There was a nice little surprise in the “fiscal cliff” deal that Congress reached in January: The energy tax credits for homeowners who buy energy-efficient home comfort systems was restored.

Although credits for geothermal, solar and other upgrades were still in place, the credits for the most typical systems, such as furnaces, air-source heat pumps and air conditioners, had expired at the end of 2011. Now those credits are back in place and even retroactive. So if you’ve been considering an upgrade, there’s no better time to make the purchase that you’ve been putting off.

Here’s a look at the equipment that qualifies for the 25C tax credits and the efficiency criteria:

  • Combustible-fuel furnaces and boilers need to have an annual fuel utilization efficiency of at least 95 percent.
  • Heat pumps must have a minimum seasonal energy efficiency ratio of 15 and a heating seasonal performance factor of at least 8.5.
  • Split-system air conditioners must have a SEER of at least 16.
  • Packaged systems must have a SEER of at least 14.

The cap on the tax credit for heat pumps and air conditioners is $300. Furnaces and boilers with a 95 percent AFUE qualify for a $150 credit. A homeowner who installs an energy-efficient blower motor can receive a $50 credit. The tax credits are capped at $500 for multiple systems.

If you’ve been thinking about replacing one or more of your systems, and you would like more information, contact Fred’s Heating & Air. We can help you find the equipment that meets the tax credit criteria and is suited to your specific needs. We’ve provided HVAC services to homeowners in the Omaha and Council Bluff areas for nearly 25 years. And we’re happy to provide those very same services to you.