Federal Tax Credits and Utilities Rebates on Cooling Systems

When the realization hits that it is time to replace or upgrade your air-conditioning system, the costs can seem prohibitive. At Gold Medal, we know that the price tag can effectively put a chill on taking care of this important aspect of your home’s climate control. Fortunately, federal tax credits and utility rebates exist, as well as state and local programs that can help you reduce the cost and financial impact of purchasing a new cooling system for your home.

How cooling system credits and rebates work

To be eligible for any tax credits or rebates, new systems must meet minimum energy efficiency standards. The exact numbers differ between product categories – split package cooling systems or packaged cooling systems – but the products we carry all meet these requirements. Split packages are A/C systems with part of the unit inside the structure, and part (usually the compressor) outside the building. Packaged systems are units that combine both cooling and heating capabilities.

The rating systems are EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) and SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). EER is a measurement of British Thermal Units/Hour (BTUH) divided by power (Watts) used. The higher the number, the more efficient the system. The SEER rating uses the same formula, but it also factors in seasonal cooling ability. As with EER, the higher the number, the more efficient the system.   The following standards currently apply:

Split systems must have minimum SEER of 16, and a minimum EER of 13

Packaged systems must meet minimum requirements for SEER of 14 and an EER of 12

Currently available federal tax credits for Split and Packaged systems:

Residential Energy Property Credit
This credit exists for those who make energy efficient improvements to their home. In addition to being claimed for air-conditioning systems, it can also be applied for insulation upgrades, and energy efficient windows.

Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit
This credit has a narrower focus, but it can be used in conjunction with your A/C upgrade if you package it with wind turbines, solar panels, and/or geothermal heat pumps (for packaged systems).

Other cooling system incentives
Local utility companies offer a number of discounts and coupons that can be applied toward the purchase of new energy efficient cooling systems. In addition, many municipalities offer tax incentives to recycle old air-conditioning units, and air-conditioning manufacturers have rebate programs, discount coupons, and other incentives to purchase a new cooling or heating and cooling system.

Because many of the parameters of the programs are in a state of flux, they change (depending on the season and other variables), which makes keeping up with them quite difficult. As a service to our customers, we maintain a constantly updated list of what discounts, credits, and rebates are available so you can take advantage of all the opportunities available.

The cost of purchasing a new cooling system for your home is an expensive proposition. To mitigate your costs, federal tax credits and utility rebates as well as other programs exist to reduce these costs, and to help you afford a new energy-efficient system. At Gold Medal, we will do everything we can to find all the cost saving programs for you, so you don’t have to suffer in the heat.