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Re: June Electric Bill
Old 07-20-2006, 02:35 PM   #41
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Re: June Electric Bill

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Originally Posted by lets-retire
The last time I had an increase like that I checked my meter and discovered the company had misread it.*
Good idea, I called.* I am on a "budget plan".* Normally the plan has a yearly adjustment in September but since I owed them so much they moved it up to June.* *

Believe you me I had my fingers crossed for the misread meter.* *

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Re: June Electric Bill
Old 07-20-2006, 03:32 PM   #42
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Re: June Electric Bill

Live in the desert.

Two AC central units

Electric clothes dryer

Two refrigerators; one in the garage

One upright freezer in the basement.

Two PCs that are on but hybernate most of the day.

Outdoor security lighting on all night.

220 v. water pump for backyard waterfall (only used a few hours a weekend)

House AC set to 78 all the time.

Mountain cabin is also on the same power bill but very little on except the refrigerator and security lights.

Bill was 10% higher than last year and the number of therms was about the same.

Per the US Gov site, we are a about 25% less efficient but I am not too surprised considering the lousy windows and the unknown efficiency AC units that are now 18 years old.
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Re: June Electric Bill
Old 07-20-2006, 03:47 PM   #43
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Re: June Electric Bill

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
Per the US Gov site, we are a about 25% less efficient but I am not too surprised considering the lousy windows and the unknown efficiency AC units that are now 18 years old.
Wow, 18 years old. On a first name basis with your repairman?

Have you considered you can probably recover the cost of replacing them reasonably quickly due to the big improvement in efficiency of newer systems? I replaced a 15 year old unit and was amazed at the drop in our electric bill.

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Re: June Electric Bill
Old 07-20-2006, 03:54 PM   #44
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Re: June Electric Bill

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Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Wow, 18 years old.* On a first name basis with your repairman? *

Have you considered you can probably recover the cost of replacing them reasonably quickly due to the big improvement in efficiency of newer systems?* I replaced a 15 year old unit and was amazed at the drop in our electric bill.*

We have been lucky.....knocking on wood (not cracks on that line are needed) with repairs so far. The units work fine just don't cool as well as we would like. It seems the original builder undersized the ducts. No easy way to fix that one.

Any suggestions on replacement units? Brands or models?
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Re: June Electric Bill
Old 07-20-2006, 04:05 PM   #45
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Re: June Electric Bill

When I first bought my condo in late 1994, it still had the original circa 1973 electric heat and central air. There was nothing heat pump about it. When that electric furnace kicked on, it cooked your wallet immediately! Worst electric bill ever was around $350. And in the summertime, I could count on at least two months of $200+.

I forget which year that system crapped out, but I think it was the summer of '97. I had the heat pump put in for about $1800. After that, I'd say the worst it ever got in the winter was $200, and that was rare. In the summer, it might have gotten up to about $150.

Have they improved heat pump technology since around 1997? Would a new one save much over one that's about 9-10 years old?

What about oil furnaces? I think the furnace in my house dates back to 1995.
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Re: June Electric Bill
Old 07-20-2006, 04:06 PM   #46
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Re: June Electric Bill

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
Any suggestions on replacement units? Brands or models?
How long are you planning to stay in this house?
How much is your electricity?
Do you know the efficiency of you current AC? (If I were to guess just from the age, I would put it maybe at 8-9 SEER)
Carrier has a line of very efficient (19 SEER) heat pumps called "Infinity", but it might not make financial sense for you to install "top of the line model, to cut your AC bill in half.
Have you checked local rebates for efficient ACs? Some electric companies offer them here.
They also do blower door tests relatively inexpensively to check how "leaky" is your house.
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Re: June Electric Bill
Old 07-20-2006, 04:10 PM   #47
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Re: June Electric Bill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre1969
Have they improved heat pump technology since around 1997? Would a new one save much over one that's about 9-10 years old?
What about oil furnaces? I think the furnace in my house dates back to 1995.
Yes to the first question (more efficient compressors, new refrigerants) and no, not really to the second.
My heat pump (manufactured in 99) has SEER of 12. New ones get up to SEER 19.
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Re: June Electric Bill
Old 07-20-2006, 04:23 PM   #48
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Re: June Electric Bill

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Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Wow, 18 years old.* On a first name basis with your repairman?
Hey, mine was 22 years old when it said "Sorry, can't take it any more!" and died. But until then I never had any problems with it.
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Re: June Electric Bill
Old 07-20-2006, 04:29 PM   #49
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Re: June Electric Bill

I've always had an aversion to buying the highest efficiency ac unit since they are not only very pricey but also often on the bleeding edge of technology which makes their reliability suspect. I understand the feds have mandated a new minimum SEER rating (12?) and if it were me and the most efficient unit was a 19, I'd split the difference and go with a with a 14 or 16.

