Return to the Smaller Homes Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

Posted by angiepangie (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 27, 13 at 13:31

We are entering our second month of summer here in OK, and also our second month in our home. It is 835 sq feet- and the electricity bill is set to be around $125-$150.

We can see our power usage from the elect co on a daily and hourly basis. We use about 5 cents per hour, but when the AC is on its about 50 cents per hour.

Pair that with the fact it will reach 110 today, the AC runs allot, esp at 2-9pm. I turned the AC up to 82 and we saved about $2 per day ($60 a month!) but I work from home and that was miserable. So I now have it set to 80 day, 76 at night and we are back up to the $5 a day mark.

I sleep in only a sheet- I am a really hot sleeper so upping the AC at night is not possible- and it only runs about 2 times anyways. The lows are in the 80s with high humidity so opening the windows makes things worse.

I guess I thought that our bill would be like $50 or something. Any one else shocked at how their bills are? Does any one live in a comparibly sized home in a hot area like me? What are your bills?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

you in TX? hi humidity isn't here in AZ!

mine from last month, due now is 140.00. not a surprise. I have about 1400 sq ft. I expect it to be much more this next month. pushing 200.00 at least.

we've had unusually hot temps for a long time this yr. and early in the season!

I checked my inside gauge and and it was about 82 earlier. I don't like really cold either - so it's fine to me. If I were working up a sweat mopping or painting etc I'd get it down more.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

Our 900 sft cabin bill is about $160 this past month. I say about since we are on budget billing and the current bill is higher than actual use so Georgia Power can get the bill adjusted to something that works over a 12 month span (it started off too low). I am a bit surprised as to how high the bill is. I expected it to be lower.
We haven't seen very many days in the 90's yet, so I expect it to go higher. My husband works from home and can't really tolerate heat, so it's set to 75 during the day.
On 90+ degree days, our upstairs loft area is really hot. I've thought about installing a window fan to suck the hot air out, but have yet to find one that will allow me to close it off so once the hot air is out, there isn't air seepage coming in from outside.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

Our temps are about like yours and our bills are about the same for an 1800 sq ft house. But, we put about a foot of insulation in last year. Before that, it wasn't unusual to have bills over $250.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

Ok I can't really help you too much with my house. We just got air last august so we haven't really had a full hot month with air conditioning. I checked my history and last august I paid $65.00. Our house is a raised ranch with 1000 square feet up and 1000 square feet in the "Basement". We try and keep the vents closed downstairs as we are never down there and its relatively cool anyway. However, DH used to share a house with his brother years ago and when Dh left his brother never took the electric out of his name so his brothers electric bill still shows up in our account. Last summer they paid $217 in august and $171 in July and $141 in June. We are in Chicago and last summer was really hot and really humid. That house, however, is almost 3000 square feet,built in the 1930's, and his wife stays home all day (they have 3 small children) and she was pregnant last summer so I know they were running the air constantly. So comparing it to that your bill does seem high. Our rates are 4.5 cents per/kilowatt hr.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

We are paying about $45.00 a month for summer. We do use a swamp cooler which does not work in humid areas. it does not cost much more than a fan to run. We are 108 right now on the front porch in the sun. EEEEEKKKKKKK About 80 in the house. Feels comfortable.

Our winter heating bill can run to $250.00 with forced air heat. So we get the big electric use in winter. We are about 1375 SQ FT.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

We pay 11 cents pkh :-(


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

the new bill is already 260.00! yikes! It's for last month and I think most of the month was 105 or more each day.

This is a very hot wk also. It says it'll be up to 117 tomorrow. we'll see tho. It's 8 pm here now and 100.

My winter bills run about 40-50.00.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

Angie - did they deregulate the electric companies in OK? If they did check to see if there is another company offering a cheaper rate in your area. Our rates were higher a few years ago but now that there are more companies our town contracted with one of them to offer the 4.5 cent rate, we are also able to shop other companies if we like. Just beware of companies charging a cancellation fee or something similar to that. We still get the bill from the same company we always had but the portion of the bill that is the actual electricity is a different company.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

nope, we only have two companies. City, and rural. City electric has a smart hours program- its highly confusing. you get a high rate from 2-7pm, You are supposed to use less power then, and use more power outside of those hours, which has a variable rate, depending on demand and temperature. They guarantee you will save money. But since I work from home I use electricity during the peak hours so it won't save us. I did get a peek at the past 12 months before we moved in and it seems this house has always paid that much in the summer. I really envy those with bigger houses and smaller bills. you must be paying less pkwh than us. It was 110 the other day, we will have a summer of 110-115. But we are getting a cooler spell next week. Oklahoma summers are brutal.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

A lot depends on how well the house is insulated, both the walls and the roof.

