Homeowners may qualify for a tax credit of up to $1,500 if they purchase and install a wood- or pellet-burning (biomass) stove.

For warmth and beauty in the home, it’s hard to beat the ambience of a real wood-burning stove or fireplace. Homeowners now have another reason to warm up to one – they may qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $1,500 if they purchase and install a 75-percent efficient wood- or pellet-burning (biomass) stove in 2009 or 2010. Thirty-percent of the total cost, including the appliance, installation and piping, can be claimed.

Wood- and pellet-burning fireplace inserts also qualify for the tax credit, which are installed into existing inefficient fireplaces, quickly transforming them into energy-efficient home heaters.

The tax credit is part of the federal government’s efforts to encourage homeowners to choose green, energy-efficient products for their homes. The choice is good for the environment and homeowners’ wallets, says Dan Henry, chief technical officer for Quadra-Fire and Harman Home Heating, which offer more than 30 products that qualify for the tax credit.

“Today’s wood- and pellet-burning units are considerably more efficient than dated models, producing more heat with less fuel to provide warmth and comfort for many hours,” says Henry. “They are thermostatically controlled, easy to maintain and feature advanced burn technology that produces less ash and low outside air particulate emissions. It is now more convenient than ever to heat your home with renewable fuels, save money on heating bills and contribute to a greener Earth.”

There are several advantages to supplementing your home’s heat with a biomass stove or fireplace insert, including:

* Controlled heating costs, since prices for wood and pellets are much more predictable than prices for propane, oil and natural gas, which can fluctuate greatly.

* Contribute to less greenhouse gases by burning wood or pellets for heat, which is considered carbon neutral since only the carbon the tree or plant absorbed when growing is released into the air.

* Eligibility for the tax credit if you purchase and install a qualifying high-efficiency product.

After a purchase is made, the homeowner obtains an Official Manufacturer’s Certificate from the manufacturer’s Web site or the retailer. The certificate validates that the product qualifies for the tax credit and should be retained by the homeowner for tax purposes.

It’s now possible to live green and save some money while enjoying the ambiance of a crackling fire in the comfort of your own home.

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