A climate bill that was recently signed into law can help Americans save money on energy bills, and one of the most attractive components of the bill is the opportunity to obtain tax credits for window replacement.
The Inflation Reduction Act is the biggest federal investment in fighting climate change in American history, and one of the most tangible benefits for many households is its financial incentives for purchasing energy-efficient windows, rooftop solar panels, electric vehicles and high-efficiency appliances.
The “nonbusiness energy property credit” comes in the form of a 30% tax credit that is worth as much as $1,200 per year. It can be used to defray the cost of installing energy-efficient windows, skylights, insulation and doors.
The tax credit applies to projects that are completed after January 1, 2023, and before the close of 2033. However, costs that are incurred in 2022 for a project that is finished in 2023 will still count toward the homeowner’s overall tax break.
This presents homeowners with an opportunity to replace their windows affordably, although it is important to understand that the financial benefits will only be received upon filing your yearly tax returns.
How Updating Your Windows Can Improve Energy Efficiency
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heat gained and lost through the windows of your home accounts for as much as 30% of residential cooling and heating energy use. Therefore, choosing the most efficient windows possible can lead to significant savings.
Although it may be possible to make some energy consumption improvements by checking your existing windows for air leaks and updating caulking and weatherstripping, replacing windows is more effective and makes sense now that the government is offering a generous tax credit for doing so.
In some cases, it may be possible to replace the windows within their existing frame; your window installer will be able to determine if this is an option in your home.
When shopping for new windows, the type and aesthetics may be your primary concern, but you also need to pay attention to their energy performance if you wish to take advantage of the tax credit.
First, you should look for windows that bear the ENERGY STAR label and review ratings on the National Fenestration Rating Council energy performance label. These ratings are included on every ENERGY STAR-certified window and indicate the window’s energy properties. This makes it easier to compare different windows when making your decision.
Gas-filled windows that have low-E coatings can help to reduce heat loss in colder weather. You can also look out for windows that have a low solar heat gain coefficient, or SHGC, which is a measurement of the amount of solar radiation that is admitted through the window. This can reduce heat gain in warmer temperatures.
Windows with a low U factor, meanwhile, offer greater thermal resistance in colder temperatures. The U factor represents the rate that the windows are conducting non-solar heat flow. When comparing numbers like SHGC and U factor, make sure you are looking at the whole unit numbers rather than the center of glass numbers as these are a better reflection of the entire product’s overall energy performance.
Benefits of Energy-Efficient Windows
Here is a look at some of the biggest benefits of switching to energy-efficient windows:
ENERGY STAR windows can reduce your energy bills as well as your carbon footprint. According to ENERGY STAR’s website, replacing old windows with those that have ENERGY STAR certification reduces household energy bills by 12 percent nationwide, on average.
ENERGY STAR windows can help you maintain a comfortable and consistent temperature inside your home, avoiding any cold or hot spots in your room. They form a barrier against the cold weather in the winter months, allowing for a pleasantly warm environment inside, while they block outdoor heat during summer, which can lower your air conditioning costs.
The high insulation and airtight nature of energy-efficient windows enhances their soundproofing ability. This means that exterior noises will be reduced significantly.
Protection for Furnishings
Many energy-efficient windows have coatings that protect against the ultraviolet rays of the sun, which can preserve furniture, rugs, paintings, fabrics and wood inside the home. It can be thought of as acting like a sunscreen for your home without reducing visible light.
Contact the Experienced Window Replacement Contractors
If you would like to find out how you can take advantage of the Inflation Reduction Act’s tax credits and replace your windows with more energy-efficient models, contact the experienced Northern Virginia window replacement and installation contractors at Adelphia Exteriors today.
Our team of professionals can carry out window replacements with minimal disruption to your daily life, and we offer reliable and efficient service. Contact us today to request a free window replacement estimate.