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Insulated window shades qualify for tax credits
Insulated blinds qualify for tax credits.

If you’re looking for a way to save energy and take advantage of the energy-efficiency tax credits, consider window coverings.

The Department of Energy says windows account for 30 percent of building heating and cooling energy loss in the United States, so helping your windows be more efficient could pay off -- literally.

The federal tax credits on select energy-efficient products have been extended through 2011, and Duette Architella honeycomb shades made by Hunter Douglas, a window-covering manufacturer, are among those products that qualify.

The shades, which are available in more than 180 color and design choices, are the first and only window shades without add-on insulation systems to qualify for the credit, according to a Hunter Douglas announcement.

Federal tax credits for energy-efficient products are now available for 10 percent of the cost of most Duette Architella shades, up to a maximum of $500 in total, when purchased and installed between January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011, provided the expense meets the tax guidelines.

Five hundred dollars is the maximum combined total amount that can be claimed for all purchases of qualifying energy-efficient products placed in service during this period. It is also subject to reduction in the amount of similar tax credits taken in prior years.  Hunter Douglas annoucement advised homeowners to consult their tax advisers to determine eligibility.

Highly insulating Duette Architella shades can more than double the energy-efficiency of a window, according to Marv Hopkins, Hunter Douglas president and CEO. He said based on calculations verified by the Rocky Mountain Institute, Duette Architella shades, when properly installed, can save up to $60 per average-sized window. (Estimates will vary by region.)

"Uncovered windows can literally be energy holes, depleting a home of up to half of its heating and cooling energy dollars," said Hopkins. "We specifically designed and developed the award-winning, design-forward Duette Architella shade – our most energy-efficient product and the fastest-growing innovation in the extremely popular cellular category – to address this problem. This takes the air-trapping cellular structure of our original Duette honeycomb shade and makes it even more energy-efficient by placing a cell within a cell."

All energy-efficient products that qualify must be for existing homes, not new home construction, and the categories include windows and doors, insulation materials & systems, roofs, HVAC, water heaters (non-solar) and biomass stoves.

MSRP: Starts at $202, $439 for a 4 ft.x 5 ft. window.

For more information, see our Rebates and Tax Credit Research Center.

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