Electricity Bill

Page 1 of 2  
My electricity bill has been much higher this summer than last summer. It says my electricity use has been much higher and as nearly all of it is accounted for by the increased use of air-conditioning, you would think it's been used a lot more. However, this summer has been cooler.
For example, my latest bill :
avg. temp this year has been 90 degrees; 99 degrees last year (This is Dallas, TX). kwh used this year : 2531, last year : 1700.
This is for the same time period in both 2004 and 2003. I have heard that my a/c ducts are not the most efficient but is it possible for them to become hugely less efficient in the space of a year? I'm baffled because everything else is the same. Our a/c in summer struggles to get us down below 80 degrees so it's more or less on full blast every single day. But this was the same last year. How can we be using so much extra power? There's no other unusual usage of any electric items.
Paul
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If your ducts are in the attic an inspection may be in order. Two things can happen. You can have the joints open up (think "mastic job") or you can have critters eating holes in them. That may be a bigger fixit job. Your electric company may have a rebate for you if you do fix bad ductwork. They may even have a program to inspect them.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sounds to me like it is the A/C. At 90 outside, a properly sided and maintained unit should not have that much troube getting it down below 80, unless the house is terribly poorly issulated, with a lot of otehr leaks. First thing to do is have the unit checked.
Is it a sudden increase, or has it been going up all year compared to the same periods last year? does your utility compamy sometimes estimate your usage (should indicate that on the bill). Here in Ohio they do that sometimes, giving some lame excuse that they couldn't access the meter for some reason. I think it's so they can over estimate a number of bills, and then ride the 'float' on the money for a month or so before effectively 'refunding' it by giving a correct reading the next month!
Regardless, check for other possible problems as well. Perhaps an electric dryer that isn't working correctly? Lights left on in an unused area (attic or basement)? Neighbor with an extension cord plugged into your outside outlet!?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
An unmaintained AC , Refrigerator needing repair, electricial short, are a few of the things that can cause excessive usage.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

******electricial short*******,

Electrical short? You're outta your f-ing mind.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Everything you've stated points to a problem with your A/C. You need to call in a pro and have your system thoroughly checked out, including the ductwork.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Have any teen agers moved into your house?
--
Free men own guns, slaves don't
www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/5357/
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

:) Not yet. But we'll be there in about eight years.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A/C problems, you shouldn't have any problems maintaining temps under 80 with the ambient temp 90.
So this leads me to think your a/c system is needing servicing. A unit that is low on charge or dirty coils can consume a lot of wasted energy.
Get the unit checked and see what happens afterwards.
BTW, if the unit is severely old, think about getting a high efficient model. (you will see a big savings, beings you are in Texas)
~kjpro~
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The unit is only four years old - which makes it all the more surprising.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
D'Olier wrote:

Just a couple of comments from a fellow homeowner. First, I don't know what you mean by average temperature, which usually means just taking the daily high and low and averaging. I think your 90 and 99 are the average daily high temperature. Where I live, the temperature usually cools off a lot at night, so we don't often run the A/C 24 hours per day; usually turn it off at 9 pm or so and turn it on again about 10 am. None the less, last year was record for continous days above 100 degrees, this year is still hot but mostly between 100 and 90 for the high. Last year we used about 1000 KWh and this year about 880 KWh for July.
An A/C shouldn't have any trouble lowering the temp from 90 to 80 degrees. Our 25+ year old A/C has no problem lowering the house temp to 74 degrees (standard temp for us) when the outside is 95+ and it doesn't run all the time. Looking to the ducts as a possible problem is likely a foolish hope, unless the cooling duct(s) are dumping the cool air into the attic, which is unlikely. Cleaning the ducts certainly won't make much if any difference. Time for an A/C tune up and if there are major problems, a new unit.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Could also be the air filter. If it is dirty, the unit will runn all-out yet put out much less volume of cool air, thus cost you more. Check that filter. Replace that filter.
Joe - V#8013 - '86 VN750 - joe @ yunx .com Northern, NJ Ride a Motorcycle? Ask me about "The Ride" http://www.youthelate.com/the_ride.htm
Born once - Die twice. Born twice - Die only once. Your choice...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Replaced it two months ago.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Did you replace it with something different? I went from plain old fiberglass filters to the more effective allergen filters and saw my cooling bill go up significantly. Went back to regular filters and electricty usage went back into line with previous years.
Rusty
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It was the same one I always used. It's a 25x20x5 size so there aren't that many choices. But at least I only need to replace them every 10 months or so.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There have been cases where animals burrowed & nested in the ducts and caused massive air leaks and big bills.
--
Free men own guns, slaves don't
www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/5357/
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nick Hull wrote:

True, and people occassionally drive through the back of the garage, but neither happens if the homeonwer/driver has a modicum of sense/maintenance.
BTW, your signature is not correct. It has clearly been shown that black slaves in some parts of the south had guns which were necessary for the slave to provide their own food.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Black slaves could only possess a gun if allowed by the owner, not the same as freely owning a gun.
--
Free men own guns, slaves don't
www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/5357/
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
">

The avg. temp I gave is what's printed on the bill, so it's the avg. daily temp for the billing period. It definitely has been noticeably cooler this year.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.