Way back in January when the government extended the high-efficiency heating, cooling, ventilation, and water heating tax credits that expired on December 31, 2011 through the end of 2013, we all thought there was plenty of time to install our new equipment…but time is running out.

These tax credits expire on December 31, 2013, and that’s just two months away.  That’s not much time to ensure you can get new equipment installed, especially when you consider that the holidays, with parties and houseguests, are only a few weeks away.

The tax credit has been around for several years.  It began as The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, in conjunction with Internal Revenue Code Section 25C. The Act allowed for tax credits for equipment of specific efficiency levels, and it took effect on January 1, 2009. The Act was allowed to expire on December 31, 2011, but in January of 2013 the Act was extended both back to January 1, 2011 and forward to December 31, 2013.

The tax credits have very specific requirements:
     1. Central air conditioners, $300 in credit
          a. Split systems must be at least 16 SEER or 13 EER
          b. Packaged systems must be at least 14 SEER or 12 EER
     2. Electric heat pumps, $300 in credit
          a. Split systems must be at least 8.5 HSPF; 12.5 EER; or 15 SEER
          b. Packaged systems must be at least 8.0 HSPF; 12.0 EER; or 14 SEER
     3. Furnaces, $150 in credit
          a. Must be natural gas, oil, or propane
          b. AFUE of 95 or greater
     4. Boilers, $150 in credit
          a. Must be natural gas, oil, or propane
          b. AFUE of 95 or greater
          c. Credits include installation costs
     5. Water heaters, $300 in credit
          a. Natural gas, oil, or propane water heaters must be 90% efficient or have an energy factor of at least 0.82.
          b. Electric heat pump water heaters must have an energy factor of 2.0 or more.
     6. Advanced main air circulating fans, $50 in credit.
          a. Must be used in a natural, gas, propane, or oil furnace
          b. Annual electricity use must me no more than two percent of the furnace’s total energy use.

With everything else that lawmakers in Washington are working on right now, there’s no guarantee that these tax credits will be extended into 2014. If new heating, cooling, ventilation, or water heating equipment is on your “to-do” list, act now so that you can lower your utility bills and increase your tax refund next spring.

For more information and to ensure that any equipment you install qualifies for the tax credit, call us or visit energystar.gov.