Rebates and Tax Credits To Keep You Warm

Tony Oakman, from Lee’s Heating and Air highlights some of the rebates and credits available.

According to Lee’s Heating and Air owner Tony Oakman, “Everybody’s looking to save money these days, especially on bigger purchases for the home–like a furnace. And right now is actually when Utahns can save the most. There are tax credits and rebates set to expire at the end of 2010 that can save Utahns thousands of dollars on new energy-efficient appliances.”

“The government tax credits and rebates are generally tied to a furnace’s Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, and those AFUE ratings for furnaces tell you one thing – how much of your furnace’s fuel is actually being converted into heat for your home. So if your furnace has an 80 (or 80 percent) rating, that means 80 percent of the energy in the fuel is turning into heat and 20 percent of it is being wasted or escaping somewhere. Essentially, the more efficient your furnace is, the less energy it wastes trying to heat your home, and the more bank for your fuel buck you’re getting. By the way, all furnaces manufactured today must have an AFUE rating of at least 78 percent. By comparison, if your furnace is 10 years old or older, it probably has an AFUE rating of 60 percent or less,” Oakman adds.

Oakman says there are basically four major rebates or tax credits available. These include:

-A furnace manufacturer’s instant rebate of $25 to $500. This rebate is normally a reduced price or an immediate discount to the consumer at the point of sale. (Lee’s Heating and Air sells American Standard heating and air conditioning systems, and services most major brands.)

-Questar has a rebate of $300 per furnace. It’s given to any household that buys a new furnace with a 90 percent-plus AFUE rating. There’s a limit of two per household, and this rebate program ends Dec. 31, 2010.

-There’s also the Cash for Appliances Utah rebate program that could pay $300 per furnace for up to two furnaces with an AFUE rating of at least 90 percent. This program was launched in May 2010, and resulted from federal program that totaled $300 million. Utah received $2,349,000 from this program, and of this, there’s only about $500,000 left. Money from this rebate program will be distributed until it runs out.

-Finally, there’s the federal tax credit program. The credit is 30 percent of furnace costs, up to $1,500. To qualify for this tax credit program, a new furnace has to have a 95 percent AFUE rating. This program ends Dec. 31, 2010.

Oakman notes that until the end of the year when the rebates and tax credits disappear, it can actually be less expensive to buy a high the most efficient type of furnace available. “Normally, higher efficiency means a higher price, but the current consumer incentives can actually create situations wherein the most efficient—with an AFUE rating of 95 percent–are actually less expensive. For example, the approximate price of an 82 percent efficient furnace installed is about $1,850, and there are no rebates or tax credits. On the other hand, the approximate price of a 95 percent efficient furnace is $3,100. But, if you subtract the $300 Questar rebate, the $300 Cash for Appliances Utah rebate and the federal tax credit of $930, that $3,100, 95 percent efficient furnace actually ends up costing you $1,570—that’s $280 less than the 82 percent efficient one,” Oakman says.

Oakman notes that a high-efficient furnace will also result in a reduction in your gas bill. “Your furnace is paying for itself as those savings pile up year after year. The longer you wait to upgrade, the longer you miss out on lower utility bills. Of course, if you’ve got a relatively new furnace, or if you’ve got an older furnace and just can’t afford an upgrade right now, it’s also important that you get your furnace checked and tuned up once a year. Even if a furnace looks new on the outside, it could have all kinds of problems on the inside, including potentially deadly carbon monoxide leaks.”

Special offer for Studio 5 viewers: For a limited only, Lee’s Heating and Air will perform a 20-point tune-up on your furnace—including a carbon monoxide test–for just $89. Plus, the first 10 callers today who make an appointment for the tune-up will receive two tickets to an upcoming Utah Jazz game. Call (801)747-LEES or visit them online at

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