Although the deadline is near, you still have time to take advantage of the federal energy tax credits that will expire at the end of 2013. In a national effort to achieve energy independence, the federal government encourages homeowners to install high efficiency HVAC equipment. 

The credits cover both heating and cooling systems. In order to qualify, each type of system needs to meet these efficiency requirements:

Heating Systems

The minimum AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) for forced-air furnaces and boilers must be 95 percent or higher. In most cases, a heating system with this high an AFUE is a condensing furnace or boiler. They use a second heat exchanger to extract all the heat from the water vapor that burned gas creates. The vapor condenses and rains into your home’s plumbing.

Cooling Systems

Most of the cooling systems in our region are split systems, where the air handler is separate unit from the outdoor condenser. The minimum SEER (seasonal energy efficiency) for a central air conditioner has to be 16 or more to qualify for the federal energy tax credits, and a heat pump must have a SEER of 15.

Because heat pumps also serve as central heating systems, they must have a minimum HSPF (heating season performance factor) of 8.5 or more for a split system heat pump to qualify

If you opt for a package system, where the air handler and condenser are in the same package, the SEER for both a heat pump and air conditioner must be 14 or better. The heat pump must have an 8.0 HSPF or more.

Under the tax credits, you can deduct 10 percent of the cost of the system for a maximum credit of $300 for high efficiency air conditioners and heat pumps and $150 for a high efficiency furnace. If budget is an issue, putting the extra investment into a high efficiency heat pump or A/C will save energy dollars during the long cooling season

For more information about the federal energy tax credits, contact Bryans United Air Conditioning, providing HVAC services for the New Orleans area. 

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