If you plan to replace the windows in your home, consider energy efficient replacements and you may qualify for tax credits.

New windows can literally breathe new life into any home, and there has never been a better time to replace your existing windows, thanks to the tax credits homeowners can now get for doing so. The tax credits for energy-efficient replacement windows is a great incentive to give your home a facelift while allowing you to bank some cashenergy star windows from andersen in the process. Simply put, the government is giving consumers a bit of green to go green when they install windows that meet certain specifications.


The federal government extended the tax credit for energy-efficient replacement windows through Dec. 31, 2015 (with promises to extend it to future years.) All qualifying window replacement purchases made in 2012 and above years can be included in figuring this federal energy-efficiency window replacements tax credit. Homeowners should bear in mind, however, that not all windows (even those that are billed as being energy efficient) will qualify for the credit. Only those windows that meet the performance requirements set out by the Energy Star Windows Program Version 5.0 will qualify. For example, a number of Jeld-Wen replacement windows qualify under the program as do replacement windows from Milgard , Marvin and Simonton . Most window manufacturers offer information on their websites about the windows they make that qualify under the program (for some additional information on windows that qualify for tax credits, click here .

How To Get Your Credits

Tax-credits-for-energy-efficient-replacement-windows-2To get your credit, you must purchase qualifying windows during the timeframe the program allows: Jan. 1, 2012 through Dec. 31, 2013 and subsequent years (because the federal government suggested it will continue this credit in future years.) It is important to keep copies of your sales receipt, the manufacturer's certification statement, the Energy Star qualification and the National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) ratings sheet for each window you purchase. (To energy star windows from milgard receive the full federal credit; your windows must meet both Energy Star performance ratings for your geographical region and appropriate NFRC U-factor ratings.) Keep these documents with your tax documents. If you are ever audited, you will need to submit these documents to the Internal Revenue Service. (For more information on the Energy Star program, click here .)

It is important to note that this federal tax credit for energy-efficient replacement windows applies only to the cost of the windows and not for the cost of having the windows installed. This tax credit is for 10 percent of the windows' cost, up to a maximum of $200 for windows and skylights. Keep in mind that if you are taking advantage of the federal government's tax credit program for installing doors that are manufactured with energy efficiency in mind, the combined maximum for the two programs is $500, of which only $200 can be derived from the windows' price.

Tax-credits-for-energy-efficient-replacement-windows-3This tax credit is a carryover from a similar program from 2011, and these limits are lifetime limits, not annual limits. If you bought new windows and claimed them on your taxes last year, that credit counts toward the maximum lifetime credit.

In addition to the federal tax credits available for certain window replacements, your stat may have energy-savings plans that qualify you for state tax credits. Check with your County Clerk's office or with your state's energy agency for information on any state credits available to you.

If you are interested in installing new windows to make your home more energy efficient, QualitySmith is a great resource for finding a local window installer who can give you a windows estimate. Most contractors are aware of the tax credits (both federal and state) for energy-efficient replacement windows and can help you choose windows that meet the specifications necessary to qualify you for the credit.