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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    3
    I recently moved into a house built to my my specs. I put a lot of effort into making this house as effecient as possible. I used tech shield for the decking, I used blown in celulose for the walls(6 inch walls) and ceilings, bought all new appliances and bought the the most effecient heat and air I could afford. Based on the recomendation of my local ac man I went with a trane xr12 4 ton variable speed heat pump . He did a heat load on the place and said the 4 ton would be more than enough for 2400 square feet. He claimed that I could get 13.5 seer when coupled with varialble speed. After all of this effort, I just got nailed with a $212 bill from entergy. Friend of houses of similar size and builds had bills in the range of $110 to 140. I usually keep my thermostat on 76-78. I have investigated and come up with possible answers to the problem and would like some professional input. I PAID for 10 inches of blown cellulose in the attic( about r38. I got on average about 8 inches. My insulator is coming to fix the problem next week. How much would this factor into my bills? My ac man is coming next week to check his stuff. I have been under the house where all the duct work is and all looks very good. What problems should I look for and what should I have him check. By the way, how cold should the air coming out of the registers be. Mine is about 60 degrees. The house is all brick and is ventilated by a ridge vent.
    Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    626
    Without a separate meter for your HVAC system, there is no way to tell how much was for heating and cooling. Later on you can compare your summer cooling bills with bills from april and october that will at least give you an idea.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    in a house, Appomattox, Va.
    Posts
    3,252
    for insulation you need to take a (1 sq foot) sample from the attic and weigh it. Blown insulation is checked by density, not inches depth. Do a search on insulation or check home enegry magazine: "cheating, the insulation industrys dirty secret"
    Col 3:23


    questions asked, answers received, ignorance abated

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    490
    here in new jersey thats the norm for the average house maybe you should look at your bill see if it is calculated or the real deal it will say calculated or or not.
    also check your meter reading then call your electric company see if it matches go out by the meter read it and talk to them on a cordless phone could be wrong reading, stuf happens.
    also is your roof black and your neighbors white
    that would add to your bill is your houses shaded less or more then your neighbors it goes on and on.
    can try turning your ac off for a day take meter reading power begining of day and days end then do the same next day but run your ac see what your using with it on.
    for each day x it by the 30 day month and you will know what your ac is using about.
    oh and last thing do you have attick fans and are they set maybe to low where they run day and nite they have temp settings on then to go off and on at different temps.
    try the simple stuff first its all comman sense stuff
    we are all just trying to make a living.
    hope this helped

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,242

    Exclamation TEST As Much as Possible

    Originally posted by TheDuke
    can try turning your ac off for a day take meter reading power begining of day and days end then do the same next day but run your ac see what your using with it on. hope this helped
    TRY this testing continuously for a Month!
    I KNOW your elecric bill will be MUCH MUCH Lower.
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    490
    oh also dirty air filters will cause your ac to run day and nite to cool the house should be changed at least every three months .
    also you thermostat if you have it set on auto it will go off ounce temp is reached that it is set at.
    if you have the fan on on the fan will run nite end day,
    think u know but.
    again hope this helps

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,242

    Operations Cost and Proper Set-up

    Originally posted by smhorton
    I went with a Trane XR12 4 ton variable speed heat pump . He did a heat load on the place and said the 4 ton would be more than enough for 2400 square feet.

    He claimed that I could get 13.5 seer when coupled with varialble speed. After all of this effort, I just got nailed with a $212 bill from Entergy.

    Friend of houses of similar size and builds had bills in the range of $110 to 140. I usually keep my thermostat on 76-78.
    You must have other equipment ( Pool pump(s)) running +
    He must set his t-stat to 83'F or more.

    Does he have a gas hot water heater?
    Does he use flourescent lights?

    Do you have 4 computers and 5 TV's?

    I suspect running a 4-ton unit may cost about $0.31 per hour. Running ~1/2 the time ( 11 hours per day), the cost for 330 hours of operaton would be ~ $102.

    In other words, IF you don't have a LOT of other equipment running, your A/C system is NOT running properly.

    +++ +++ Service Call Required +++ +++

    MAYBE, he just Reads his own meter? Just Kiddiin'

    http://www.hvacopcost.com/results.asp

    [Edited by dan sw fl on 06-25-2005 at 05:35 AM]
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    2,927
    Originally posted by smhorton
    After all of this effort, I just got nailed with a $212 bill from entergy. Friend of houses of similar size and builds had bills in the range of $110 to 140.
    (What is the cost per killowatt?Also,I think that with the dial meters,they round up,so your next bill maybe less.)

    I usually keep my thermostat on 76-78. What problems should I look for
    (Cycle times would be helpful to answer your question.When the unit comes on,how long does it run?How long is it off before it comes back on.)

    By the way, how cold should the air coming out of the registers be. Mine is about 60 degrees.
    (That is fine.Mine is about 65)


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    538
    Maybe he has a set of heat strips set on. I went to one of those the other day. No cool, A/C was kicking butt but 10KW of heat was energinzed at the same time. Of course some yokel had wired the first stage on heat in w/ y terminal in the winter for a no heat call.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    340
    Originally posted by smhorton
    He claimed that I could get 13.5 seer when coupled with varialble speed.
    This isn't the source of your high electric bill, but your contractor overstated the SEER a bit. According to ARI PrimeNet 13.0 SEER is the best the 4.0 ton XR12 can do (either in R22 or R410A with or without .5 ton oversizing of the VS air handler).

    http://www.ariprimenet.org/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Huntsville,AL
    Posts
    4,125
    is your crawl space dirt covered with plastic? are the crawl vents sealed? does your ground slope down 6" in 10ft from house? do you have dehumidifier in crawl? are ALL seams & joints & cracks & holes of ductwork sealed with mastic? are all penetrations sealed -- around elec boxes, duct boxes, plumbing pipes? do you use storms? do you have shade on the south & west?

    blown insulation settles -- read the package at HomeDepot --

    do ridge vents have source for makeup -- pathway NOT blocked?

    ------

    read lots here! & @ sister forums = IAQ

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    3

    an answer to some questions

    The duct work is double insulated and underneath the house. I put a vapor barrier on the ground. The soffit vents were in pretty good shape but I checked them all a couple of days ago and removed any obstructions. The decking I used has a foil backing and does an excellent job of keeping the temp down in the attic. Yesterday at 7pm I went up and got a reading of 95 degrees. It was still 89 outside with a daytime high of about 97. I do not read my own meter. This house is very very tight. I caulked every seam in the exterior sheathing, and foamed, and caulked around the doors and windows. My house faces north. The East side has one window, the west side is windowless. There are I believe 19 windows in this house, but half of them are shaded by porches. The windows are low e with argon gas. The heat and air man is coming out this week to double check everything. He is generally regarded as the best in town and has been working in this area for 30+ years. With all the effort I went to I know something is not right and I hope he can find it. This unit was installed on a day that was too hot for the heat and too cold for the air. I was told they would put a charge on it, and would come back later and make sure the charge was appropriate. They will check the charge this week. I was told that this could make a huge difference if too low or too high? Thanks everybody for replying.
    Steve

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Huntsville,AL
    Posts
    4,125
    where is your vapor barrier?
    where do you live?

    the caulking may be trapping moisture inside the exterior walls? talk to your builder!

    read @ BUILDINGSCIENCE.com

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