When Congress avoided falling off the so-called fiscal cliff in January, the energy tax credits that expired at the end of 2011 were restored retroactively for 2012 and this year. These credits take some of the bite out of installing high-efficiency heat pumps or air conditioning systems. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that half the energy used in homes goes toward heating and cooling, and providing tax credits has historically been an effective inducement for homeowners to save energy.
Air-source heat pumps that qualify for the tax credits must have a SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) of at least 15 and an HSPF (heating seasonal performance factor) of 8.5 or more. A split-system air conditioner must have a minimum SEER of 16, while a package system must meet the minimum SEER of 14.
Heat pumps and air conditioning systems achieve high cooling efficiency and the Energy Star designation by using a combination of features including:
- Variable-speed blower. Using an electronically commutated motor, a variable-speed blower will use far less electricity than a single-speed motor. Running more slowly and quietly, they run near continuously, with improved air filtration, humidity control and air distribution.
- Dual-speed compressors. These compressors adjust their speed based on the outdoor temperatures and your home’s need for cooling. They only work at top speed when extra cooling is needed, which means that the compressor doesn’t use full power constantly.
The energy tax credits allow homeowners to deduct 10 percent of the cost of the particular equipment, with $300 the highest credit available. An overall cap of $500 applies to these tax credits, if you buy more than one eligible appliance or product. The credits are retroactive to all of 2012, and cover all of 2013 as well.
If you would like more information on taking advantage of energy tax credits this year, contact CCAC, Inc. We provide superior HVAC services for the Coastal Bend and Corpus Christi.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy tax credits and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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