I just noted in the latest copy of Dwell magazine (March 2010) Hunter Douglas is advertising their cellular shade model, Duette Architella, as qualifying for the Tax Credit, up to $1500. In addition to that, they are offering a $25 mail in rebate per unit as an incentive.
The shades look much like most cellular shades, although these are double-walled and claim superior air trapping capabilities which reduces the amount of heat that flows from your home by up to 50%. Of course that’s relative to how much heat loss you are currently losing via your windows; the older or less energy efficient the window, the greater the savings. Also claimed is a nominal R-value of 7. They have several colors to choose from and range from semi opaque to opaque.
I called the obvious places to see who carries this product, apparently Lowe’s and Home Depot no longer carry Hunter Douglas (rather a subsidiary thereof). After calling around a bit more, it looks like this product is typically represented by subcontractors who come out to your house to take measurements and process the order through installation. There are several companies in Puget Sound who will do this, these can be located by zip code on the Hunter Douglas website.
I’m actually interested in this product for my own home and have contacted JC Penney’s Custom Decorating contractor about looking at samples. I’ll report back on how the process works out. So stay tuned for that update.
A side note, I searched for other energy efficient window covering products that may meet the standards required to get a tax credit. The only thing I found was something called ComforTrack Plus. This product uses a magnetic side track system to ‘seal’ the perimeter of the window covering to the window frame, this makes a great barrier for air infiltration and will cut down the sensation of cold spots or drafts common near windows.
In any case, it looks like the tax credit is available until December 2010, but make certain the product qualifies prior to purchase. There is some debate about what qualifies because window treatments require homeowner participation; there is no guarantee that the shades will be drawn at appropriate times which negates their purpose and efficiency.