As it’s now the last month for the government’s big tax credit program, many homeowners will find, unfortunately, that it may be too late to purchase windows and receive the $1,500 tax credit. The two-year program ends December 31. For one thing, it takes some time to learn enough about windows to make an informed buying decision about something of this magnitude. Among other things, this kind of decision determines how a home will look, how safe and secure it will be, how much maintenance will be required and how energy-efficient and comfortable the home will be.
Not that it’s impossible to get new replacement windows by the end of the month, but time is also needed to manufacture the windows (most replacement windows are custom made to fit the opening of the old window), have them shipped and then have them installed. Compounding the situation is the reality that manufactures are already overbooked and working around the clock in most cases to fill existing orders. Window dealers and contractors are overbooked with window installation jobs. Most are not accepting new projects for 2010 completion.
Something homeowners may want to consider in regard to the expiring tax credit program is that it also applies to other energy-saving improvements – like attic insulation. For example, the new rising star in energy efficiency, reflective insulation, can be purchased immediately (it’s already manufactured and ready to be shipped) and installed quickly and fairly easily. Not that there’s not skill and expertise involved in installing reflective attic insulation, but installing insulation doesn’t require the same level of skill as a window installation. So some dealers and contractors have workers on staff who are not window installers -- but are skilled in installing insulation properly.
Reflective attic insulation is highly effective. It can reduce home energy costs by as much as 30%. (There are some excellent videos that explain the benefits and anticipated energy cost savings homeowners can get from reflective insulation. To see them, start at http://www.radiaflect.com/ ) Moreover, reflective insulation can be placed over existing fiberglass insulation on attic floors, working in tandem with existing insulation to improve a home’s energy efficiency. It can also be installed on un-insulated attic rafters for impressive energy-saving results. For more on the tax credit program as it relates to reflective insulation, visit http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index
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