Tax credit and low e glass

OlychickNovember 22, 2010

I'm wondering if someone can explain a way around the low e requirement for a replacement french door (Simpson fir) in a passive solar designed home? My doors face south, the overhang was designed so the sun (as much as it shines in the pacific nw) shines into the house in the winter only, when it is low in the sky. There is no direct sunlight in the summer; I don't require air conditioning as the house stays wonderfully cool in the summer. I don't WANT the winter solar rays blocked, but am being told that unless it is low e-glass it won't qualify for a tax credit. By the way, it is costing me an upgrade to get non-low e glass.

Any suggestions for taking the tax credit, or am I just s.o.l?

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skydawggy

It's very likely that at this point you won't have time to order the doors and have them installed before Dec. 31, 2010.

The tax credit criteria was very poorly designed. There should have been no SHG max in the Northern States and they should have allowed a U-factor as high as .35. In the South the SHG and U-factor should have been lower. The idea behind the tax credits was to lower the cost differential between very high performing windows and average performing, to encourage consumers to purchase the better performing windows. It became as simple as window manufacturers using a different piece of glass, that was designed for warmer climates, on all their windows.

To answer your question, if you want the tax credit, you will have to buy a door that complies. I have never heard of a manufacturer charging less for LoE glass. I would check that out with another dealer of that brand of door. Sounds to me like they are trying to jack up the price unfairly. If you decide to go with them and also want the tax credit, I would ask for the highest solar gain available. Keep in mind that although you will likely reduce the solar gain in the winter, you are also reducing convection and conduction.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 7:55AM
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desertwest

I agree 100% with skydawggy. It was written by someone who lives at a low elevation in the south somewhere. I had the same sort of dillema and ended up getting higher SHGC windows on my south facing windows which then didn't qualify. But a few did. I won't hit $1500 but at least a few qualify. And hopefully next time around they'll think about those of us who live at higher elevations and in more northern states.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 10:47PM
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Olychick

Thank you both..I've ordered the doors the way I want them, and they should be installed by the end of the year but was wondering if there might be a way to "appeal" or challenge their qualifying.

Maybe I'll just claim them and see if I'm audited. :-)

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 2:54PM
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desertwest

I just got new windows installed this week and wow can I tell a difference between the ones with SunCoatMax that do qualify, and those without. I can hardly feel any warmth through the SCM windows. I'm glad I only got it on 3 of the 12 windows. In the summer I suppose I'll be glad I got those. I figured I could use blinds in the summer for the others.

But my heater today seems to be working overtime since my house is not getting as much solar heat gain. They've got to consider the benefits of solar heating.

Sure this tax credit is great for people who live in Phoenix, but not for those of us who live in Zone 5 and colder.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 1:29PM
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