Five Criteria to Check for Qualifying Garage Doors for Tax Credit

April 22, 2010

Are you replacing the windows and doors and doors on your home and wondering if a new garage door will qualify for the energy tax credit? If your garage door meets the five criteria below, it will qualify, saving you up to 30 percent of the cost, excluding labor, up to $1,500.

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  1. Only doors installed on insulated garages qualify for the tax credit. The garage does not have to be attached to the home, but its exterior walls must be insulated. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cautions that it is not necessarily advisable to insulate your garage. If you keep your automobile and other hazardous materials such as paint and pesticides in your garage, it is important to insulate your home from toxic fumes that may leak inside from the garage, especially if you are going to install an energy efficient garage door.
  2. Your replacement door must have a Manufacturer's Certification Statement to qualify for the tax credit. The EPA does not keep a list of doors that qualify for the tax credit. Your contractor or the place you purchase your replacement windows and doors can help you find manufacturers with qualifying products. If the manufacturer cannot produce a Certification Statement, your new garage door will not qualify. You must keep a copy of the signed Certification Statement for your records. However you do not need to send a copy when filing your taxes.
  3. Your replacement door must have a U-Factor appropriate to your geography. The EPA has four Climate Zones, each with one or more associated U-Factor values. U-Factor measures the heat transfer through a window or door. The lower the U-Factor, the better the insulation.
  4. Your replacement door must have a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) appropriate to your geography. The SHGC measures how well the window or door blocks sunlight. Be sure that the replacement door you purchase has the necessary U-Factor and SHGC numbers for your Climate Zone; a door that qualifies in one zone may not qualify in another. The climate zones and U-Factor and SHGC requirements can be found on the EPA's website.
  5. Your replacement door must be purchased and installed in your principal residence (a home that you own in the United States and that you live in most of the time except for temporary absences) between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010.

Garage doors can be expensive, so if you have a reason to keep your garage warm (or cool), it is worth your time to investigate purchasing a new or replacement door that is tax credit eligible. Just remember that you cannot claim the cost of installation, and you must obtain and keep your Manufacturer's Certification Statement with your tax records.

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