what caused a 30% increase in gas use (per degree-day)?

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Do the same number of people live there now as before., what is your water heater set at. You really only need water hot enough to shower without adding cold. Maybe they had some rooms turned down.
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[snip]
How many people in your family vs. their family? More people means more gas used heating water for bathing and laundry, and more gas used drying that laundry too.
However -- unless there is a large disparity in family size, I'm inclined to suspect thermostat settings as the culprit. Like you, we have gas-fired hot water heat; we also have a gas water heater, stove, and dryer. About 75% of our total gas usage occurs during the heating season. Simply on that basis, it's unlikely that anything other than heating the house could cause such a large increase in gas consumption.
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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As it has been noted, there are many things that could account for it and 30% is not all that much.
They could have only heated parts of the house, they may have put plastic up over loose fitting windows, they may have turned down or turned off the heat at night, and/or during the day if they were at work. You may come and go more often letting in more cold air.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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If you can, get hold of the previous owner's water consumption records. Though only a portion of the water will have been hot water it will serve as an indicator of usage for comparison purposes. The hot water tank can really eat up the NG and if you are using a lot more water, that may indicate where the gas is being used.
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Ron
Port Dover Ontario
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wrote:

A water heater doesn't use anywhere *near* as much gas as a furnace.
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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Hasn't the cost of natural gas gone up 30% in the past year? It has in my area!

the
dryer,
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so has the cost of electricity, which uses gas-powered generators in this area
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Please read my original post, of which the relevant part is quoted below. I never said I was comparing dollars, that would be really stupid.

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the
Not true. http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/consumptionbriefs/recs/thermostat_settings/therm ostat.html
Each 1 degree drop in temperature results in ~5% lower heating costs. If your thermostat were at 63, you'd be there. I keep mine at about 64, which is ok if we dress in 2 or 3 layers.
I have looked at the rate of gas use by the dryer and the hot

dryer,
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I don't see how the savings can be expressed as a percentage. If it's -40 outside, a 1 deg lower room temperature isn't going to make much of a difference on a percentage basis---maybe 1% (estimated using degree-days0) of a large bill. On the other hand, if it's 45 outside (20 degree-days), one degree lower room temp makes about a 5% difference on a much smaller gas bill.
In my case, there's about 6000 degre-days in the heating season (about 6 mo), so to make a 30% diffrence, I'd have to reduce the indoor temp to 59 all day. I guess it is possible that the previous owners did that.
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>> Bought a house with hot water heat (built 1920). Old boiler, but had it >> serviced and cleaned and thermostat replaced; they saw no problems with
the
>> unit. >> >> Gas company gave us last year's usage (i.e. by previous owner). Of course >> the dollar cost is affected by the weather and the price of nat gas, but I >> was able to do get the data to calculate therms used per degree-day, which >> is independent of those variable factors. >> >> We are using nat gas at a rate that is about 30% higher than the previous >> owner. >> >> I know they might have had their thermostat set low (ours is at 69), but >> while that would make a difference, it wouldn't make such a huge >> difference.
Not true. "http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/consumptionbriefs/recs/thermostat_settings/thermostat.html"
Each 1 degree drop in temperature results in ~5% lower heating costs. If your thermostat were at 63, you'd be there. I keep mine at about 64, which is ok if we dress in 2 or 3 layers.
I have looked at the rate of gas use by the dryer and the hot
>> water heater, and these seem normal (about 300 cu. ft per hr for the
dryer,
>> for example) and wouldn't make a big difference to the total. When all the >> gas-using devices are off, the gas meter dials do not move. >> >> All our windows are closed and the house is in fact better sealed (more >> weatherstripping and some fiberglass batting in attic) than when we moved >> in, and we also insulated the hot water pipes in the basement. So we >> expected to be slightly ahead of the previous owner, not far behind. >> >> All suggestions greatly appreciated.
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You had the boiler serviced right, well maybe it isnt working up to the efficiency it could be. Im sure they didnt do a combustion analysis to see if its right. with that they measure ,stack temperature , gas pressure Co2 O2 ,Nox , draft. Whats your water heater set at , how many peope live there as to before, And why not talk to the previous owner. Are summer no heat readings the same ruling out the hot water. I dont know where you live but Spannuth in Oak Park, and Riley in Melrose Park are good. And yes 140 is to low for the boiler
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