Homeowners may be eligible for tax credit

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - When avoiding the fiscal cliff, Congress reinstated tax credits to help homeowners who make certain upgrades to improve their home's energy efficiency.

At Sue Willman's home, crews installed new heating and cooling units. It is a big investment that just got a little more affordable.

"We had scheduled this some time ago to be installed over the last two days, Willman said. "So it was a very pleasant surprise to hear about the tax credit."

Willman will take advantage of the renewed tax credit for energy efficient home improvements. Individual homeowners may be eligible for a tax credit of 10 percent or up to $500 of the cost of improvements like the HVAC system and water heating appliances. The credit can include energy efficient improvements to doors, windows and insulation.

"This is actually new to us. We're taking this opportunity to alert our customers and potential customers about the potential savings for them," said Kent Gurske with Anthony Plumbing Heating Cooling.

Congress brought back the incentive, which expired at the end of 2011. Homeowners may be eligible for the tax credit if they make improvements in 2013 or if they made them in 2012.

"High efficient products typically are more expensive. The tax credit actually makes these products affordable for any home or any homeowner," Gurske said. 

"Every dollar we save these days is good especially in this economy," Willman said.

Heating and cooling businesses saw a lot of consumers cash in on the last tax credit by investing in more energy efficient systems. They expect that trend to continue now that the credit is back.

The Air Conditioning Contractors of America organization's website gives a more detailed breakdown by stating the following:

"Depending on their individual tax situation and eligibility, a homeowner may qualify for tax credits equal to 10% of the costs (up to a $300 limit) for installing a high efficiency central air conditioner, heat pump, or hot water heater.

A homeowner may also qualify for tax credits equal to 10 percent of the costs (up to $150 limit) for installing a qualified furnace or hot water boiler. A smaller tax credit of 10 percent of the installed costs (up to $50 limit) is available for installing a system with an advanced main air circulating fan."

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