sure you keep your certificate of qualification. This is worth up to $300.
  • Energy-efficient circulating fans can receive a credit of $50.
  • Gas or propane water heaters need an Energy Factor of at least 0.82, or a thermal efficiency of at least 90 percent to qualify. Heat pump water heaters need an Energy Factor of at least 2.0. This credit can be worth up to $300.

If you have questions about qualifying for these tax credits, or would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please contact us at Ernst Heating & Cooling today. We proudly serve the Hamel, Alton, Edwardsville and Staunton areas.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Alton, Glen Carbon, Highland, Greenville, and Troy, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about tax credits and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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