Radiant in Residential

Radiant heating reaps tax rewards

Mon, 01/13/2014 - 11:56

As many people aim to reduce their environmental footprint, lower their monthly bills and improve the comfort of their houses, radiant heating has been an increasingly viable option for many reasons. Not only does this system waste less energy, but it can provide a more even temperature throughout the home. There are other perks that come with floor heating beyond sustainability and savings. What some may not realize is that the government offers tax incentives for minimizing energy consumption.Green goals
One homeowner that has been able to benefit from these incentives lives in Leicester, Mass. The Worcester Telegram reported that Marc Curtis built this unusual home three years ago with the objective of producing all of the energy it consumes. To achieve this goal, Curtis installed 19 solar panels in his backyard, which are designed to generate electricity, as well as heat the water he obtains from his artesian well. That heated water runs through thermal tubes underneath his hardwood flooring, thus producing radiant heat that is emitted through the floors to keep his home warm and cozy.The three-story house has a green roof, yellow panels and at least 17 glass windows, just on the front side of the house. According to the news outlet, Curtis spent $17,000 to make his home more energy-efficient, and he is confident that his investment will pay for itself within five years."(The price of) power is going to go up. It's going to be up to the individual to recognize it and start going to alternative energy," he told the source.Sustainable design
The Worcester Telegram noted that the state of Massachusetts offers tax credits and rebates for using alternative energy. Additionally, homeowners in other parts of the country can capitalize on incentives for simply minimizing their energy usage overall. A new custom home on Calle de la Plata in San Diego, Calif., is a perfect example of this. According to the La Jolla Patch, this house is now the third residence in the neighborhood to boast the highest rating in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, which is not an easy feat. Jill and Jack Nooren, who built the home and live there now, had to go through multiple visits from an official LEED green rater and have a multitude of documents carefully reviewed.Their efforts for sustainability paid off, too. The building and design team managed to meet 30 to 40 percent of the family's power needs through the use of Energy Star-rated appliances, LED fixtures and other green elements. The result? The Noorens pay an average of $36 a month for their electric bill. One aspect that has made a major difference is the radiant heated floors, which ensures that their four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath home is consistently comfortable. The Noorens even commended the radiant heating to their friends on Facebook as they updated them on the building process, saying, "that will keep our toes toasty during the winter months."Joe Diasparra of Hill Construction told the news outlet that the Noorens will be able to reap between $8,000 and $10,000 in federal tax rebates this year simply for having an energy-efficient home."People shouldn't shy away from building a LEED home," said Diasparra, as quoted by La Jolla Patch. "If they engage the design team and the builder as early as possible in the project, the payoffs are worth the investment on the front end."A high quality radiant floor heating system can offer as many as 15 LEED points to a home's rating, which can then contribute to immense financial rewards in the long run.