43 posts / 0 new
Last post
WitchDoctor
Re: High Electric Bill
unregisteredto wrote:

If others like Kent were to overlook something then they would be excused since they know what they're talking about. You on the other hand don't know what you're talking about you just rant so no excuses for you.

Easy there , sport . Freedom of speech does not apply here .
;)

goldhiller
Re: High Electric Bill

Multiple-personality-disorder strikes again. :D

WitchDoctor
Re: High Electric Bill
unregisteredto wrote:

Thanks for the advice and good thing you didn't spell the name with a " Y " :eek:

I gave it considerable thought . :cool: And you guys have got it all wrong . Can't fault your paranoia though .

WitchDoctor
Re: High Electric Bill
unregisteredto wrote:

What's there to be paranoid about?

How about " concern " ? ;)

kentvw
Re: High Electric Bill

Alrighty then, let’s do a little math.

It looks like one stage of heating is kicking in at 20kw and you are paying about 10.5 cents per kwh. So to run your heat for one hour you are paying $2.10.

But we know that you are not running that coil all of the time, so for the sake of the discussion let’s say it runs for 15 minutes every hour all month long (Which I doubt it does.) But anyway…….. It would come out to .525 cents an hour. 720 hours in a month would equal $378.00 for heating the house.

So with that knowledge something seems amiss to me. If the furnace does have 3 - 20kw coils in it then from the info we have so far it comes on in stages. I can only wonder if a second coil kicks in if the interior temp drops below a certain threshold?

I also wonder about the size, in amps, of the electrical feed to the furnace?

So, at this point I would still be pointing my finger at the furnace as the culprit. I would be very curious as to when the additional coils kick in or if they are needed.

I used to wire houses in Montana (Read cold in the winter) and we used to figure 10watts per square foot of electric baseboard heating for modest residential homes and condos I wired in Breckenridge, CO were figured about the same way. So for this 1500sq/ft home you’d be looking at 15kw.

I’d also be asking the utility to check or replace the electric meter or leave your own recording ammeter on the service for a month and compare readings.

djohns
Re: High Electric Bill

Yeah , I'm with Kent on contacting the power company . They should have a recorder that can cross check the existing meter , or they might choose to remove it and send it to the test shop .

Re: High Electric Bill

Sorry for the long winded answer but it is necessary.It seems you have some electrical knowlege so what I am about to explain you might know already.But i have had numerous customers call me about there high electric bills. I found most of the problem was not knowing how a heat pump works.Just by moving the thermostat can cause a extremly high bill. So read thisand it could help.
If you have a heat pump you need to understand how it works or you will have extremely large electric bill. Your HVAC Contractor should have explained how a heat pump works if you have never had one before. The heat pump works like an air conditioner only backwards. It recovers heat outside by use of the compressor and then pumps the heated refrigerant inside. The fan on the inside unit (air handler) then blows over the coils and delivers air out to the air ducts and heats your home. The heated air is not as hot like a gas furnace. This why it feels almost cold as it blows out your house registers. This is why it takes a little longer for the temperature to rise. Now when the air outside is unable to achieve enough heat outside the second stage of heat come on. These are strip heaters inside you air handling unit. They are anywhere from 40amps to 90 amps at 240 volts. It is like have toaster on steroids running. Living in a milder climate like Houston you should most of the time be using the outside Heat pump. That should be more than enough heat and the inside unit strips heaters are not used but rare occasions. The inside house thermostat has two stages and you should know how it operates also. When there is a mild change in room temperature (3 degrees or less) the thermostat calls for heat. The heat pump is energized and the fan comes on and blows air. When there is a larger change in temperature (over 3 degrees) then both the heat pump and the strip heaters come on. When the thermostat is satisfied all is shut down. When the strip heaters are energized there is typically a pilot light that should light up on the thermostat. The ones I have seen are typically red or blue lights and are labeled emergency heat. If that is lit then the strip heaters are on. There also a switch that allows you to turn them on manually if there is a malfunction in the heat pump.
Now what can cause the high electric bills? The thermostat is wired wrong making the strip heaters run all the time. The thermostat is located near a door and when the door is opened a sudden rush of cold air makes the thermostat drop more than 3 degrees. This makes your furnace go right into stage two and energizes those strip heaters. Another reason you are constantly adjusting the thermostat more than those 3 degrees and causing stage two to come on more than what is needed. When you leave for work you turn down the heat and when you come home you turn it back up. All these make that steroid toaster turn on more then needed. Look at your electric meter when the emergency light is on you can see why you have high utility bills. It spins like a top.

Now to correct the problems if it the unit is functioning correctly. Find a comfortable set point and don not touch the thermostat. Do not turn the heat lower when you leave for work. Do not leave the doors or windows open any longer than possible. If you want to turn the heat back have your HVAC contractor install a programmable thermostat for heat pumps. It will ramp up slowly to not allow the stage two to kick in unless it is needed. I have personally never had one on my house when I lived in Maryland. I suggest the easiest way to lower those costly utility bills is to set the thermostat to a comfortable setting and leave it alone. I hope this helps letus all know know.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: High Electric Bill

I hate to say anything, but it seems to me that the energy efficiency of the OP's home must be low or he is very wasteful. I live in southern Ohio and my combined propane and electric bill is just over 50% of his electric bill. MY house is bigger, 2000 sq.ft. 2 story, and we run a tank heater for the livestock during the winter. During the summer with a/c, well pump, 50 gal electric water heater, lighting and TV our electric bill seldom goes over $80.
Jack

djohns
Re: High Electric Bill

Seems like we have vastly different opinions here . I hope we find out something definitive . These kinds of threads are interesting .

djohns
Re: High Electric Bill
YukYuk wrote:

I still question the existance of 3-each 20 kw heat kits in any event.

That raised a flag with me too , but he's there and I'm not . I just have to take him at his word . :)

Pages

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.