A lot depends on how much heat gets into the house. Shade trees help. Closing curtains and blinds helps. Outside blinds or awnings help. Upgrading the windows can help.

Getting the A/C checked over could help--sometimes it's as simple as a new filter or recharging the coolant.

And part of it is just that right now, half the country seems to be having a terrible heat wave.

Here is a link that might be useful: check your a/c


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

I agree with camlan. I'm in hot, humid FL with 1100 sf and all my windows are old bent sliding doors that don't seal well, and my bill never goes over $80 in the hottest month, running the AC 24/7 and with a LOT of computer equipment always in use for my work.

It used to be much higher, but I had the AC serviced and the old fridge replaced (but with the biggest energy hog in its class, I might add) and the bill dropped dramatically. You may need to start thinking about replacing your A/C unit. Look around to see what energy rebates are available where you are.

EDIT forgot to say my current bill was $58 for 537 kwh.

This post was edited by writersblock on Sun, Jun 30, 13 at 2:07


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

Our kilowatt is 10.30. It is supposed to go up about 10 % July 1.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

Suggest an energy audit, sometimes free through your city or there are some DIY instructions online. Do you have storm windows? Indoor/outdoor sealant check. I'll let you check the rest online. Or maybe the Old House Forum has suggestions. Although they don't consider your house age old there.

My house is 1100 with original double hung wood windows, but all with double hung outside storm windows and the opening to the attic is in the garage. That opening can be a hog if not sealed within a house. I also added insulation strips around the doors.

Plus suggestions Camlan made. I was surprised at how much heat my TV emitted, it was a large plasma and too hot to sit by, almost glad when it died.

My electric was 50 for the month. But I'm in an area where it can get 90 during the day and down to 50/60 at night. So my usage is different than yours. My guess is if I lived in your location, the gas/electric would be the same as you are seeing. I keep an indoor fan going early morning and evening to bring in the cool air and then close up during the day. AC if I need it is turned on around 4pm and off at 7. The computer is on all day as is the dumb TV, but use it half the time for my computer screen.

It is water here that can get high, I'm xeriscaped and manage this carefully. Winter is the furnace which I keep fairly low. All together an average of 160 per mo. I can't figure out the kw prices, there are 4 different charges with an access charge of 28.

This may be a dumb question. But I have quit using my programmed auto on for furnace and air. Just turn it on when needed, usually 5-10 degrees difference to warm or cool. Does it cost more to do this than letting auto do it's thing? I got tired of hearing the unit come on for a 1 degree difference. Although my average bill has not changed for 8 years.

Am in a mixed neighborhood with small homes to mansions. Someone told me the large homes with wall to wall grass costs more than 1,000 for outdoor water and many even more. Water here is the most expensive utility, but can you imagine what the rest of their utilities run?


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

Suggest an energy audit, sometimes free through your city or there are some DIY instructions online.

Or your electric company may offer this. Ours does.

Another thing to look into is whether smart meters are available in your area. We were forced into them here and I'd really rather not have one, but I must say that one good thing is that my bill went down a fair amount (despite a small rate increase at the time) once the meter was sending accurate information all the time with no estimating by the meter readers anymore.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

technicolor and here our water is insanely low. 50K gallons ,Yes correct not typo, for $16.00 a month. go over that to 75K gallons add $2.50. Over that and it is $.50 a 1000 gallons.

I like cheep water but this is so crazy and some day there is going to be a big crash in the water system.

Even with the cheep water we try not to waste it. We do have a half acre and about 1/3 of that is in lawn. I would love a more natural landscape. Here is it either lawn or constant spraying because of the neighbors weeds on the hill beside us. When we bought the place there were thistles taller than we are. :^(


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

Writer, thanks for editing me. I meant the utility company. Why were you against the Smart meters? They installed mine about 3 years ago, but didn't think anything about it other than no more dog alert calls from the utility company.

