Tax credits available for energy-efficient windows

Tax credits available for energy-efficient windows

"I recently moved to a home where the front windows face southwest. There are no shade trees in the front yard, so I'm expecting the front rooms to get hot this summer. I plan on replacing the glass but I'm getting conflicting advice.

"Should I get low-E glass and rely on it to block infrared heat waves, or get clear glass and have an infrared-reflective film applied? Which will give me the best results" – Angie's List member Roger Linville

Todd Overpeck, spokesperson for Glass Doctor from the D.C. area, says he would recommend an insulated glass unit with low-E glass and argon gas between the panes. He says the low-E glass stops the sun's ultraviolet rays from fading your carpet and furniture.

"Argon gas is lighter than air, so it stops cold air on the outside pane of glass from transferring to the inside pane," Overpeck says.

He also adds that reducing cold air transfer helps you save energy and lower your bills. Overpeck says adding tinted film to a clear glass window is a lower-cost alternative, because it blocks the sun, but does not stop the heat.

"Since the film doesn't stop the heat from escaping, you don't get the energy savings and your home is colder in winter," he says.

"Another advantage to low-E glass is that it's clearer than the reflective film. Just be sure and consult a professional before retrofitting windows, and look for the energy-efficient tax credit labels."

Overpeck also says that many energy-efficient insulated glass units may qualify for federal income tax credits.

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