With some luck, you don’t have to pay the full price for an air conditioner. Every year, there are 100s of rebates for new air conditioner units, and 2021 is no different.
Rebates for new air conditioners are used to primarily promote high energy-efficient air conditioners. Here are just some examples of rebates you can get for new AC units in 2021:
- $25 rebate for room air conditioners (offered by Austin Utilities, for example).
- $500 rebate for mini-split AC units (offered by New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program).
- $1000+ rebate for central air conditioners (offered by AEP SWEPCO).
Any rebate you can get for your new AC unit can save you money.
In this article, we will go over why rebates exist (promoting energy-saving units), who offers rebates (US government, power companies) and how to check out if your new AC unit qualifies for a tax credit.
At the end of the article, you will also find a rebate finder that lists rebates for new AC units in your state; either by state governments or federal government and private companies.
Who Is Eligible For Energy Rebate? (High Energy-Efficiency = Rebates + Tax Credits)
The main reason why rebates (as well as tax credits) exist is to incentivize homeowners to buy air conditioners with higher energy efficiency.
The energy efficiency of air conditioners is measured by a SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). The federally mandated minimum for SEER rating is 14. In short, air conditioning producers must not sell any air conditioner with a below 14 SEER rating.
To be eligible for an energy rebate when buying an air conditioner, you have to buy a unit that is at least 16 SEER rated.
There are 100s of different energy rebates on state and federal level; you can check out the links at the end for rebates for mini-split AC units, central air conditioners, room air conditioners, heat pumps, and so on.
Here we can just use an example or two to give you an idea of what requirements there are to be eligible for an air conditioner energy rebate:
Air Conditioner Energy Rebate Example (Central Air Conditioners)
Let’s take the Ameren Illinois rebate as an example. This is a private company that gives out rebates. To qualify for the rebate, you first have to be an Ameren Illinois electric customer.
In this rebate, you can an instant discount when you buy a central air conditioner that meets the following requirements:
- Your new central air conditioner has to have a 16.0 or greater SEER rating (SEER rating has to be confirmed by AHRI – Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute)
- Central AC unit must also have an EER rating of 12.5 or higher. If it has a 16+ SEER rating, it usually has a 12.5+ EER rating.
- The maximum capacity of the central AC unit must not exceed 65,000 BTU (that’s a bit over 5-tons).
- The incentive is limited to 2 units per residential account.
In short, you have to buy a highly energy-efficient 5-ton or less central air conditioning system.
What kind of rebate can you expect?
$350 – $1600.
The final rebate depends on size, the SEER rating, and so on.
All rebates are also time-limited. This specific rebate for air conditioners is available only in 2021 (from 01/01/2021 to 12/31/2021).
This is just 1 example of a 2021 air conditioning rebate. You can check out this particular rebate at Ameren Illinois here.
There are 100s more such rebates; the full list of air conditioner rebates are found at the end of this article (with links to specific rebates).
Air Conditioner Tax Deductible Example (Up To 10%)
Let’s look at an example of how tax deductibles work. These are covered by ‘Sec. 25C Nonbusiness energy property’ internal revenue code which states the following:
“In the case of an individual, there shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by this chapter for the taxable year an amount equal to the sum of 10 percent of the amount paid or incurred by the taxpayer for qualified energy efficiency improvements installed during such taxable year.” (Internal Revenue Code Section 25C tax credits)
Basically, you can get 10% off your air conditioner. Further reading of this HVAC tax credit document explains that you can get $50 – $300 tax credits. In specific cases, you can get up to $500 tax credits for new energy-efficient air conditioning systems.
Who Offers AC Unit Rebates In 2021? (Government, Power Companies)
The reason why there are so many different air conditioning rebates available is in part due to who offers them.
Primarily, HVAC rebates are offered by the US government. This can be on a:
- Federal level.
- State level.
- Local level.
Because we have 50 state and numerous local level governments, there are 100s of different rebate programs all across the US.
The key point of this help by the government is to lower the energy expenditure for cooling in the summer.
One of the most useful websites for finding rebates and tax deductions is the DSIRE database. You can check out the full Database Of State Incentives For Renewables And Efficiency here.
You will find:
- Direct rebates.
- Tax deductions.
- Tax incentives.
Secondarily, rebates for new air conditioners are offered by private companies. This in part to lower the electricity needs during peak summer months; power plants, for example, can’t keep up with electricity production.
Another reason is pretty much sales and new client acquisition. If an energy company gives you a rebate for an air conditioner, you are very often obligated to sign up with that company for your electricity.
SRP (Salt River Project) serves as a good example:
SRP Rebates On New AC Units (Example)
SRP gives rebates on central air conditioners, heat pumps, and mini-splits. They feature a neat table from which you can calculate how much rebates you’re eligible for:
As you can see, you get a rebate per ton. Example: If you get a 3-ton multi-stage air conditioner, that yields you $450 in rebates. If you choose the same type of AC unit with a 5-ton cooling capacity, you get a $750 rebate.
On top of that, SRP also calculates the energy savings you’re likely to receive per year and per 15 years for specific SEER rated units:
As you can see, SRP calculates how much you can save on electricity if you replace an 11 SEER rated system with 16 SEER, 18 SEER, or 21 SEER rated systems. The savings are in several $1000s. In short, energy efficiency pays for itself.
List Of Rebates For Different Types Of Air Conditioners
If you read our article about types of air conditioners, you know that there are at least 10 types of AC units.
For these AC units, there are 100s of different rebates, tax deductions, and so on. The primary source of these programs is the Energy Star rebates finder.
Here are the links for rebates for a specific type of air conditioner.
- Rebates For Central Air Conditioners (link).
- Rebates For Mini-Split Air Conditioners (link).
- Rebates For Mini-Split Heat Pumps (link).
- Rebates For Portable And Window Air Conditioners (link).
You can go also enter your zip code and you’ll get all the available air conditioner rebates in your area (valid in 2021).