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The Politics of Heating – Part 2 – Taxes

THE POLITICS OF HEATING – 2012 and 2013 Tax Credits

As part of the economic stimulus packages passed in 2009 and 2010, qualifying high efficiency heating systems were eligible for a federal tax credit.   This tax credit expired on 12/31/2011 and was not renewed for 2012.  But wait!  On January 1, 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was approved, providing federal tax credits for homeowners who made energy efficient upgrades to their homes in 2012 or plan to make such changes in 2013.  The federal government approved the tax credits retroactive to 01/01/2012.  If you purchased a qualifying heating or cooling system in 2012, you could be eligible for a federal tax credit. 

To be eligible for the tax credit, the heating/cooling system must meet minimum efficiency standards.  Fossil fuel furnaces require an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of 95%.  The tax credit for gas furnace is $150.  Heat pump systems require a Heating Season Performance Factor (HSPF) of 8.5, an Energy Efficiency Ration (EER) of 12.5, and a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 15.  Air conditioning systems require a SEER of 14, and an EER of 12.   The tax credit for a heat pump or air conditioner is $300.  Additionally, any furnace or air handler with an Advanced Main Circulating Fan is also eligible for a $50 tax credit.

If you had a new system installed in 2012 you should have received an American Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) certificate.   The efficiency ratings for your system will be listed on this certificate.  If you did not receive an AHRI certificate, and you think your system may be eligible for the tax credits, contact the installing contractor and request an AHRI Certificate. 

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