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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    14

    Electric Bill shock, researching Honeywell thermostats

    I have spent some time today researching heat pumps and my Honeywell Vision Pro 8000. I live in Texas and this month's electric bill was shocking. I figure we have been keeping the temperature (72 degrees) too high with this heat pump. In my research I learned that heat pumps will go into aux or emergency heat if you raise the temperature more than two degrees. I am trying to determine if this thermostat is smart enough to know that, and thus save money by programming lower temperatures at night. I do have intelligent recovery set to on.

    My research has provided mixed opinions on whether or not it is best to lower the temperature at night vs. one constant setting day and night. Can anyone tell me the most efficient way to run a heat pump with electric aux heat?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    603
    Keep the stat no higher then 68 *F or lower at bed time and no higher then 70*F during the day, ck all the weather stripping for infiltration and hopefully you have proper insulation in the house for your area. Electric aux heat should only come on if the room temperature falls below the set point of the stat by 4*F

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,599
    It will attempt to recover without using the aux more then needed.
    But, it will still use the aux if your set back is 4 or more degrees.

    A smaller set back will save more money since you have electric aux.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    14
    shogun8: Thank you for your response. My home is well insulated and well sealed. My research left me with some questions on how to most efficiently operate this new heat pump and this new Honeywell thermostat. I am guessing this thermostat understands the limitations of heat pumps and aux heat. My utility bill was $200 above last year with same price for KWh. We used about a third more electricity with no other changes.

    Live and learn.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    It will attempt to recover without using the aux more then needed.
    But, it will still use the aux if your set back is 4 or more degrees.

    A smaller set back will save more money since you have electric aux.
    So if we set 69 degress during the day, you recommend 66 or higher at night?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold.calm
    Posts
    6,097
    Where did you get this stat and when was it installed?

    It would also help if we knew the equipment it’s hooked up to!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by pecmsg View Post
    Where did you get this stat and when was it installed?

    It would also help if we knew the equipment it’s hooked up to!
    The heat pump, air handler and thermostat was installed by a local HVAC company. It replaced a previous unit which died. The heat pump is an Armstrong Air 16 SEER 5 ton unit. The air handler and heat pump was supposedly multy speed or something like that.

    Bills for last four months were same as last year, but this past month was a killer. I figure I just don't know how to properly use this system most efficiently.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Dallas & Longview, TX
    Posts
    629
    Quote Originally Posted by Rudy81 View Post
    shogun8: Thank you for your response. My home is well insulated and well sealed. My research left me with some questions on how to most efficiently operate this new heat pump and this new Honeywell thermostat. I am guessing this thermostat understands the limitations of heat pumps and aux heat. My utility bill was $200 above last year with same price for KWh. We used about a third more electricity with no other changes.

    Live and learn.
    Did you have a HP last year or was it a gas furnace?

    If a HP, did it have electric backup heat?

    Did you setback the stat the same?

    One third more of $600 is $200 so is your elect. bill now $800.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,599
    Quote Originally Posted by Rudy81 View Post
    So if we set 69 degress during the day, you recommend 66 or higher at night?
    Yea, what ever temp you like for the day, not more then 3° setback.

    Homes that the HP has a low balance point can get away with 4°.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold.calm
    Posts
    6,097
    To get a better comparison of operating costs you should be using the degree days from last year and this year. You’re local weather should have that information.

    It’s possible that the stat is not set up properly or there’s a wiring problem. You might want to give the installing contractor a call and ask them.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,460
    I am sure these other guys will answer your questions about your equipment. The 8000 is a great stat and you will notice savings due to the 4 period settings as well as smart recovery and to top it off it will control your equipment better. Make sure you get it intalled by a reputable local company and get the outdoor air sensor as well it will work even better with it. Yes you could install it yourself but there are a lot of equipment specific settings that need to be set up propperly to take full advantage of its features.

    I put one in my house 2 years ago and it has been great and saved me a ton. In fact I can log into my local utility company and you could see on a chart when it was installed due to the energy usage drop.
    "It's always controls"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,460
    i apologise I see now that you already have one. Does it have the outdoor sensor. I would have the settings checked. Here it is around 2 -3 % for each deg f of setback but we start losing if we setback more than 6 deg f as the unit will run to long to catch back up. The adaptive feature helps with this but it is not a fix.
    "It's always controls"

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    14
    Once again, thank you all for your responses. My bill this month was $670. Last year it was $470 with a less efficient unit. I don't believe the temperatures were that much colder this year than last. Funny thing is that the past four months (since new unit was installed) were pretty consistent. I will have to further investigate the daily temperature issue.

    I do not have an outside temperature probe, but am thinking of adding one since the thermostat can use this feature.

    Up until today, we have not used the programmable feature and just set the temperature at what we wanted. I did notice aux heat indicator was on quite a bit during the past month.

    I did have the unit checked by a pro two months ago and he indicated everything was hooked up properly, but he did not check the thermostat settings.

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