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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    15
    Thanks again everyone!!! Is there any kind of "guide" that tells you approximate gas usage per appliance per month/year, etc.? I am going to contact our utility company also.

    We do have a direct vent water heater along with a gas stove. I forgot about the stove & we do use it everyday which may account for quite a bit a gas usage??

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,903
    Depending how much cook, yes it can.

    Where does the combustion air for the water heater come from.

    You may be drawing in a lot of outdoor air through that intake, since your panning is open.
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  3. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,320
    Quote Originally Posted by bobh33 View Post
    Thanks again everyone!!! Is there any kind of "guide" that tells you approximate gas usage per appliance per month/year, etc.? I am going to contact our utility company also.

    We do have a direct vent water heater along with a gas stove. I forgot about the stove & we do use it everyday which may account for quite a bit a gas usage??
    There is some info you can provide to us that might net you a more targeted response...the best we can do with limited info over the internet is hazard a guess. With more info, it progresses to an educated guess.

    With that in mind, you can help by obtaining a digital relative humidity and temperature gauge, and measuring the condition of the air in your home when it is cold outside and the heat is running. Knowing your humidity level is a basic way one can determine if a house is "tight" or not, or if, such as perhaps in your case, if it is being overly ventilated.

    If your indoor relative humidity levels are elevated (assuming no humidifier is used) when it is very cold outside, and your gas usage seems high, it could be partially attributed to several things, one of which was mentioned above...amount of cooking.

    If indoor humidity levels are low, you could be over ventilating the home, or exhaust fans for cooking are operated whenever cooking takes place (cooking generally adds moisture to the air if exhaust fans are not used, or used sparsely), or there are leaks in the home unaccounted for (since there's no disclosure if a post-construction blower door test was performed to benchmark just how tight the house actually is), or there's duct leakage, or a combination of any of these and possible additional factors.

    The last thing I would do is write it off as "best it can do given the circumstances". If you went to extra effort to build a thermally tight house, you should gather some data to see just how well it is actually performing against what the building practices employed indicated it should.

    One thing is certain...you can have a very well insulated house with glazing that has awesome thermal properties, but if it is over-ventilated, you may as well open a window and try to heat the outdoors. Over-ventilating a house, year round, is like leaving the refrigerator door cracked open. All the insulation designed to hold the temperature required inside that refrigerator becomes worthless if the door is left cracked open, or if the seals are bad. It may still manage to keep stuff cool, but at much increased expense, and wear & tear.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    5,304
    That does seem high for your home.. As other stated, the 90k seem big as well.. do you have a two stage t-stat matching the furnace?


    I have a 1,700sq ft 1968 home, and have a 60k two stage with a two stage stat, and our house is all gas (stove, dryer, water heater, and furnace) and our bill was 173 therm ($180 total)

    I'd ask the dealer to see if they did a Manual-J (Load Calc), and also may not hurt to do a blower door test.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    15
    Thanks again!! Can these load tests even be done without the return air panning finished in the basement??

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,687
    Quote Originally Posted by bobh33 View Post
    Thanks again!! Can these load tests even be done without the return air panning finished in the basement??
    As previously stated, the panning being unfinished is a major problem. It should be panned in now, then sheetrocked when you finish the basement. If you just rock it, eventually it wil leak more and more.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,320
    Quote Originally Posted by bobh33 View Post
    Thanks again!! Can these load tests even be done without the return air panning finished in the basement??
    I would want any testing done on a FINISHED product, not incomplete. I'd want to know how the ENTIRE PACKAGE performs, not hamstring the data by incomplete construction or installation.

    I reread your OP and saw where the stairs leading to the unfinished basement are open. Is the unfinished basement unheated and non-insulated?
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    15
    The basement is unfinished but hopefully our contractor will be back soon to finish it. The ductwork is in place for the future finished basement but I plugged off some of the open sleeves to help the air flow upstairs. Otherwise there is no insulation down there at all along with the opening returns not panned yet.

    How does the air to air exchanger actually work and how can it be checked to see if it's installed properly. Are you actually directly heating the cold air from outside which I assume would cause you to burn more gas?

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,320
    Quote Originally Posted by bobh33 View Post
    The basement is unfinished but hopefully our contractor will be back soon to finish it. The ductwork is in place for the future finished basement but I plugged off some of the open sleeves to help the air flow upstairs. Otherwise there is no insulation down there at all along with the opening returns not panned yet.

    How does the air to air exchanger actually work and how can it be checked to see if it's installed properly. Are you actually directly heating the cold air from outside which I assume would cause you to burn more gas?
    First of all, when I meant "finished" in context of testing performance, I was not referring to the basement itself, but the unfinished panned return ducting down there.

    In the basement, were the supply connections for the future finished basement supply ducting just left uncapped by the installers, and allowed to blow willy-nilly into the basement?

    The unfinished panned return...am I correct in that being in an unfinished state, it's likely drawing air from the basement?

    Is the basement cold?

    Do you have trouble heating portions of your house?
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    15
    Yes, the basement is colder & at least three returns are wide open right now.
    The bedroom that is farthest away from the furnace is definitely cooler than the rest of the house (which I was worried about because of the distance). It has a partially panned return (because of one room that will not be finished). We have talked about a second heat run to that room but would it do more harm than good versus finishing the basement/insulating everything & finishing the panning on that return?

    And the supplies were not capped off,so when our contractor was delayed in getting back to finish the basement, I capped some of them but not all of them off.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,320
    Quote Originally Posted by bobh33 View Post
    Yes, the basement is colder & at least three returns are wide open right now.
    The bedroom that is farthest away from the furnace is definitely cooler than the rest of the house (which I was worried about because of the distance). It has a partially panned return (because of one room that will not be finished). We have talked about a second heat run to that room but would it do more harm than good versus finishing the basement/insulating everything & finishing the panning on that return?

    And the supplies were not capped off,so when our contractor was delayed in getting back to finish the basement, I capped some of them but not all of them off.
    Sounds like if some of the returns are not completely panned, and these sections are drawing air from an unheated basement, this could be contributing to your high gas consumption.

    You said you capped some of the basement supply connections off...are the ones that are not capped off just blowing air into the basement? If so, this could contribute to your difficulty to heat the bedroom that is the greastest distance away from the furnace. Those connections need ducting and supply registers on them, otherwise if they're just blowing air willy-nilly, they're affecting the static and velocity pressure of the system as a whole.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,903
    So your trying to heat 3600 sq ft.

    Once the return panning is capped, it will help.

    But, once the basement is finnished, and heated again. Your bills may not be as low as you would like.
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  13. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    5,304
    Is this furnace tied to a two stage stat?

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