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How To Earn $1,500 By Replacing Your Windows

If you have been considering replacement windows for your home, you should think about getting your project done before the end of the 2010 calendar year. Currently, the government is offering a tax credit of 30% of the cost of qualified, energy-efficient improvements, up to $1,500. But, this incentive expires at the end of 2010, so acting soon is imperative. Replacing your old, leaky windows can not only reduce your monthly utility bills, but can also reduce your income taxes for this year. Not to mention, the improvements can make your house look better and function more comfortably!

The tax credit and utility savings can help you recuperate a portion of your up-front costs. Consider your budget carefully. You will need to balance the appearance of the windows with their energy-efficiency and cost. Windows vary in price, depending upon size and quality. A replacement window project for an entire house can easily cost $10,000 or more. Vinyl window ratings are among the best for energy-efficiency, and vinyl can cost much less than wood window frames. You may be able to find better energy-efficiency with other window frame types, if cost is less of a concern.

To qualify for the tax credit, the replacement windows must be installed in a primary residence. They must have a U-Factor of 0.30 or better, and a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of 0.30 or less. When shopping for replacement windows, look for the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) sticker. The sticker will tell you about the window's energy-efficient ratings. You will need to keep the stickers off the windows and the purchase receipts for your tax records, if you decide to claim the tax credit. For more information, check with either the U.S. Department of Energy, the IRS, or your local tax advisor.