Looking for an incentive to make your home more efficient this Fall? How about a federal tax credit which covers 30% of the cost of putting in some home improvements. You’ll not only save on the initial costs for insulation, windows and doors, biomass stoves, water heaters, roofs, and HVAC systems, but these new measures will save you money in the long run too with lower utility bills! But hurry, these tax credits are set to expire on December 31, 2010.
- Insulation, weather stripping, air sealing and caulking will make your home more comfortable during both the winter and summer. Plus, you’ll minimize routes for critters to enter your home as the weather gets colder. Most houses in the U.S. are not insulated enough. Visit the Department of Energy’s website to see how much insulation your home needs.
- Windows, doors, skylights, and storm windows and doors can qualify if they have a U-factor and SHGC of 0.30 or below. (U-Factor measures how well a window, door, or skylight prevents heat from escaping. SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient) measures how well a window blocks heat from sunlight. The lower the SHGC, the lower the heat gain through a window).
- Biomass stoves use agricultural and wood waste products to heat a home or heat water.
- Gas, oil or propane water heaters with an Energy Factor ≥ 0.82 or a thermal efficiency of at least 90% qualify.
- Metal roofs (with appropriate pigmented coatings) or asphalt roofing (with cooling granules) qualify. Metal roofs may cost a bit more, but they’ll last for 50+ years!
- Central air conditioning; air source heat pumps; gas, propane or oil hot water boilers and furnaces, and advanced main air circulating fans that meet specific criteria will qualify.
Other tax credits are available until 2016 for geothermal heat pumps, small residential wind turbines and solar energy systems. These have a tax credit of 30% of the cost with no upper limit!
Visit the EnergyStar.gov website for more details.
photo courtesy of This Old House