Although the insulation is original and never changed, this little house is well encapsulated and holds on to it's warmth in winter and cool in summer. I think this is because of larger wall thickness (plaster plus) and the storm windows.

Idaho, where does your water come from? I had a new home with a well and thought it was going to be a great savings. My electricity went up big time because it was needed to run the well. No savings on water. You are really in great shape with the lower cost and enjoying gardening.

The homeowner I mentioned before with high water bill is publicly fuming. They are charging him double for going over the minimum use. 2 - 3 thousand a month?

This has been a very good education on utilities. First time I actually read the fine print on my bill. And interesting how it works around the country. Read that electricity cost goes up between 4 and 7 here . which I never knew. Does not using electricity during this time make a big difference? Of course this is when most people are using more. I could easily start the AC around 2 and close up the house. Same with the furnace in winter, not use it during those hours since the house maintains it's temp for quite a while.

For water we pay an access fee and a separate water runoff/waste water fee based on the size of lot. No rain barrels are allowed.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

Angiepangie:

110 degrees? I have an old friend who lives in Las Vegas and it's HOT there. I could never survive that kind of heat.

He keeps telling me "it's a dry heat". Yeah, so's a pizza oven!

I think you can tell I can't stand the heat. I live in Vermont where summer temps usually get into the low 80s. And winter temps can go to minus 30 once or twice.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

>Why were you against the Smart meters?

They cause wifi interference with things like ipads in the corner of the house nearest the meter, which means it must be putting out a heck of a signal, for one thing.

Also, and this is relevant to your question about high-use times, I'm quite sure the main reason they are being put in is to make it easier to switch to a billing system where the price goes way up during high-use times. For now, FPL, our local utility, offers a deal to users who agree to let them put in software that cuts their ability to use lots of power during those times, but I expect this to become mandatory in the near future. Right now, folks who sign up for that program get a significant discount for joining, but I don't anticipate that lasting very long.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

We live in Midvale Idaho. Small town. The water comes from an artesian well. No storage or purification so no chlorine. which is nice. Pumping costs minimal for the city.

We have several houses on wells. It does cost to pump the water. Probable more than the $16.00 we pay per month now. Course we have always had acreage until this house.

We also have a smart meter. I have read they are supposed to transfer data at 3AM and this is supposed to be waking people up in the night??? We do have WIFI here and the router is about 14 foot from the smart meter. I have not noticed a problem but I am not sure what to look for.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

"here our water is insanely low. 50K gallons ,Yes correct not typo, for $16.00 a month. go over that to 75K gallons add $2.50. Over that and it is $.50 a 1000 gallons. "

wow. I pay 30.00 for 1,000 gal. (can get 2,000 for 45.00). my regular tank holds 1500 - that's the one I regularly fill up. I have a back up tank (gravity feed) that I use in the summer (watering any plants). It doesn't use the pump. I can also use it if my pump goes out - and have for an outdoor shower (cold in the winter/ scalding in the summer tho).
Most of the yr I only get the 1000 gals tho. In summer I might put a few thousand in the back up tank for outdoor use.

My water is in an above ground tank so in the summer here it is hot coming in! I had Jed turn the hot water heater back to 90 yesterday. Today I'll see how that works for a shower. The last shower I took was a very quick one - the water was so hot and there was no cold to cool it down!


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

We do have a msart meter. Usage last week was 257 kwh. Does that seem high?

The weather has been over 100 every day, low arounf 85 at night.

Just a reminder, we pay 10-11 cets pkwh

We have asked our utility co for a free duct works inspection and AC inspection.

we didn't sign up for the smart hours because it seems fishy to us. It is a year commitment- and they want us to install a thermostat that they can restrict how much energy we use in peak times. Also, the cost of electricity varies too much.

Regarding the shade trees, we have em!

Did I mention we got an energy report? We saw that our bills were comparable to the past tennants 12 month history. Our utility bill states we are using about the average amount of energy compared to other homes this size in our zip code.

The fact that people have much larger homes than us with lower bills really makes me wonder.

But we JUST bought the house, and it was inspected by 3 different people- all said the AC was fine, insulation was fine- yes we need new windows at some point but there were no obvious energy leaks of major.

Could it just be that we pay more per KWH than other people in the country, and that is why our bill seems so high compared to others?

There has been so much information posted it is hard to make direct comparisions- so far I don't think I have heard from any one in a comparable climate and house size.

