If you’ve been waiting for an opportune time to replace your air conditioner, the federal tax credits for installing high-efficiency cooling systems in 2013 might give you the incentive to do so. The qualifying cooling systems include central air conditioners and heat pumps whose SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) ranges between 14 and 16, depending on the type you choose.
The tax credit allows you to deduct 10 percent of the cost of the equipment, with a maximum cap of $300. Not only will the credit put money in your pocket, but in the years to come, you’ll have lower cooling bills. The minimum SEER for cooling systems stands at 13 presently and each increase in the rating indicates the system is 10 percent more efficient. A 16 SEER heat pump or air conditioner will use 30 percent less electricity than a 13 SEER system.
HVAC manufacturers determine the SEER ratings of the equipment under tightly controlled conditions. These steps will help you receive the benefits from the tax credits and the long-term savings a high SEER rating promises:
Sizing it properly. Calculations exist to find the right size for HVAC systems. HVAC professionals use software called Manuals J and D to determine the size of the cooling system and the configuration and capacity of the ductwork. The process involves evaluating your home’s energy efficiency, its cubic footage, the floorplan layout, landscaping factors, and the heat you generate indoors.
Installing it carefully. The outdoor condenser needs to be in as shady a place as possible, preferably on the north side of your home. It needs full clearance on all sides to cool the hot refrigerant from your home quickly. Your ductwork needs to be closely evaluated and tested for leaks. Should you have any, the contractor needs to seal them with mastic or metal tape. The contractor may need to reconfigure them for greater efficiency.
This year’s tax credits for cooling systems provide a good incentive for a cooling system replacement. To learn more, contact Pipe Works Services. We’ve provided HVAC services for New Jersey for more than 10 years.