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  1. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by jax1 View Post
    Hello again RS,
    Jax1 here.

    Been there, done that 2 yrs ago. I've some good experience in reducing electric bills for my friends and neighbors. Our rate jumps 5 cents per kwh a yr, currently at 20 cents. I'm living in a 35 yr old house that was built when electricity was cheaper than insulation. Give some details on your situation and certainly we can get your bill lower or double your money back

    it is certainly interesting especailly electirc rates are going up where I live(dallas, texas). I pay around 140 for 2000 sq house. (mine is 78 all day and night)

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    205

    I do believe you're right.

    Quote Originally Posted by bmathews View Post
    If you only have insulation to the top of the joists, that is only 4-6 inches. That is your problem. I'm not very familiar with insulation and the R values associated with it, but most homes have at least 18" or so of insulation.
    I think we are woefully short on insulation. That will be remedied this week or next.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Posts
    3,350
    It seems like "dude" is the new key word around here, so:

    Dude! I wish I could get a bill that low! Though for your size home, it may be normal to have bills in that range. I'm lucky to get under $300, and winter bills tend to be higher. I'm sure I could lower my bill if I was smarter with my electric usage. Computers running all day, lights left on, TV, A/C at 74 all day, you name it... My house is bigger, though (around 3500 sq. ft. in total). Electric is more expensive here, too.

    I think more insulation would help you, as would a new, high-efficiency system. You could also see where you could cut down on electric usage throughout the house, like lights, electronics, etc. Is your A/C oversized and short cycling?

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    205

    We've cut our electric use down to the bone

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanHughes View Post
    It seems like "dude" is the new key word around here, so:

    Dude! I wish I could get a bill that low! Though for your size home, it may be normal to have bills in that range. I'm lucky to get under $300, and winter bills tend to be higher. I'm sure I could lower my bill if I was smarter with my electric usage. Computers running all day, lights left on, TV, A/C at 74 all day, you name it... My house is bigger, though (around 3500 sq. ft. in total). Electric is more expensive here, too.

    I think more insulation would help you, as would a new, high-efficiency system. You could also see where you could cut down on electric usage throughout the house, like lights, electronics, etc. Is your A/C oversized and short cycling?
    I've become the electricity NAZI, according to my better half and offspring.
    No electronics are left, even plugged in, much less running.

    Doubt if my A/c is oversized. RH values are comfortable while running the A/C.
    The problem is the house heats up really really fast, w/the A/C set up.
    In fact, when we got up at 7:00 it was 69*, by noon, it was up to 81.
    3T Lennox/Armstrong for 1650 is bout right.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Skokie , IL near chicago
    Posts
    1,118

    high bills

    Quote Originally Posted by bmathews View Post
    If you only have insulation to the top of the joists, that is only 4-6 inches. That is your problem. I'm not very familiar with insulation and the R values associated with it, but most homes have at least 18" or so of insulation.
    definitely more insulation . Are u using an attic exhaust fan , that'll help vent that high temp pressing through that little insulation........Jack

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    205

    Jack I've considered it

    Quote Originally Posted by rojacman View Post
    definitely more insulation . Are u using an attic exhaust fan , that'll help vent that high temp pressing through that little insulation........Jack
    and I'm gonna talk w/my insulator when he comes for the job.

    I may install an attic fan next summer along w/that shiny new VS heat pump.

    For now, gotta get some insulation up there.

    Thanxs for the heads up on the fan. I had forgotten about that part of my plan

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    6,285
    I'm sorry I didn't read over all the post:

    Let's go over some things. What have you tried as far as energy savings?
    23 year old structure with 8 SEER equipment able to keep my energy bill below $60/month for 1000 sqft comm. building.....or apartment.

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    205

    WEll

    Quote Originally Posted by BigJon3475 View Post
    I'm sorry I didn't read over all the post:

    Let's go over some things. What have you tried as far as energy savings?
    23 year old structure with 8 SEER equipment able to keep my energy bill below $60/month for 1000 sqft comm. building.....or apartment.

    1650 ft2
    Tried running Tstat up into 80's while no one's at home then pulling it down to around 70 to sleep.

    WE have shut down a supply register and shut that room off since its adjacent to the garage (very hot).
    Installed floor sweeps, weatherstripping on hot doors and windows. Energy audit from TVA.

    It all boils down to the house heats up way too much and the A/C has to run too long to cool it down.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    63
    Quote Originally Posted by RomulanSpy View Post
    I think we are woefully short on insulation. That will be remedied this week or next.
    8 cents/kwh and $175. Over 2100 kwh! Good golly Miss Molly! I used half of that last month comfortably in a 1750 sq ft 35 yr old house with same age AC in hot humid Houston. Unless your climate is much worse, improvements can be made.

    Before, Before, Before adding insulation, check and fix other problems. Since I read a book on this, I'm an expert, of course. If outside temp is less than 100 and your attic is more than 10 degrees above outside, go to your local library and get a book on weatherization and insulation. Here are some brief tips the book will explain in more detail:

    For a hot climate, the 3 most important things are attic related.
    Ventilate, Seal, then and only then Insulate.

