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Holy gas bill!

Discussion in 'Homeowners Corner' started by Nwfdrool, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. L0stS0ul

    L0stS0ul hmmmm

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    we were at around $450 last month for 3100 sq ft. I keep the temperature 68 when we are at home and awake and 65 when we are not home and asleep. We use the fire place in the family room as well but that's it. Our therms were pretty much identical to our usage last year at this time. Price though is much higher.
     
  2. dcdavis

    dcdavis Ooops!!

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    About gas fireplaces, mine is a 23,000 BTU/hour fireplace, which means it uses 1/4 of a therm per hour. I know gas prices have gone up, but that's approx. 50 cents per hour (if my math is right). Maybe a bit more, but it's still not a bad deal, considering it typically keeps the furnace from running.

    DcD
     
  3. mdcrim

    mdcrim Member

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    $361 here. Called to get the budget plan-comes to $112 per month (not too bad). Oh-we have about 2000 sq ft with a finished basement, but since I'm always cold we're between 68-70 on the thermostat...
     
  4. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    $160 here. $145 for electric (we use 2 electric radiators). ~2100 sq/ft 3 level TH
     
  5. rpunit

    rpunit New Member

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    I had previously posted this to a wrong topic. My apologies if you see this twice.

    I have a 3 level van meter townhome (1900 sqft). The gas bill for nov was abt 145. Which I thought was reasonable for winter but I installed programable thermostat anyway. So for the month of December it was 63 from 10.30 PM- 6.30 AM, 72 from 6.31 - 8.30 AM , 62 from 8.31AM - 6.30 PM, 72 from 6.31 PM - 10.30PM.
    I still got a whopping 245.00 bill for december. Now before you scream consider that this is one of the smallest townhome, sandwitched on either side.
    I am wondering if my home is not properly insulated. Does any townhome owner have similar experience ?
     
  6. jjenkins

    jjenkins New Member

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    It would seem to me that by constantly moving the thermostat it's creating extra work instead of just keeping it on a constant xx degrees.

    thoughts?
     
  7. afgm

    afgm Ashburn Farm Resident

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    With gas heat it really isn't an issue. With a heat pump it can be an issue.


     
  8. kahlua1

    kahlua1 New Member

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    Hi,

    Our Dec. gas bill was $325 and we were in shock as this was quite a bit higher than last year! We have SF about 3300SF?
    This month, we are trying a few tests to see how this month comes in? Some easy adjustments we made:

    *We use programmable thermostat at 67-69 (not really chilly in here most time...could prob. go a little lower at night but have baby in house)
    *We put that plastic (blow dryer install) stuff on all windows upstairs (bedrooms & bathrooms)
    *Turned off gas fireplace & blocked drafty air coming from it
    *Closed off some vents (like master bedroom closet, main level bathroom, 2 of 4 in basement)
    *Close vent and bedroom door to guest room when not used
    *Run furnace fan (per suggestion of furnace inspector)often throughout the day to circulate air
    *Replace furnace filter monthly
    *Have humidifier attached to furnace running
    *Turned down water heater temp setting
    *Blinds open during sunny times of day to let sun do heating but close at night to insulate
    *Use a little caulk (paintable kind) around switchplates that back up to exterior walls that may be drafty
    *Replaced damaged weatherstripping at front/back doors

    We just did some of these recently so we are anxious to see if these changes will make any difference to next month's bill? We'll see...

    Good Luck!

    PS - Wear slippers, a sweater and get a cozy throw blanket too! :)
     
  9. sri_n

    sri_n Member

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    rpunit,

    If it is any consolation, I have a 2000 sq. ft. townhome, end unit, and I believe I have similar (almost) setting as yours on a programmable thermostat. I got a $340 bill for December!

    sri.

     
  10. cricket

    cricket New Member

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    Mine was $215, although it may be lower compared to most of you given the fact that i live in a SFH with about 4900sf. However, there was nobody home for 3 weeks during month of december, i turned off the water heater and turned down both thermostats to 55 degrees - But still my bill was this high!!
     
  11. sharse

    sharse TeamDonzi rocks!!