I think I addressed everything that was posted. Sorry if I missed something....Thanks everyone for your input so far!!!


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

Angie, it could be what you say--that the cost of electricity is just higher where you are.

But--when a house is being sold, the inspection just looks at things to make sure they are working. It is possible that your A/C unit could use an overhaul, or maybe is old and could be replaced by a more energy efficient unit.

The fact that you are home all day also factors into this--during the time many people would raise the temperature a bit higher, you actually need it lower, because you are in the house during the hottest part of the day. So your neighbor might be able to raise the temperature to 85 or 90 during the day, but you need to keep it at 80.

And don't forget that you are in the middle of a nasty heat wave.

My costs won't compare--I have two window A/C units that, combined, add about $60 to my monthly electric bill for June, July and August. It doesn't get as hot here in New England, but it sure does get humid--today it's 81 outside, but with 95% humidity, it feels like it's over 90.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

> Usage last week was 257 kwh. Does that seem high?

Well, as I said in a previous post I used 537 last month, for the whole month. I don't think mine has ever gone over 600 here, and daily temps in the high 90s are usual in August/Sept.

Of course, it depends on so many things. I have a friend who lives in a house a tad larger than mine, but it was built back in the 1920s and he's not willing to let the original windows go, so accepts a $600 a month bill.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

thanks writer for answering.

I didn't think about their being able to upcharge with the new meters. How secretive to install and use this way. Now I wonder how much electricity the new meter uses and if it actually goes along with 4-7 pm higher rates, meter running more too.As for interference, mine is on the garage and not sure if it is a problem.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

Does your electric company offer a Budget Plan, whereby your monthly payment is set at a fixed amount based on the average of your past 12 months usage? At least that eliminates summer-month surprises.

The downside is that in our area you can't sign up for that until you have had a full 12 months of electric use in that particular house.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

> Now I wonder how much electricity the new meter uses and if it actually goes along with 4-7 pm higher rates, meter running more too.

Well, as for the electricity usage, my bill has actually gone down quite a bit since it was installed, so I doubt it uses more than a regular meter. It is constantly monitoring your usage, so there would be no difference in the amount of power it draws at different times of day.

As an older person who can remember privacy, that's another thing I find creepy about smart meters--they know when you're there, when you're not, when you cook dinner, etc. from your usage patterns, but if you're under 30 you probably don't find that a concern at all.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

they have agreed to let us do average billing, and we are still considering it. I do have a smart meter- and I see allot of people have concerns about it. I am not aware of health effects of smart meters, can someone please explain that? The privacy issue, I fully agree with.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

Well, for what it's worth, here's a big ol' list of all the things they've tried to blame on smart meters--note that it's a site devoted to hysteria about EMFs of all sorts, so I'm not saying I agree with it, just that these are the issues people are complaining about.

Here is a link that might be useful: smart meter health issues


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

thanks for the link. I checked it out. Allot of non specific symptoms that could be attributed to something else, or could just be associations made by people (some of them are clearly imbalanced) but THEN again, high voltage power lines- I had the pleasure to stand under one while travelling in Yosemite and it was buzzing. I felt really really uncomfortable under that power line and started to think maybe there is something to all this....


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

2000 sf ranch in south florida. pool. 2 fridges. solar hot water heater, 3 computers running constantly, in summer we keep temps at about 77 and in winter it's set for 60. highest bills in summer used to be $600. updated roof, windows, replaced old fridges. insulated the attic over garage. not much change. Biggest reduction came after we updated the a/c. and reduced pool pump from 6 hours/day to about 2 hours /day. now our high bills are mid $200s in summer lows are about $125


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

1,000 sq ft hot humid louisiana
summer utility bills 35.00 plus utility light @ $10 per month
.08 per kwh.
winter time utility bills were never over $45.

2 ton heat pump with vs air handler unit,
whole house dehumidifier..that I hardly
ever use as vs ahu keeps RH around 53%.

I've done a lot of air sealing of the house
put ductwork inside conditioned space.
378kwh used for June.

rather than a free energy audit you might invest
in an independent. remember that utilitiy co want
you to save 10-15%, but 30%+ is average savings
of energy rating.

smart meters aren't offered by my small utility
co-op.

when I first bought the house with window a/c
& propane heat utility costs were $250 average.
just to give you an idea what you can diy once
you know where the air & duct leaks are & how
to address them

best of luck.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

And interesting how it works around the country. Read that electricity cost goes up between 4 and 7 here . which I never knew. Does not using electricity during this time make a big difference? ABSOLUTELY!

