Year-round, your home’s air conditioning system has to work properly in order to keep temperatures comfortable. And that high level of performance can come at a cost. But there are options out there to help foot the bill. Throughout the country, there are different government air conditioning rebates and incentive programs available aimed toward helping homeowners like you lead their house into efficiency.
2020 Government Rebates for Air Conditioning
The terms and conditions of government rebates or grants can differ depending on the job, time of year, location and other variables. Modernize recommends checking with the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency to see if you’re eligible before applying to maximize your chances of securing the funds you’re budgeting for and consulting with your project contractor. Often, rebates are available to homeowners who switch from electric to natural gas furnaces, air conditioning units, and water heaters. There are certain equipment requirements that have to be met in order to obtain rebates.
Energy Star Rebates
This program — which is run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy to promote energy efficiency — offers rebates and special offers based on a homeowner’s location. Though offers for siding and roofing rebates aren’t necessarily plentiful, there are many available for heating and cooling elements throughout the country. Find out if you’re eligible for savings by visiting Energy Star’s Rebate Finder.
The Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit
As noted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), there are a number of incentives offered by the federal government in exchange for making your home energy efficient. In the past, energy-efficient air conditioning systems qualified, but over the years, the incentives have become more stringent. Currently, only certain items qualify for IRS energy incentives including solar electric property and solar water heaters. Homeowners should consult with their contractor for more insight on projects that are eligible for tax credits. For more information, visit the IRS’s page on energy incentives.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Programs and Grants
Though details on grants and programs available in 2020 are scarce as of publication time, in the past, the USDA has offered funding to help low-income families secure housing as well as for home repairs and preservation. In the past, heating, air conditioning, and cooling systems fell under the department’s umbrella of coverage. Homeowners can contact their local representative or RD State office for more information.
Weatherization Assistance Program
This program is offered by the U.S. Department of Energy to assist low-income families increase their home’s energy efficiency and in turn, reduce energy costs. It covers cleaning, tuning, repairing or replacing a house’s heating and/or cooling systems. The program also notes that by weatherizing a house with the department’s assistance, the home’s “energy burden” is in turn alleviated since the home can become better insulated, sealed and ventilated. More information on the program is available through this fact sheet. To apply, contact your state weatherization agency.
Housing Improvement Program
An incentive offered by the U.S. Department of the Interior Indian Affairs, this program offers home repair assistance to eligible low-income American Indian and Alaska Native families. Interested homeowners can apply by filling out BIA Form 6407 with their closest housing office.
Alternatives to a 2020 Government Rebate for Air Conditioning
Because of its limited availability and competitive nature, not everyone is able to secure government funding. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of options. Alternatives like a small home improvement loan or opting for a 0% APR credit card can help fund that important air conditioning project. Here are some options.
Manufacturer or energy provider rebates
Though you might not be able to secure a rebate from the government, your air conditioning supplier might have one of its own. In many cases, product manufacturers will offer its own product rebate to contractors. In addition, high-efficiency air conditioning products are sometimes eligible for rebates through local energy providers. Check with the Department of Energy’s rebate finder for more information.
Home improvement loan
A home improvement loan can help homeowners secure the funds necessary to complete a project without accumulating credit card debt. Of course, there are still things to consider, including if your financial stability will allow you to secure one and the amount of time it will take for funds to become available.
A 0% APR credit card
As previously noted by Modernize, this option is beneficial for making big purchases — such as a new air conditioning system — without additional interest, so long as you pay off your balance before the introductory rate expires. Multiple banks offer different variations of a 0% APR credit card. Modernize recommends comparing the introductory rate’s length and the interest rate that will follow.
Local government loans or incentives
Depending on where you live, different states, cities, and counties offer incentives or subsidized loans geared toward building maintenance. In Austin Texas, for instance, local energy company Austin Energy offers a database of available rebates and incentives for energy-efficient air conditioning systems. You can see if your area is offering something similar by visiting your local government’s website or calling your county’s office.