Federal Tax Credits Can Help if Your Furnace or A/C Won't Last Another Season

by Greg Leisgang on September 10, 2013

Posted in: Energy Savings

federal tax credits, Cincinnati, OhioEvery now and then, incentives pop up that can help you financially when you need to replace major appliances, like your air conditioner or furnace. Until the end of 2013, federal tax credits are available to help you do just that. The credits expire at the end of 2013, but there's still time to replace an ailing cooling or heating system. 

When Congress avoided the fiscal cliff in January 2013, it renewed the tax credits for homeowners who make home improvements that translate to lower energy use. Since your HVAC equipment uses more energy than anything else in your home, taking advantage of this program will put money in your pocket, since qualifying systems must meet high efficiency requirements.

Cooling Systems

The guidelines specify these minimum efficiencies for cooling equipment depend on the type:

  • Split systems are those with a separate indoor blower and an outdoor condenser. The minimum seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) must be 14 or more for central air conditioners and 15 or higher for heat pumps. To qualify for the federal tax credits, the heat pump must have a heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) of 8.5 or more as well.
  • Package systems need to have a SEER of 14 or more for both heat pumps and air conditioners. The HSPF for the heat pump needs to be 8.0 or above. A package system contains all the components in one package, sitting on the roof, in the attic or outdoors.

Heating Systems

Forced air and radiant heating equipment qualify for the tax credits and the minimum annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) must be 95 percent or more. The current minimum AFUE stands at 80 percent, which means that it uses just 80 percent of the fuel it consumes to heat. The other 20 percent goes up the chimney. A system with a 95 AFUE wastes just 5 percent of the fuel it consumes.

For more information about the federal tax credits for upgrading your HVAC equipment, contact JonLe Heating & Cooling. We've provided top-notch HVAC services for the greater Cincinnati area for more than 50 years. 

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