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    According to the guy that serviced our units, this is correct. He said if you just keep your thermostat at a constant temp, or allowing a fluctuation of only a degree or two, you're being more efficient.
     
  12. exrook

    exrook New Member

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    Here is a quote from Bob Vila - if you can't trust Bob, who can you trust? :D The link: http://www.bobvila.com/ArticleLibrary/Subject/HVAC/Thermostats/ProgrammableThermostats.html

    "A common misconception associated with thermostats is that a furnace works harder than normal to warm the space back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings. This misconception has been dispelled by years of research and numerous studies. The fuel required to reheat a building to a comfortable temperature is roughly equal to the fuel saved as the building drops to the lower temperature. You save fuel between the time that the temperature stabilizes at the lower level and the next time heat is needed. So, the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save.

    Another misconception is that the higher you raise a thermostat, the more heat the furnace will put out, or that the house will warm up faster if the thermostat is raised higher. Furnaces put out the same amount of heat no matter how high the thermostat is set—the variable is how long it must stay on to reach the set temperature.

    In the winter, significant savings can be obtained by manually or automatically reducing your thermostat's temperature setting for as little as four hours per day. These savings can be attributed to a building's heat loss in the winter, which depends greatly on the difference between the inside and outside temperatures. For example, if you set the temperature back on your thermostat for an entire night, your energy savings will be substantial. By turning your thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, you can save about 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill—a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates. In the summer, you can achieve similar savings by keeping the indoor temperature a bit higher when you're away than you do when you're at home."
     
  13. Lisa

    Lisa New Member

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    I am looking to find a company to assist me in figuring out why my gas usage is so high. This year I have kept the thermostat between 64-66, which is about 3 degrees cooler than last year. In comparing my most recent bill to last year the usage increased (not just the price). I remember there was an article in the Washington Post that talked about companies that come out to assess your heating system. I am having trouble finding the name of any of the companies. Any assistance would be appreciated.
     
  14. afgm

    afgm Ashburn Farm Resident

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    Good find exrook. Thanks for the post.

    Lisa, you may want to check with Washington Gas. Seems to me I remember something about an energy audit program they promote. Not sure if they do it or refer you to an outside firm.
     
  15. sharse

    sharse TeamDonzi rocks!!

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    I'm WAY more inclined to believe Bob Vila than the HVAC guy from W&E... thanks, exrook!
     
  16. WesGurney

    WesGurney New Member

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    The outisde temperature is another important variable that plays into the equation.

    The average temperature was 4 degrees cooler in Decemeber 2005 vs December 2004.
    http://www.wunderground.com/history...tml?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA

    http://www.wunderground.com/history...tml?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA

    4 degrees is a pretty significant difference considering it is an average over the entire month.

    Your furnace/heat pump will be on an exponential (not linear) amount of time the larger the outside temperature is from the desired temperature on the thermostat.

    This implies that on those really cold and really hot days, your furnace/heat pump will be on most of the time.

    An interesting test would be to see what the max temperatures you can heat/cool your house to at different outside temperatures. Is it possible heat your house to 85 degrees when its 30 degrees outside? Or is it possible to cool your house to 60 degrees when its 100 degrees outside?

    We can't ignore the outside temperature!

     
  17. rpunit

    rpunit New Member

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  18. wahoogeek

    wahoogeek New Member

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    Lisa,

    Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. First, this was one of the colder Decembers in recent years so all other things being equal, your gas usage(for heat) should be higher. Second, need to check if the gas amount billed was for actual or estimated usage. In our old place at least, Wash Gas did not actually check the meter each billing cycle but estimated use -- any over or under estimate was then corrected when the actual meter was read. Not sure if this applies in our area but something to check before you pay a company money to checkout your house.
     
  19. Peppermint

    Peppermint New Member

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    Add me to the shocked [:0] crew.

    ~3000sq ft SF home, and the gas bill was $395. [V]

    This despite having installed two programmable thermostats this past summer, which keep the temp at 64 during the day and night, and 68 in the early AM and post-work evening.

    *sigh*
     
  20. jjenkins

    jjenkins New Member

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    If only the weather would stay as nice as it was today, we wouldn't worry as much about the prices :)
     

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