Check the fine print even further, and you may find that they bill on "peak load" and using more than XX KWH during this peak time can bump your entire bill up to premium rates.

We have the "peak load" billing in AZ, with hours between noon and 7PM as the peak time and bought a timer for the water heater (backup to solar) to guarantee it won't come on during those hours. And I get all laundry done before noon, because the dryer is electric.

The thermostat is programmed around the peak load times to keep the house coolish.

===========
I've been observing the effects of various changes to another house - it's atypical because it's 1880s and adobe, with metal roof, but ...

Adding a shadescreen to the utility room's east window dropped the temperatures in there by 10 degrees, and it's the unheated and uncooled part of the house.

Adding a shadescreen to the east-facing kitchen window changed it from sweltering at 9AM to less so (it has no AC ducts because of the way the roofs, plural, are over that part of the building).

Adding shadescreens to the west-facing office bath window means it's not an oven by 5PM.

Less effect in the LR and DR, because they face the house next door and there is dappled shade, but adding the shadescreens makes it more comfortable in the AM. Less heat buildup and glare.

We had typical old insulation, a few inched of rock wool or something. Insulating to R-38 or as close as the roofing structure would allow ... the utility room is even cooler because it's not getting heat from the metal roof glowing down on it. Cost was about $1800 (estimated payback time <5 years)

The main house no longer has a ceiling that radiates warmth all night because the roof can't heat up the plaster.

Net result: keeping the 1700+ square foot house air conditioned last month, which was hotter than usual, cost a whopping $95.

Because it's dry, and because the early morning temps can be in the mid-60s, we do open the house and let all that free coolth in until outside temp is close to the desired indoor temp. And it airs the house out.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

Did I mention we got an energy report? We saw that our bills were comparable to the past tennants 12 month history. Our utility bill states we are using about the average amount of energy compared to other homes this size in our zip code.

and the energy report came from utility company?
of course your bills will be comperable. consider the
source of info.
utility info is biased to favor utility co. same with the
audits they provide...10-15% savings max as compared
to 30%+ with independent evaluation.
my clients save 50% on average once my recommendations are completed and work is
verified & tested.

without blower door & duct testing...it is just a guess
as to where the house/ducts/returns leak.

air sealing is the best savings. cheap to do, immediate results..long term benefit depending upon the life of the sealant (use caulk..expands contracts unlike foams)

duct sealing next best savings. average homes have
30% duct loss. a bucket of mastic & a morning spent
sealing ducts also has long term benefit with immeidate results.

beating the heat before it enters the house trumps changing windows & doors. awnings, plantings, and solar screens.
once the heat is inside..then you pay to cool it.

the down side to 'average billing' is that at the end of the averaged cycle, you pay the amount you went over the average. for some people this can be a real problem.

never insulate before air sealing. insulation filters air
it doesn't stop it. only foam insulation stops air leakage
and insulates. not great stuff...

best of luck.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

Did I mention we got an energy report? We saw that our bills were comparable to the past tennants 12 month history. Our utility bill states we are using about the average amount of energy compared to other homes this size in our zip code.

and the energy report came from utility company?
of course your bills will be comperable. consider the
source of info.
utility info is biased to favor utility co. same with the
audits they provide...10-15% savings max as compared
to 30%+ with independent evaluation.
my clients save 50% on average once my recommendations are completed and work is
verified & tested.

without blower door & duct testing...it is just a guess
as to where the house/ducts/returns leak.

air sealing is the best savings. cheap to do, immediate results..long term benefit depending upon the life of the sealant (use caulk..expands contracts unlike foams)

duct sealing next best savings. average homes have
30% duct loss. a bucket of mastic & a morning spent
sealing ducts also has long term benefit with immeidate results.

beating the heat before it enters the house trumps changing windows & doors. awnings, plantings, and solar screens.
once the heat is inside..then you pay to cool it.

the down side to 'average billing' is that at the end of the averaged cycle, you pay the amount you went over the average. for some people this can be a real problem.

never insulate before air sealing. insulation filters air
it doesn't stop it. only foam insulation stops air leakage
and insulates. not great stuff...

best of luck.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

Hi, we have an update. My husband crawled under the house and checked ALL the ductwork, it looks in very good shape, and there were no leaks anywhere.