    Ventilate.
    Hot climates need 1 sq in ventilation per sq foot of attic, equally balanced between soffits and peak(preferably ridge vents there). That's UNOBSTRUCTED NET ventilation area. Deduct screens, louvers and other obstructions. Check the attic to see if those vents are not blocked. I've seen soffit vents that lead nowhere or were covered in insulation. Avoid attic ventilation fans, if at all possible.

    Seal.
    Without sealing ALL attic leaks, extra insulation only filters the cold air going into the attic and insulates very little. Move the existing insulation and check plumbing and electrical drops, around the chimney, ceiling light fixtures, dropped ceilings over cabinets in kitchens and baths, sheetrock separation from the framing that leaves tiny running gaps that add up to a big leak. Attic doors, knee walls, cathedral ceilings are big losers. Check for duct leaks while up there. Feel for cold air around all ducts and registers with the AC running. Checking at night with house lights on makes small gaps easily visible.

    Insulate.
    Add rafter baffles to keep your soffit vents clear of the added insulation (obvious, but often overlooked even in new construction).
    Build dams around things that shouldn't have insulation on them.
    Radiant barriers have much good written about them.
    Cellulose is cheap and safe for DIY. With a little help from your friends, it's not too difficult. It takes 3 people.

    1 in the attic spraying the insulation,

    1 to load the blower. The hopper empties quickly, very quickly. The 3rd person can assist the loader by keeping a supply of insulation bales nearby. Keep a shut off switch near the loader if the loader can't keep up. An empty nozzle makes a big mess in the attic. That blast of empty air turns a neat layer of insulation into a snow storm that lasts all day.

    1 for communication if the blower doesn't come with shut off controls at the nozzle. The attic person will need to shut off the blower when moving to another location. We tried walkie-talkies. The blower is too loud for the loader to hear.

    Big box stores lend insulation blowers FREE! with purchase of insulation. It's messy, but easy to do in a couple of hours. This over 60 geezer did it in July, in Houston!


    Other benefits:
    While checking for air leaks, I discovered a rusted water pipe about to burst, cracked framing, loose vent, broken bug screen, and wiring problems. All problems that were soon to become major expensive problems.

    All expenses were $500. Saved it back in 1 cooling season. Maybe saved more in the heating season, but I blinked and it was over.

    Enough things to get you started.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    63
    Quote Originally Posted by RomulanSpy View Post
    1650 ft2
    Tried running Tstat up into 80's while no one's at home then pulling it down to around 70 to sleep.

    WE have shut down a supply register and shut that room off since its adjacent to the garage (very hot).
    Installed floor sweeps, weatherstripping on hot doors and windows. Energy audit from TVA.

    It all boils down to the house heats up way too much and the A/C has to run too long to cool it down.
    1) you may be asking too much of your system to drop 10 - 12 degrees all at once. at the upper limit of the design load, keeping a house cool is less costly than cooling it. try setting the tstat to say 78 degrees all day and easing into the 70 nitetime setting. See if you are comfortable with raising the sleeping temp a degree or two. I like a cool sleeping temp and that's where most of my usage is. Our nite temps are mid to upper 70's so nitetime costs are more than my daytime costs. Read the meter for a day or so and see if it's cheaper. Check daytime usage. Check nitetime usage. You have a problem. The meter can help you find it.

    2)Do you have a programmable tstat? They're cheap enough now. I set my temp to 78 at 5am. The house doesn't get to that temp until noon, the house stays comfortable until we wake at 7 and the ac doesn't run from 5 - 12. does your house need to be 69 at 7am?

    2) shutting registers and doors is more often counterproductive. find why that room is hot and fix the problem there.

    3) what did the TVA audit check and find?

    4) don't throw insulation at the problem. without fixing other problems, you will be disappointed with the results.

    Good news! There is a problem. It can be fixed. If you're sure it's not the AC, it can be fixed cheaply. Take the time to learn what to look for, find it, fix it. Read my other reply for areas to investigate.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Posts
    3,350
    You seem pretty knowledgable with this subject Jax1. Were you or are you an energy auditer by trade?

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Dallas
    Posts
    189
    Mine is no where close to that. I got 1650 sq ft. I set back to 76 on milder temp days during the day, usually keep it at 72 all other times. Including the heat wave we had 3 weeks ago.

    112 bucks.
    Beenthere - You showoff !!!

    I'm just over double that....for double sq ft+, and I only have a Goodman.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    63
    Quote Originally Posted by RyanHughes View Post
    You seem pretty knowledgable with this subject Jax1. Were you or are you an energy auditer by trade?
    Nope, Ryan. Just was in the same boat as RomSpy 2 yrs ago. My kwh expense is 2.5 times his, and I'm twice as frugal. (Still can't believe he has only 8 cents/kwh.) Read a book or two and became an expert Saved my poor old AC another few yrs of life and gained the lowest kwh usage on the block for me. Friends asked what I did, and experience helping them followed.

    Freely sharing information is the main benefit of Al Gore's invention.

    I gained, therfore I share.

    All information here is worth every penny you pay for it.

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