2009 is the year of the tax credit. The government just loves to make us buy things when we don’t really need them. Cash for Clunkers, 2009 Federal Housing Tax Credit, and the 2009-2010 Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency. I’m just learning about the latter credit as the Snodgrass household has an HVAC system out of the Mesozoic Era. Yes, it is perhaps time for an upgrade, and why not buy a high-efficient system? If we stick with a traditional gas furnace and central air conditioning system, we must purchase a A/C system with 16 SEER rating, and a furnace with an AFUE of 95 or greater (i think this means 95% efficiency) to qualify. This could be on the pricey side, but with the credit we basically get 30% off (in the form of a tax credit), which is a pretty hefty discount. So if the system costs $5,000, we get the full $1,500 credit. In addition, you may be able to find local dealers running specials on system upgrades so be sure to shop around.