View Full Version : gas bill for furnace goes up 100 bucks per month
03-15-2012, 08:18 PM
Hi there. I am going to look at my parents furnace on the weekend as they told me there bill has gone up 100 bucks a month. I suggested to call the utility company as there is likely something wrong with there side of things. They said to get someone in to look at the furnace and give it a "tune - up ".
Im just curious as to some things I should look into on this.
I mostly just do refrigeration and work in grocery stores so dont ever work on furnaces and gas fired appliances. I have my ticket as its part of the apprenticeship here so I am qualified to work on it, but with that said I dont have much hands on in this particular area.
I am going to borrow my buddies gas manometer and check the pressures at the appliances and such and check filter and heat exchanger and such but just wondering if theres more I can look into?
Any replies will be thanked in advance! :cheers:
03-15-2012, 08:38 PM
Look at the bills from this year and last year. Look at average temperatures, mcf billed, rates, taxes, hidden fees. Usually the price went up, even though the commodity price went down. Actually, usually the customer doesn't have last year's bill, and just thinks they are paying more, and it must be my new furnace's fault.
One customer was complaining about higher bills this mild winter. I spent an hour on the phone with the gas company comparing two years, actual and estimated bills, and determined that even though the gas company is paying me less for the gas from my well, the price they are charging has gone up. Also, that customer heats some with wood, and this winter has been too warm to burn much. Their gas consumption really did go up because of the mild winter.
03-15-2012, 09:18 PM
Clock meter to find the input.
Btu input x efficiency = cfm x delta T x 1.08
03-15-2012, 10:37 PM
Is the gas primary or aux. heat? If primary, need to ck. all aspects of furnace. If they have hp, maybe problem with hp makeing gas run more. had that happen with a ho. hp quit and they didnt notice until gas bill arrived.
03-15-2012, 11:31 PM
Do they have other gas appliances......
Water heater, dryer, stove, fireplace....
And check for gas leaks
03-16-2012, 10:25 AM
Thanks for the input guys.
This is only a furnace not a heat pump and there only other gas fired appliance is a hot water tank.
I remember clocking meters in the gas course so I will try that too.
As far as leaks go you would figure if the bill went up 100 bucks in a month that you would be able to smell the leak. How do you guys go abouts checking for leaks? Soap and bubbles? I dont have a natural gas detector so that will be my only option either then isolating and nitrogen.
Any other advice will be helpful!
03-16-2012, 01:24 PM
the same issue with a heat pump customer. Didn't look at the actual electric useage, only the $ amount. Their useage actually went down, but with the added fees, taxes, and fuel surcharges, it made the price per Kwh more. Gotta look at everything on the bill and compare apples to apples.
03-16-2012, 02:27 PM
You can turn the gas off to each appliance and check the meter to see if the dial moves.
I use soap.
Id check all thats been posted and take a look at the ductwork too something could have come apart.
03-16-2012, 10:21 PM
Thanks every one
03-17-2012, 09:54 AM
What you need to do is check your external static pressure. Every furance has an external static pressure rateing of .5 in wc, and is made to recieve that the maxium air flow. When a furance runs on higher or lower total external static pressure, you will not heat the house like you want, and your furance will work harder to compisate for the demand of heat. You can always raise and lower the blower speed, but that is just a temporary fix. What i usually do is make the return boot a radius and make the width 10*24 with a 24*10 reduceing down your old duct work.
03-18-2012, 02:21 PM
I would check with soap and bubbles without a gas leak detector.
Make sure you check at the meter too. As soon as the gas pipe leaves the meter, it becomes the responsibility of the homeowner.
Check the bill, make sure it says "Actual" and not "Estimate" under the reading.
When was the unit installed? Is the gas valve functioning properly inside the unit?
Did something happen to the duct work?
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