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Old 07-27-15, 11:52 AM   #1
zorander6
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Default Batten down the hatches

So to keep from further sidtracking the thread about how much power you use I'm starting this thread.

The house is a very fine house in the middle of the street........ok maybe not so much but still.

One story Ranch style house with a full basement and attached garage. 1056 Square feet of living space. Basement is concrete stand up with a concrete floor. Slight drainage issues during downpours.

Heating: 80K BTU furnace installed in 2010 I believe (will need to double check) 80% FUE (bad I know but it's what I've got.) External condenser was stolen before we bought the house.

Currently for cooling we have an 8k BTU window AC that runs full time at 96F and keeps the bedroom about 70F and the rest of the house 80-85 F depending on where you are in the house.

Windows: The garage on on the south side of the house and has one window. A door between the garage and house that is not 100% sealed. The west wall has a huge window and two smaller windows as well as the front door. We have four large trees shading the house most of the day.

Lighting is currently of the CFL variety of the bulbs not replaced. 21 total light bulbs, currently have replaced 9 with LCD bulbs (leaving 12 CFL's.)

Appliances include a refrigerator we just purchased (old was 30+ years old,) a super old freezer (I grew up getting stuff out of this freezer.....,) electric stove, Hi E washer but really old dryer (it's obvious on the bills what days I did laundry.)

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Old 07-27-15, 11:55 AM   #2
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Now that the basics are done I'll mention that over the last couple days I've had the dehumidifier that is in the basement unplugged and there has only been about a 3kwh drop in power usage.

I know the AC is killing us since it runs pretty much non-stop but until we can either get another unit that covers the difference or get a new condenser we are pretty stuck.
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Old 09-09-15, 10:41 AM   #3
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Hey zorander6, any updates with the house?
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Old 09-09-15, 12:47 PM   #4
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Not much has changed really, with the high electric bills most of my budget is just keeping those caught up. Hoping that once it cools down I can start investing in a little more insulation and sealing up the house. At least our gas is on level pay now so I won't be killed this winter when it gets cold again. Hoping to get electric on level pay as well.

Basically once that is done and I get my bonus I'm going to replace the sliding glass door and if there is enough left over buy some more insulation. Haven't been back into the attic but I'm pretty sure it's only at about R19 right now and would like to bump that up. Of course need to fix my truck and some other projects as well so may depend on that too. :/

Have been tracking daily usage though and have information back to April. My average usage is 38.9396 KWh per day and max was 78 (doing laundry, lots of laundry) and low was 5 (power went out at 3am and wasn't back on till 10am the next day.) Unfortunately I don't have a full year's daily readings yet but I'm hoping to start working on dropping it. Right now arguing with dawife over what our first project should be. I really want the sliding glass door which doesn't seat properly gone. She wants to put new floors down.

Wish me luck.

And for some financial numbers, based on my averages I spend about $988.68 per year on gas and $1480.80 per year on electric. I'd love to halve those. Summer gas can't drop much more but winter definitely and summer electric would be nice.

Last edited by zorander6; 09-09-15 at 01:44 PM..
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Old 09-09-15, 10:30 PM   #5
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How about get a clothesline or drying rack? That is a small investment that pays back quickly.
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Old 08-28-18, 01:22 PM   #6
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So it's been three years since I posted last and not much had changed other than I've gotten divorced recently. I've gotten all but three of the CFL's replaced with LED lights and before I moved back into the house the ex nearly tripled my electric bills. So here I am starting projects. First thing is going to be replacing the sliding glass door and doing some weather sealing on the house. Cut the laundry to basically a load and a half a week instead of the nine loads I was doing with her there. Most nights turning off the AC's if it's cool enough and on cooler days just leaving the windows open.

Considering the clothesline as well but need to get out and do some yard work first. Unfortunately the trees shading the house are going to have to come down as they punched a hole in the roof last year and are rotting out from the inside. Started painting the interior as well and got one room halfway done with the second coat.

Might buy some extra insulation in a month or two once it cools down a bit and get the roof closer to R60. Don't think I'll hit that without removing and redoing everything but I plan to sell the house in four years so time and budget is limited. Still need to replace the AC.
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Old 08-29-18, 08:24 AM   #7
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Doh, sorry to hear about the divorce. Glad to hear you're working on projects though. Thanks for the update!
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Old 09-05-18, 09:37 AM   #8
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Your usage is around 1100kwh a month which is close to being inline with a house of around 1800sqft house here in TX where its much hotter for much longer.

