If you installed new windows, doors, or skylights, you may be able to claim up to $500 in tax credits! Energy Star is the site where you can get the best information on how to get the credit and what’s covered. Don’t rely solely on contractors who may not know the details or who promise their products will get the credit in order to make a sale.

Some examples of these tax credits are:

You can claim up to a $500 credit on a door replacement. For windows and skylights, you can claim only up to a $200 credit, and that is total…not for each window. 10% of expenditures, up to a lifetime $500, for all energy improvements combined. Installation costs are not covered and remember to save all of your receipts!

The IRS Form is 5695 that you will want to use to file.

Now the question is, when should you replace your windows? Most window experts say not to bother if they’re less than 15 years old. Savings on your energy bills will be small since window technology hasn’t changed that radically and the integrity of your windows should still be intact. Although if the windows weren’t replaced properly or they are of poor quality, you may want to think about replacing them. If the windows are 20-30 years or more years old, they are prime candidates for replacement.

Remember, a label alone doesn’t qualify for the tax credit but it does provide critical information related to eligibility for the credit. To qualify, window, doors, and skylights must meet Energy 6.0 standards based on the region of the country. Those standards include ratings for U-factor, which measures how well a product prevents heat from escaping and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), which gauges how well a product blocks heat from the sun. Energy Star may modify these requirements, so check online before making a purchase.