I think the issue we have, and that people are not understanding, is our particular weather. Yes, your bills might be significantly lower than ours- even with a larger house.

But consider the fact that we have LOWS in the 80's. And it is humid. Very very humid. And the highs are over 100. In August, WELL over 100. As in 117, with a heat index of 125. Only two summers ago, OK had the hottest summer on record, of any state, at any time.

We reach temperatures hotter than death valley, hotter than the sahara.

I can only dream of opening the doors and windows in the mornings to let the cool air in. You lucky people!

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/okgard/msg0719312223378.html

Here is a link that might be useful: look at our summer temps


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

angie - I need your dh to come here and check my duct work for leaks now...

I also checked out temps for June and as I thought none under 100. June = 104- 119.

it's under 100 today (so unusual) - it's monsoon time tho. had a sprinkling of rain too. A handful of drops. I opened a window to see if that was an option - but no, humidity is high for us and it hit me asap!


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

Part of it is that air conditioning is just expensive. Part of it is that you are home all day, so the a/c is running all day, whereas with homes where everyone goes off to work/school, they can let the house get hotter during the day.

Have you checked with your neighbors to see what their electric bills are? That's the best way--to compare with people who live in the same conditions.

If your a/c unit is over 10 years old, getting a newer, more energy efficient unit might pay off in the long run. Newer units can come with a "dry" feature--if the temperature is okay, but the humidity is high, you can run the a/c as a dehumidifier to just dry the air, not cool it. So newer models come with features that might be handy in reducing the electric bill.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

Insulation
Ceiling fans


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

My last gas-electric bill was $80 for my 1400 sf house. I am participating in the Smart Meter program and that knocked $20 off my bill. About three years ago I had cellulose insulation blown in to the attic and that made an immediate difference, both winter and summer. Last year when I got a new roof they installed an attic exhaust fan. That thing is amazing! My house was always uncomfortably warm upstairs during the day. Now it is quite comfortable. I also run a ceiling fan in my bedroom.

Of course, the last bill covered mostly June when the weather is not like the scorching weather we are having now. I cook and heat water with gas, and my furnace is gas, too.I think my highest bill in the winter is close to $300.


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

>If your a/c unit is over 10 years old, getting a newer, more energy efficient unit might pay off in the long run.

Very definitely yes to this. I rented here before buying and the owner had to replace the AC during that time. Of course he put in the cheapest goodman possible from the cheapest installer in town (I think it cost $3K total). Now if you want to know about Goodman, go look over in the HVAC forum here, but even that knocked a LOT off my monthly electric bill.

Personally my only complaint about the Goodman is that it klunks loudly when turning on and off. It's been installed six years now and no trouble at all. (It doesn't make a lot of sense to invest in quality A/C out here, since the salt means any unit has a max life span of about ten years.)


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

"Hi, we have an update. My husband crawled under the house and checked ALL the ductwork, it looks in very good shape, and there were no leaks anywhere. "

really?
there are diagonstic tools that increase pressure of ducts
to measure & identify leakage sites.
duct testing shows the leakage sites that you don't see.
in my nearly 16 years of home diagnostics I've yet to see a duct system with no leaks. there are there...you just aren't seeing them. average homes have 30% duct loss.
that contributes a LOT to your utility costs.

best of luck


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

Marti8a, the foot of insulation...was that in the attic ceiling?


 o
RE: Bills...higher than I thought. Fess up, what do you pay?

$45 last month. A little less than 700 sq ft, we unplug our microwave when not in use and turn off our router, cable box and microcell when we're not home and at night. Our stove is a 1950's propane range so it doesn't use any electric. Our fridge is a 1950's Norge which hasn't effected our bill since replacing a 200? "energy star" Kenmore with it. Our hot water tank is a power vented tankless. We have an electric dryer, and an energy star washer. We have two portable AC units that we run when it's over 85 all the time, or just the one in the bedroom at night when it's much over 75. We also have two hunter ceiling fans that run just about 24/7.

We've just decided to put up a trellis and climb some vines next to (a few feet from) the west side of the house to help with summer shade but then still allow the sun to give us some solar gain in the winter.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Smaller Homes Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here