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I was talking to a client today about the federal tax credits on heating and air conditioning equipment. In the course of our conversation I realized something important that I would like to share.

For most of my career as a service tech I had a rule of thumb for whether to repair a furnace or air conditioner as opposed to replacement. If the system was younger than 15 years old I would usually recommend repairs. If it was over 20 years old it was probably time to replace it. In between these ages, I would take other factors into consideration before making a decision.

The 30% federal tax credit has changed my perspective on this formula by about 5 years.

It now makes financial sense to start exploring replacement possibilities at 10 years instead of 15 and a 15 year old replacement makes good financial sense now.

Most manufacturers (the good ones anyway) have rebate promotions during the fall and the federal tax credit runs out on December 31st. This can mean up to a $ 2500.00 discount on a new system.

My advice is this. Start looking into it now! Don’t wait until later in the year because to receive the tax credit, the system has to be installed by December 31st, 2010. Have a qualified representative come out and take a look at your system and give you some advice.

It’s been said before, but after the tax credits are over, I don’t think that it will ever be said again, “THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO BUY A FURNACE OR AIR CONDITIONER”.

Chance Oswalt is a system designer at Western Heating and Air in Boise, Id.

You can email him at chance@westernhvac.com