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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    10

    Angry Zoning doubled my electric bill! Help.

    We added 3 zones to our 2 floor, 1500sqft condo in December and our January electric bill doubled to over $1000.00 here in Northern NJ. How is this possible?

    In December we had one thermostat on the main floor, and had a local HVAC guy zone it so there is one upstairs, one in the old location (80% of the square footage) and one for 2 the back bedrooms.

    I work from home using the back bedroom as an office so 80% of the house is at 65 degrees all day and the top floor bedroom goes to 70 degrees at night with the rest of the house at 65.

    At the same time we added an attic floor and filled it with storage so the insulation factor should have increased quite a bit.

    The HVAC guy seems kind of young and new, so any advice to point him in the direction to fix the problem would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    7,405
    Quote Originally Posted by bdoyle733 View Post
    We added 3 zones to our 2 floor, 1500sqft condo in December and our January electric bill doubled to over $1000.00 here in Northern NJ. How is this possible?

    In December we had one thermostat on the main floor, and had a local HVAC guy zone it so there is one upstairs, one in the old location (80% of the square footage) and one for 2 the back bedrooms.

    I work from home using the back bedroom as an office so 80% of the house is at 65 degrees all day and the top floor bedroom goes to 70 degrees at night with the rest of the house at 65.

    At the same time we added an attic floor and filled it with storage so the insulation factor should have increased quite a bit.

    The HVAC guy seems kind of young and new, so any advice to point him in the direction to fix the problem would be greatly appreciated.

    Sounds like he didn't wire the zone panel properly. What brand of zoning stuff?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    10

    Angry Zoning doubled my electric bill! Help.

    We added 3 zones to our 2 floor, 1500sqft condo in December and our January electric bill doubled to over $1000.00 here in Northern NJ. How is this possible?

    In December we had one thermostat on the main floor, and had a local HVAC guy zone it so there is one upstairs, one in the old location (80% of the square footage) and one for 2 the back bedrooms.

    I work from home using the back bedroom as an office so 80% of the house is at 65 degrees all day and the top floor bedroom goes to 70 degrees at night with the rest of the house at 65.

    At the same time we added an attic floor and filled it with storage so the insulation factor should have increased quite a bit.

    The HVAC guy seems kind of young and new, so any advice to point him in the direction to fix the problem would be greatly appreciated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    10
    Thanks for the quick response Seaton Heating! It looks like "Ultra Zone." He did have trouble with the wiring and had to call an electrician friend to help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    2,844
    Quote Originally Posted by bdoyle733 View Post
    At the same time we added an attic floor and filled it with storage so the insulation factor should have increased quite a bit.

    .
    Did you compress the insulation when you put the flooring down? If you think a bunch of boxes in an attic provides insulating value......it won't.
    Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.

    Give a man a capacitor, doesn't know what to do. Teach a man to install it, now he knows everything.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    10
    No Besvac, it was an empty space with insulation against the roof rafters and insulation laying on the drop ceiling. We added a plywood floor 2 feet above the ceiling, leaving the insulation there in place. I also replaced some dropped pieces of insulation on the roof and added plastic sheeting as a vapor barrier.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Beatrice, NE
    Posts
    1,990
    It takes more than adding dampers and thermostats to make a zone system. Most zone systems need to have over sized duct work to accommodate the air flow that is lost to the rest of the system. An improperly applied zone system can cause the equipment to cycle on high limit controls which will increase utilities. Not enough info to say much more. It all comes down to sizing and set up.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    7,405
    Quote Originally Posted by bdoyle733 View Post
    No Besvac, it was an empty space with insulation against the roof rafters and insulation laying on the drop ceiling. We added a plywood floor 2 feet above the ceiling, leaving the insulation there in place. I also replaced some dropped pieces of insulation on the roof and added plastic sheeting as a vapor barrier.

    Unfortunately you may have to call someone else out as it sounds like your original guy wasn't versed in the wiring.

    All the info I can give you is it sounds like your electric strips are coming on when they shouldn't.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    10

    Confused

    Quote Originally Posted by kls-ccc View Post
    It takes more than adding dampers and thermostats to make a zone system. Most zone systems need to have over sized duct work to accommodate the air flow that is lost to the rest of the system. An improperly applied zone system can cause the equipment to cycle on high limit controls which will increase utilities. Not enough info to say much more. It all comes down to sizing and set up.
    Thanks kls-ccc. I'm sure that's all I got, dampers and thermostats. So am I screwed or can I hire someone else to come in and correct, hopefully less than the $3000 I already put out?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    7,405
    Quote Originally Posted by bdoyle733 View Post
    Thanks kls-ccc. I'm sure that's all I got, dampers and thermostats. So am I screwed or can I hire someone else to come in and correct, hopefully less than the $3000 I already put out?
    Nobody on a computer has any clue what it will cost to do it right. Better start making some calls.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    1,801
    January was alot colder than December. I predict your bill will be lower in April. Are you sure your electric rate didn't change?
    I assume its a heat pump. Your big setback is making the electric backup heat come on recovery, making your meter spin. You may need smarter thermostats and less setback.
    Jason

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    483
    Yep, that is what it sounds like to me as well.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    10
    Thanks for your help. At least it doesn't sound like another $to fix. I'm new to the forum so I hope it's ok to ask if anyone knows someone reliable in NJ near the GW bridge.
    Last edited by beenthere; 02-16-2010 at 07:56 PM. Reason: price

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