(ARA) - It's true. The U.S. federal government is so in favor of reducing energy consumption, they've created incentives to encourage Americans to replace leaky old windows and doors with more energy-efficient options.
Why all the concern? The more ways we can conserve energy, the better for us all. Government reports indicate that over the past decade, America's energy consumption has grown about 40 times faster than our energy production.
Legislation passed in 2005 offers tax deductions for homeowners adding energy-efficient improvements to their existing home in 2006 or 2007. Tax credits are also available for builders constructing highly energy-efficient new homes in the same time frame.
For existing homes, eligible homeowners may claim tax credits of up to $500 total for energy-saving improvements implemented in 2006 and 2007. Installing replacement windows and doors designed to help conserve energy, adding insulation, or enhancing a metal roof with coatings designed to reduce heat gain are among the qualifying improvements.
Homeowners that replace windows in their primary residence may qualify for a 10 percent tax credit, up to $200 maximum. Replacement energy efficient doors may qualify for the 10 percent tax credit, up to $500. Windows, doors and insulation must meet the requirements of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), a model energy code for buildings. For ease in understanding which windows qualify for the tax credits, look for the ENERGY STAR, recognizing the most energy-efficient products.
Storm doors may qualify for tax credits, too, on eligible purchases from Jan. 1, 2006, to Dec. 31, 2007. Ten percent of the storm door purchase price may be a tax credit, up to a $500 maximum.
As Benjamin Franklin lamented, "In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes." Make the most of the tax savings inspired by the federal government. And as temperatures drop and energy consumption heats up, consider the benefits of new high performance windows.
Low-E coatings, gas-fills, and insulating spacers and frames can significantly reduce winter heat loss and summer heat gain.
Improved daylight and view
New glazings with low-solar-gain low-E coatings can reduce solar heat gain significantly with a minimal loss of visible light (compared to older tints and films).
In summer and winter, homeowner comfort is increased; window temperatures are more moderate and there are fewer cold drafts. Discomfort from strong summer sunlight is reduced.
Frame and glazing materials that resist heat conduction do not become as cold and results in less condensation.
Coatings on glass can significantly reduce the ultraviolet (UV) and other solar radiation which causes fading of fabrics and furnishings.
Lower mechanical equipment costs
Using windows that significantly reduce solar heat gain means cooling equipment costs may be reduced. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label appears on window and door products which are part of the ENERGY STAR program.
Your home remains a great investment. This year, invest in windows and doors that provide a short-term return on that investment with a tax credit, and long-term savings in reduced energy bills. Courtesy of ARA Content