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Nearly every year, the federal government (through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program) offers federal energy tax credits for people who have purchased appliances and other products that are Energy Star–qualified. By installing Energy Star–certified appliances throughout your Florida home, not only can you save up to 30 percent on your energy bills—you can also qualify for these federal energy tax credits.

federal energy tax creditsIncentives for Qualifying Products

For most qualifying HVAC equipment, insulation, windows and doors, the total tax credit is either a predetermined amount or 10 percent off the purchase price, up to a predetermined maximum. Other products, such as geothermal heat pumps and solar systems, may qualify for a credit of 30 percent off the purchase price.

  • Air source heat pumps: Split Systems are eligible for a $300 credit, if they have an HSPF of greater than or equal to 8.5, an EER of 12.5 and a SEER of 15. Packaged systems must have ratings of 8 HSPF, 12 EER and 14 SEER or above.
  • Central air conditioners: The credit is up to $300 for air conditioners, with at least 16 SEER and 13 EER ratings for split systems, or at least 14 SEER and 12 EER for packaged systems.
  • Furnaces: Gas, propane and oil furnaces are eligible for a $150 credit if they have an AFUE of 95 or above. The furnace fan can qualify for an additional $50 credit if it uses 2 percent or less of the total energy that the furnace requires.
  • Boilers: Gas, propane and oil boilers with an AFUE of at least 95 qualify for a $150 credit.
  • Insulation: New insulation qualifies for a credit of 10 percent of the purchase price, up to $500 total.
  • Windows and Doors: Energy Star–certified windows and doors qualify for a 10 percent credit, up to $200. The limit applies to all units installed since 2005.

To learn more about these federal energy tax credits, visit the Energy Star website or talk to our HVAC experts at Conditioned Air. We have been serving the Southwest Florida area, including Naples and Sarasota, since 1962.

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Air ducts are a vital component of your home’s HVAC system, and any ducts that are leaking can reduce the performance of the system considerably, increasing your energy costs and making your home less comfortable. Properly sealing your ductwork is a relatively simple process, but there are a few things that you should know first.

sealing your ductworkWhy a Proper Seal is Important

Leaking ductwork can allow up to 30 percent of the air moving through the system to be lost, increasing your heating and cooling bills by up to 40 percent. Additionally, leaks in the ductwork can allow dust, combustion gases from nearby appliances and other pollutants to enter the duct system and be carried throughout the house, reducing your indoor air quality. Properly sealing your ductwork can reduce your energy costs, especially if the ducts run through uninsulated spaces like the attic, basement or a crawl space, and it can improve your home’s indoor air quality.

How to Determine if You Have Leaks

A couple of the symptoms of leaky ductwork are high energy costs, inconsistent temperatures or rooms that are hard to keep heated or cooled. You can also inspect any ducts that are easily accessible and check for damaged tape or mastic at the joints, disconnected or loose joints, holes or other damage, and obvious air leaks. Often, however, the ductwork is hidden in walls or otherwise inaccessible, and you may need a professional to inspect it.

Sealing the Ductwork

Sealing your ductwork can be a difficult job, especially if it’s inaccessible, and it’s often best left to a professional. To do it properly, any loose joints need to be secured, using screws for rigid ducts or the proper clamps for flexible ducts, and each joint should be sealed with mastic or foil tape that is specially designed for HVAC systems. Despite the name, regular duct tape cannot do the job properly. Any holes or other damage should be patched, and kinks or twists in flexible ducts should be straightened.

For more information about sealing your ductwork, talk to our professionals at Conditioned Air, serving Southwest Florida.

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When you turn on your air conditioner this summer, one of the last things you need is more heat in your home. Heat gain is a common source of additional indoor heat that comes from multiple natural and man-made sources. Not only will heat gain make your home less comfortable, it will also increase your monthly cooling costs as your air conditioner or heat pump works harder to compensate. Here are some ways to lower heat gain in your home and save money and energy while staying consistently cool.

  • Lower Heat Gain In Your HomeClose the curtains and drapes: Heat gain through windows is probably the most common source. If you’ve ever seen your pet sleeping in a sunny area, you know that those spots of sunshine can be very warm. Excess sunshine can also raise indoor temperatures by a significant amount. To stop this source of heat gain, close your curtains and drapes during those times when there is likely to be a lot of sunshine coming through the windows.
  • Reconsider using heat-generating appliances: Cooking using stoves, ovens, and other appliances can produce significant amounts of heat gain. Consider using other methods of cooking during the hottest parts of the day, such as small toaster ovens or microwaves. Reserve the use of ovens and cooking stoves for early morning or late evening hours.
  • Run ventilation fans in the bathroom: Using hot water in the bathroom can produce both heat and moisture. When showering or bathing, make sure to turn on the ventilation fans in the bathroom to pull out moisture and heat that could otherwise get into your larger living spaces.
  • Insulate the attic: Attics can get extremely hot in summer, so make sure the attic spaces and roof are well insulated to reduce heat build-up in that area. Attic ventilation systems can also help remove hot air.

Conditioned Air has served the needs of HVAC customers in Bradenton, Sarasota, Ft. Myers, and the neighboring communities since 1962. Contact us today for more information on how to lower heat gain in your home and keep your living spaces cooler and more comfortable this summer.