Latest Discussions : HVAC


04:16PM | 12/26/02
Member Since: 12/25/02
11 lifetime posts
We are baffled. According to our utility bills, our gas & elec usage has soared over the last 4 or 5 years to almost double that of our neighbors in same model tract house. In an attempt to figure out why, we have had our 15 yr old furnace and AC systems inspected by the utility company (report: is working fine and does not need to be replaced), have had our electrical contractor in to check the electrical system (report: no reason for large bills), we have replaced all doors and windows with low E ones (expensive), have asked the utility company to check the meters (results in form letter advising us that the meters are "read correctly" - very helpful) and we are now scratching our heads. Since we have several neighbors with homes that are the same age (35yrs)and model (rancher) and everyone else has bills close to half what ours are, we are baffled. Does anyone have an idea of where to look next? The professionals who we have called can't find anything that accounts for our disproportionate usuage numbers. Could both gas AND electric meters be off?


05:30AM | 12/27/02
Member Since: 12/25/02
11 lifetime posts
That was one of the first things we considered but discounted it when it was apparent that the disproportionate increases are relatively recent and we had lived in this house for about 30 years during which our bills were just about the same as our neighbors. We are scratching our heads because the increase in billing has been building only over the last 4 or 5 years.


01:11PM | 12/27/02
Hi! What type of insulation do you have in your house? I know at my parent's house, they had blown fiberglass insulation, and after about 20 years, we saw that the end rooms were getting colder and colder over the years, until we hired a contractor to replace that blown insulation with new fibers, and we saw a good amelioration. We also noticed that we had a leak around the furnace chimney, which deteriorated the insulation.

If the increase in your utility bills has been more and more each year, this could be the reason. But if you don't use electricity to heat your house, you should have seen an increase only in your gas bills. Have you changed your habits, or made renovations, like adding canned lights (50Watts each)? Hope this helps, and Happy Holidays! Wolley


04:04PM | 12/27/02
Member Since: 12/25/02
11 lifetime posts
We have the rolled batting type insulation but have wondered about that too. The house is built on a slab (no basement) and has a very shallow attic (you cannot stand up in it)where we do store things. We have toyed with the idea of adding more insulation up there. We really can't get to the walls.

And we have been confused about the electric bill component too. Yes, we do have can lights both inside(12) and outside(7), most of which have been added in the last 15 years. We did ask the electrician about that and our ceiling fans(5) and he said that things like that would not account for such a huge difference. He said the bill for his entire office and warehouse is less than half our bill which he said was certainly not right. Our combined gas and electric bill was $305 last month vs. $150's for our neighbor. These homes are only 2200 sq feet. My son, who lives about 20 miles away in a 5000 sq ft house has bills lower than ours.

Thanks for your input. Keep thinking.


04:29PM | 12/27/02
Member Since: 12/25/02
11 lifetime posts
We did check that and checked the rates too since one meter reader we intercepted said we might be getting a different rate. But I am encouraged that your bills are not far off. You are the first. We live in MD near Annapolis so it is not really cold here in winter. Thanks again


10:10PM | 11/11/04
Member Since: 04/20/04
11 lifetime posts
i,ve been battling high bills closer to 4500/yr the problem was fixed after 10 years of this problem.

the culpret was the undergound cable coming into the house the transformer was hit by lightining all those years ago and burnt the neutral wire right off aslo melted the 120 line and 220 line together causing a short in the system. the day before it was changed i was using 175kw /day

the day it was changed i used 35kw/day and haven,t changed since

have them come out and check these connectors

told them to use an ommeter and check for continuity between the lines WITH THE SUPPLY POWER TO THE HOUSE SHUT OFF

don,t expect any refund though because they agree that the bills have dropped by 80% but don,t agree that it would effect the usage

and don,t agree with there linemaen either that say the same thing as me

good luck let me know what happens

it may also cause the heater to go through more gas by running longer because the motor is running on low voltage


06:18AM | 11/12/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
549 lifetime posts
The number one cause of a loss of a general loss of efficiency is duct leaks. This can be tested by a HVAC contractor who can pressurize the system and measure its efficiency. Seriously, the fact that you had your heating system inspected does not mean the contractor even considered the most important component; the ducts.

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