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MassSave Rebate For Heat Pump Water Heaters Really Adds Up!

MassSave is offering a $1,000 rebate for customers who purchase and install a heat pump water heater as part of the Cool Smart program. A heat pump water heater is electric and can operate about 50% more efficiently than standard electric water heaters can. All of the eligible heat pump water heaters have a 10- or 12-year warranty on both parts and tanks.

Many homeowners are familiar with the heat pump as a piece of heating and cooling equipment, but similar technology can be used to provide hot water for a home. A heat pump water heater “moves” heat from one place to another to heat water stored in a tank, rather than applying heat directly to the water to raise the water temperature. By transferring heat to the stored water rather than trying to raise the temperature directly, the heat pump water heater becomes an extraordinarily efficient device.

The pump pulls heat from the surrounding air and transfers it to the water stored in the tank. Heat pump water heaters come in a number of different configurations. You can purchase a unit that features the heat pump, an integrated storage tank and a back-up resistance heater. Alternately, you can retrofit a conventional water storage tank to use a separate heat pump unit.

Heat pump water heaters don’t operate efficiently in a cold space, but they can work well if they’re situated next to a furnace or in a warm space in the house. Typically, the heat pump water heater will need to be located in a space that is normally in the 40°F to 90°F range. The heat pump water heater also needs to have a certain amount of open space around it to operate as designed. The heat pump water heater will exhaust cool air into the room. Alternately, the cool exhaust air can be vented to the outside of the house. If you’re looking for an all-season solution, you can install a combination unit that will provide heating, cooling and hot water year-round.

Heat pump water heaters cost more than conventional waters heater do, but in the right circumstances, homeowners save on operational costs and actually spend less over the life of the system than they would if they had gone with a conventional hot water storage system. With the MassSave rebate, you can decrease the cost of the heat pump water heater to about the cost of a conventional system. Unfortunately, these systems are not currently eligible for any energy efficiency tax credits.

For more information about the MassSave program, program rules, financing information or to determine whether heat pump water heater would work in your home, please give Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating a call at (617) 288-2911. We’ll be happy to schedule a consultation.
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Boston Heating And Cooling Tax Credits Are Still Available

Homeowners haven’t totally missed the boat on last year’s home heating tax credits. Boston home heating can hit you right where it counts – in the pocketbook – so programs designed to reduce the cost of modernizing your Boston home heating system are welcome, no matter how much they cover.

This year, the generous $1,500 tax credit for certain home heating modernizations is gone with the wind. You can still claim 30% of the cost of improvements up to $500. Covered improvements include home heating, certain hot water heaters, air conditioning units and biomass stoves. One additional catch is that if you’ve claimed $500 or more in energy-efficiency tax credits between December 31, 2005 and December 31, 2010, you’re out of luck for this particular opportunity. If you’ve claimed less than $500 in the past five years, your cap will be modified, based on how much in credits you have claimed.

What does this mean for the Boston homeowner? The credit is still valuable if you want to modernize your home heating system. Aside from the tax credit, switching to a high-efficiency home heating system can reduce heating costs by as much as 50%, so even without the full value of the tax credit, updating your Boston home heating system may actually end up putting money in your pocket within the space of a few years.

Other credits for home heating and cooling include a tax credit of up to $50 for the addition of an advanced Main Air circulating fan. This device gives a boost to the blower on your furnace, and helps move heated air efficiently through your ductwork. By circulating heated air into the living space faster, the furnace actually uses less energy and runs less often.

A tax credit of up to $300 is available for Boston homeowners who want to install an air source heat pump. Heat pumps are highly efficient at exchanging heated and cooled air, and can provide as much as four times more energy (in the form of heated or cooled air) to your home than they consume. Split systems with a Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) of at least 8.5, an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of at least 12.5 or a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio of at least 15 are eligible for the credit.

Thinking ahead to summer, homeowners can add central air conditioning in Boston and claim a cool $300 tax credit at the same time. Split systems that are rated with a SEER of at least 16 or an EER of at least 13 are eligible. Package systems with a SEER rating of 14 or better, or an EER of 12 or better are also eligible.

There are other credits still available for non-solar gas or electric hot water heating systems and gas, oil or propane furnaces. I’ll have more about these in a future post.

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