It’s almost tax time. Are you one of the millions of Americans looking for ways to reduce your tax bill? You have many options available for last-minute deductions and credits, some obvious and others a little more obscure.
In fact, there could be a great source of tax relief right in front of you. And better yet, it can provide financial benefit for years to come. What is it? Your windows, or more specifically replacing your old windows with new energy efficient windows.
Through its Energy Star program, the government offers a tax credit to homeowners who make energy efficient improvements to their home. Many windows qualify for the credit, allowing you to make your home more efficient and comfortable and reduce your taxes all at the same time.
Energy Star Tax Credit: How does it work?
The Energy Star Tax Credit started January 1, 2012 and runs through December 31, 2016. It was created as an initiative to offer tax relief and to encourage homeowners to make energy efficient property improvements.
As long as your project is completed by December 31, 2016, it may qualify for the credit. However, there are a few other criteria that you must meet. First, the improvement must be made on your primary residence. Improvements made to rental properties or vacation homes don’t count.
Also, the products that you install must meet Energy Star certification requirements. Fortunately, it’s very easy to tell whether a window is Energy Star-compliant or not. The windows that do meet the criteria usually have Energy Star stickers located on their in-store display or on their packaging. Your window installer should also be able to direct you to windows that qualify for the tax credit.
You’re allowed to claim 10 percent of the cost of the windows up to $200. That means you could knock up to $200 off of this year’s tax bill just for making your home more attractive, comfortable, and efficient.
Other Financial Benefits for New Windows
Of course, a tax credit isn’t the only reason to get new, energy-efficient windows. They’ll also likely reduce your utility bill, helping you save money every month well into the future. In fact, it’s possible that the combination of tax credit and future energy savings could lead to the windows paying for themselves in just a few years.
Energy efficient windows reduce your energy consumption in a few ways. First, upgrading to double- or triple-paned glass will give you a stronger barrier against outside temperatures. In the winter, cold air will stay outside and your warm air will stay in.
Also, new windows will likely fit the frames better than your old ones. Window frames have a way of shifting and moving over time, so it’s very possible that you could have small creases and gaps around your windows. Those are pathways for air to travel in and out of your house.
Finally, many energy efficient windows have tints that protect the inside of your home from sunlight. That tinting helps keep your home cool in the summer, giving your air conditioner a little relief.
Want to save on your taxes and improve your home’s energy efficiency? Contact us at Jack’s Glass today to schedule your consultation. We can help you find the best energy efficient windows for your needs and budget, and we can get them installed in time for you to take advantage of the tax credit this year.