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
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.
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.
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
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
Get the unit checked and see what happens afterwards.
BTW, if the unit is severely old, think about getting a high efficient
(you will see a big savings, beings you are in Texas)
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.
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
Ride a Motorcycle? Ask me about "The Ride"
Born once - Die twice. Born twice - Die only once. Your choice...
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.
True, and people occassionally drive through the back of the garage,
but neither happens if the homeonwer/driver has a modicum of
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.
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