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Old 02-16-2009, 09:33 AM   #21
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Sounds like a tenant issue ... Offer a programmable thermastat. Pretty reasonable these days.

FWIW I have tenants in the same area who leave the heat at 80 and complain when "it's not 80 in the apartment".

Had one tenant who was behind on the gas bill ... threatening to shut off service. Called to ask if I'ld put the gas in my name (I said "no"). Went to the unit and found the bedroom windows OPEN ... "too hot, upstairs ... cooler downstairs". They moved the gas to one of the kids names and SSN. When they cycled thru all the kids ... they moved.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:08 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
As you may know, when the outside temperatures get low (below about 30 degrees) your heat pump can no longer extract sufficient heat from the air to warm the air in your home, so it stops functioning as a heat pump and the resistance elements inside your unit start provide your heat (your thermostat might have a little light that tells you when this is happening). These elements work just the same as the ones on your toaster or the portable space heaters you are using. They cost a lot to run.


.
Some of the newer designs claim to be effective down to outside air temps in the mid-teens before they have to switch to resitive heating......google 'acadia heat pump', for example.
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:50 AM   #23
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Some of the newer designs claim to be effective down to outside air temps in the mid-teens before they have to switch to resitive heating......google 'acadia heat pump', for example.
I think it's lower than that. The resistive element in our Trane system does not kick on until the outside temperature gets into single digits, which is fairly infrequent here.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:39 AM   #24
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The bill was an actual bill. Can a faulty meter actually track a Higher reading?

I'm glad I read this thread. This week I am contacting my utility company with evidence there is something wrong in their meter reading. A few years ago, they developed technology that allows them to access readings by driving down the street -- they say.

Here's what I found out, after I bought a second home and spent time away from my principal residence.

Sept 08: I had no gas use at all. I did not have the gas hot water heater on and I did not have the heat on. I have an electric stove. But my meter reading said my gas use was up 25% from the month before, and up from the year before, when I was home full time in September.

Jan 09: I have the thermostat at 45 the whole month, down from 58. The outside temperature is not colder than January 2008. I have the hot water heater on less, very regulated. Meter reading shows 20% higher use of gas from previous January.

I think these new meter reading techniques are faulty, or perhaps the people using the equipment are doing something wrong.

I plan to contact the utility company this week, because I am very curious.

My heat is gas hot water (a boiler), with electric ignition. Plumber says it's in fine shape.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:00 AM   #25
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Kat, can you read your meter? If so, I would compare what the meter says to what the bill says. If you know about the day they read it, that is even better. The utility may be able to give you the approximate date it is read. With so little gas usage, you should be close.

I don't understand 'can a faulty meter track a higher reading'. While I don't have a clue how a gas meter actually works, I would suppose there are spinning wheels that tracks flow at a given pressure. I would think any analog or digital method would be subject to errors.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:21 AM   #26
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Sept 08: I had no gas use at all. I did not have the gas hot water heater on and I did not have the heat on. I have an electric stove. But my meter reading said my gas use was up 25% from the month before, and up from the year before, when I was home full time in September.

Jan 09: I have the thermostat at 45 the whole month, down from 58. The outside temperature is not colder than January 2008. I have the hot water heater on less, very regulated. Meter reading shows 20% higher use of gas from previous January.
Were the number of days in the billing cycles the same?

Do the furnace and/or the hot water heater have a pilot light? If so, pilot lights can consume a fair amount of natural gas over a month, if left on.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:36 AM   #27
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Rustic and FIRE'd, those are great ideas and suggestions. I believe my bill has a meter reading date -- I'll have to download it and check.

I'll check the number of days in the billing cycle too.

The water heater was on pilot. The boiler was off after the previous winter. Yet it showed an increase.

I'll make sure to get all the info in order.
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