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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    12

    Too much power consumption (3700kwh), heating issue?

    Hello,

    i just moved into a brand new house that is only about 1700sq feet. The house is located in southern MO. I just received my first months bill for electric, and it was $359, and showed that i had used 3700KW! This is way too much for a house this size. I do not leave lights, tvs, or computers on, and I usually keep my stat set on 67-68, and turn it down to 62 when i leave. When comparing to my parents house which is larger, older, and has an upstairs and downstairs, they only used 2000kwh this month, and they set the heat much higher.

    I had my hvac guy come out and check out the entire system today, including the water heater and he did not find any issues. He also did not find an issue with my Tstat, but he is going to replace it with a different model anyway as he did not know much about the one i had. My current t-stat is a Robertshaw 9420, which has the two stage heating. My furnace is a Goodman furnace. He set my first stage differential on 3 and said it may help with energy usage. He also suggested that i not turn the heat down when i leave for the day.

    I also had the city come out and check my meter and they said it was working correctly.


    Do you guys have any thoughts on the recommendations above? Do you know much about the 9420 tstat and is this a known issue with these?


    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    7
    Sounds like you need to figure out what else is running off electricity. You have a gas furnace and water heater? What was your gas bill like? If your furnace and water heater run on gas why do you figure doing all that work on the stat and changing temps will effect the electric?
    FWIW my house is around 2000sft and have gas heat and water heat. I leave the fan to on all the time. All my bulbs are cfls and my monthly usage for electricity was 850kwh. Hell even 2000 sounds like too much.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    18951
    Posts
    1,593
    That thermostat is made for a heat pump, so I have to assume that what you are calling a furnace is actually a heat pump. In a way, the technician was correct, but the problem is not in turning it down, it's when you turn it back up if you have electric backup heat.

    Wait until your heater comes on normally, then go out and count the revolutions of your electric meter in one minute. Then come back in and turn your thermostat up 5 degrees and count the revolutions again. I think you'll see a large difference.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,635
    One thought is a meter reading mistake. Locally at least our meter readers don't always hit on the same day. Some months have more days billed for than others. Plus, the can make mistakes.

    As for your HVAC guy's recommendation of not turning down the stat, you'll find much debate as evidenced by this thread. My thoughts on programmables are here and on settings here. Those who disagree have some valid points. However, on a gas furnace it's a slam dunk. The lower the setting, the more often it's low, the less it will cost - period. As they mention in their first fiction point the "it'll cost too much to reheat myth" is a myth, especially on gas fired furnaces.

    But... it looks like you might not actually have a furnace. As Bob alludes to, those secondary heat strips are a killer. I've had customers who were running totally on strips and didn't even know it. You're supposed to get most of your heat from the heat pump.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    out in the country
    Posts
    633
    I found a lot of Heat pumps with improperly wired low voltage. Heat strips wired to come on with heatpump on first stage. Also poorly designed ducting, poorly insulated ducting in an unconditioned space, leaking ducting. And stuck controls, as in stack sequencers or relays so have you tech. check. everything. Also have found that the first thing a customer blames when they get a high elec. bill is the heat or a/c, some big electrical consumers are elec. stoves, ovens, clothes dryers, deep freezers, and refrigerators esp. the older ones. One last thing your unit is only as efficient as your house. hope this helps.

    iso
    I never let schooling interfere with my education... Mark Twain

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Dallas
    Posts
    189
    Shut off everything you can in the house. Read the electric meter. Run the Heater non-stop for 1 hour. Read the meter. Turn the heat off. Wait 1 hour. Read the meter. What's the KWH difference?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,586
    If its a heat pump. The recovery may have been what caused the high bill.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    89
    leave that t stat alone, check house for heat loss. pump could b runnin more than usual

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    12
    Thanks for all your responses everyone. I do apologize for any confusion. I do not have anything gas in the house, it is all electric. The technician checked out everything on the heat pump and water heater, inside and out, and it all looked good he thought. All my appliances are energy star, and i really do not run them that much. I am pretty much the only one in the house. As for insulation, Looking in the attic, It all looks good and piled high. As for the meeter Reading, I read the meters myself and the bill is correct unfortunately. In fact, i have been reading it every day now, and my average kwh usage for 1 day is about 100kwh.

    I can really tell when the secondary heat strips come on, as the heat starts blowing really hot, and the second flame on the tstat comes on.

    My house is mostly hardwood, and tile in the bathrooms, and kitchen. Only the bedrooms have carpet. I also have vaulted ceilings, but i still do not think my consumption should be this high.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    18951
    Posts
    1,593
    You should seriously consider a new electronic set-back thermostat that "ramps up" the heat. They're made mainly for heat pumps, so the supplemental heat use is kept to a minimum when the temperature comes back. I like the Honeywell TH6220D1002, with has an automatic changeover from heat to cool. This means that once it's programed, you may never have to touch it ever again. You can leave for work in the morning with the heat running, and come home in the evening with the air conditioning running.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,381

    Question Installation date ... ?

    Quote Originally Posted by K-Dubb View Post
    Hello,

    i just moved into a brand new house that is only about 1700sq feet. The house is located in southern MO. I just received my first months bill for electric, and it was $359, and showed that i had used 3700KW! This is way too much for a house this size.

    I do not leave lights, tvs, or computers on, and I usually keep my stat set on 67-68, and turn it down to 62 when i leave.

    When comparing to my parents house which is larger, older, and has an upstairs and downstairs, they only used 2000 kwh this month, and they set the heat much higher.
    Was the electric meter connected during a portion of the construction period?

    At 100 kwH /day, I guess you have a significant problem.

    The auxilary that should be locked out at > 30'F outside assuming the heat pump balance point is in the mid- 20's F.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    9,548
    Does your builder live next door?


    Seriously, either you've had extremely cold temps where the heatpump and aux are constantly running, or you have something on constantly. What size heatpump and heatstrip? I'm guessing 4 ton 15 kw?
    If everything was always done "by the book"....the book would never change.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    12
    For this last bill, I would say at about 97% of the nights were under 30*, and 50% of the nights were under 20* for outside temp F.

    I do not know if the meter was on during construction, as the house had been complete for 2 months before i bought it.

    I do believe the guy today did mention 15kw strips or something along those lines when he was here today.

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