That was allot of laundry you were doing. Its just the two of us (until daughter moves back in to save $ for a house ugh) and we really don't do much laundry. But when she moves back in we will be doing a massive amount of laundry usually 3x to 4x or more than what we have between us.

Your biggest issue is running that window unit instead of a conventional condenser. Here I can get condensers or packaged with a furnace/coil or air handler pretty cheap on craigslist. Less than my friends cost at the supplyhouse.
$1800 for a 16 seer 2.5 ton condenser and air handler. He also has just the condenser for 1k. 3 ton is 2k for both units(electric heat).

Some may prefer a heat pump but i have had poor results with them. My parents have one that i installed and it like the neighbors runs forever and sucks down power while barely heating. I put in the biggest heat strips the unit would take so when it gets below 35 they switch over to them as below that point the heat pump is not efficient. Since doing that the house has been more comfortable and their elec usage has dropped. The heat pump wastes more power blowing air around than heating it.
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Old 09-05-18, 11:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcam84 View Post
Your usage is around 1100kwh a month which is close to being inline with a house of around 1800sqft house here in TX where its much hotter for much longer.

That was allot of laundry you were doing. Its just the two of us (until daughter moves back in to save $ for a house ugh) and we really don't do much laundry. But when she moves back in we will be doing a massive amount of laundry usually 3x to 4x or more than what we have between us.

Your biggest issue is running that window unit instead of a conventional condenser. Here I can get condensers or packaged with a furnace/coil or air handler pretty cheap on craigslist. Less than my friends cost at the supplyhouse.
$1800 for a 16 seer 2.5 ton condenser and air handler. He also has just the condenser for 1k. 3 ton is 2k for both units(electric heat).

Some may prefer a heat pump but i have had poor results with them. My parents have one that i installed and it like the neighbors runs forever and sucks down power while barely heating. I put in the biggest heat strips the unit would take so when it gets below 35 they switch over to them as below that point the heat pump is not efficient. Since doing that the house has been more comfortable and their elec usage has dropped. The heat pump wastes more power blowing air around than heating it.
something is wrong. a heat pump should be more efficient than strip heat until 0F or lower. if it stops working at high temperature like 35F, well... wow?

for example:
https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/fi...40616-1135.pdf

COP of 2.0 down to -13F. that means for every $1 you spend on strip heat, you get $2 of heat with that heat pump.

the average heat pump you buy now will have a COP >1 until it shuts down due to low outdoor temp. switching over to strip heat at 35F = you need your unit serviced/replaced.

I would look at something like the Bosch BOVA 5 ton outdoor inverter unit. it will modulate compressor capacity from 25%-110% to maintain a 47F/108F indoor coil temp regardless of outdoor temp or AHU airflow. seen it online for $2400.
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Old 09-05-18, 01:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u3b3rg33k View Post
something is wrong. a heat pump should be more efficient than strip heat until 0F or lower. if it stops working at high temperature like 35F, well... wow?

for example:
https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/fi...40616-1135.pdf

COP of 2.0 down to -13F. that means for every $1 you spend on strip heat, you get $2 of heat with that heat pump.

the average heat pump you buy now will have a COP >1 until it shuts down due to low outdoor temp. switching over to strip heat at 35F = you need your unit serviced/replaced.

I would look at something like the Bosch BOVA 5 ton outdoor inverter unit. it will modulate compressor capacity from 25%-110% to maintain a 47F/108F indoor coil temp regardless of outdoor temp or AHU airflow. seen it online for $2400.

Been through this before the unit is operating properly and not just this unit its a common issue with conventional heat pumps here. the heat pump function is still basically an afterthought on them but they don't have the issues with constantly failing reversing valves anymore.

Yes the heat output is better per dollar for a heat pump however you negate that benefit by the blower motor running and running and running. Its not uncommon for heat pumps to be replaced with conventional electric units here especially when overall ROI is looked at. Even with a high end heat pump that delivers on its efficiency it doesn't pay for itself as 10 years is replacement interval time here because of the extreme long summers.

You would only save a couple dollars over maybe 4 months here so it just doesn't make sense just like having a 25 seer ac in canada. And of those 4 months it only gets below 35 for a very short period of time most winters.

Some have also replaced theirs with gas units if they have gas available in their neighborhood which most all do.

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