I've owned Carrier, York, American Standard and Trane, and none have been notably good or bad. I once replaced a 12+ year old York unit with American Standard, and the compressor blew within the first year. When we built our house 7 years ago we went with Trane (12 SEER). It came with a 10 year warranty, including parts and labor. Turns out it was great that it did as I just had to have the coil replaced and the bill would have run me somewhere in the neighborhood of $2k. The repair guy told me Trane had lots of problems with leaking coils in the units they manufactured in the late 90's. As a result, I'm not sure I would recommend that particular brand...although they did honor the warranty without a problem.

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Re: June Electric Bill
Old 07-20-2006, 04:35 PM   #50
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Re: June Electric Bill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrooge
Hey, mine was 22 years old when it said "Sorry, can't take it any more!" and died. But until then I never had any problems with it.
Scrooge, I don't know where you are located, but in this part of the world our ac units run from April to November. It is unusual to go 10-12 years without some serious repair work. Or maybe I'm just unlucky. :P

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Re: June Electric Bill
Old 07-20-2006, 04:42 PM   #51
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Re: June Electric Bill

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Scrooge, I don't know where you are located, but in this part of the world our ac units run from April to November.* It is unusual to go 10-12 years without some serious repair work.* Or maybe I'm just unlucky. :P
My house is in the Mid-Atlantic region, so the "AC season" is roughly May-September. I suppose it does make a difference.

I spent 6 months in Texas once and I agree, the summer down there is not for the faint of heart. By the time I would finish walking across the parking lot I had sweat running down the spine*
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Re: June Electric Bill
Old 07-20-2006, 09:30 PM   #52
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Re: June Electric Bill

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
I've always had an aversion to buying the highest efficiency ac unit since they are not only very pricey but also often on the bleeding edge of technology which makes their reliability suspect. I understand the feds have mandated a new minimum SEER rating (12?) and if it were me and the most efficient unit was a 19, I'd split the difference and go with a with a 14 or 16.

I've owned Carrier, York, American Standard and Trane, and none have been notably good or bad. I once replaced a 12+ year old York unit with American Standard, and the compressor blew within the first year. When we built our house 7 years ago we went with Trane (12 SEER). It came with a 10 year warranty, including parts and labor. Turns out it was great that it did as I just had to have the coil replaced and the bill would have run me somewhere in the neighborhood of $2k. The repair guy told me Trane had lots of problems with leaking coils in the units they manufactured in the late 90's. As a result, I'm not sure I would recommend that particular brand...although they did honor the warranty without a problem.
Ding ding ding! Anything 15+ years old was probably a 7-8 SEER range before the blower fan and its housing took on some dust and the condenser got a little crust on it. In a warmer climate you'd get your money back on a new unit in under ten years. But dont go for the top of the line efficiency, it'll take 30 years to get your money back on those.

Air conditioning and heating are a lot more about how they're installed and the quality of the job than who makes it. I rarely see an installed product that I cant find some giant glaring problem with.

The one in my current house is a study in "what the ****?!?". Compressor is at one end of the house as is the intake. Main furnace and blower unit is at the other end of the house right over the master bedroom for maximum loudness. Two sets of condenser lines, one of which is in-use and runs through the middle of the 150 degree attic, the other of which I'm not sure where it goes once it disappears into the wall. Current in-use pair were added in after the house was built. Intake isnt large enough and the 30-35' hose takes several 90 degree turns and is pressed up against the bottom of the roof for maximum heating/cooling loss. Nothing was insulated.

I'm losing roughly 50% of the heating and cooling capacity just due to stupidity. And this is in a NEWER house, built in 1997.

Anything I'd do at this point would cost four figures and given the equipment is still nearly new and any changes that would matter would require complete reducting and relocation of equipment, its just not worth it. I doubt i'll be living here long enough to recoup the cost.

For what its worth, the name that most decent installers have thrown out was Rheem, and i had one of those in my mcmansion that was still chugging away problem free after 10+ years. Trane is the most maligned.
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Re: June Electric Bill
Old 07-21-2006, 09:47 AM   #53
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Re: June Electric Bill

Our air conditioning unit is 7 years old. We plan on replacing it this winter not only because they are much more efficient now than even 7 years ago but because my worst nightmare is having it die and going without a/c for a few days waiting for someone to come and install a new one.

For those of you replacing units make sure you check this government website:

http://energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=pr...credits&layout

that talks about the Federal Tax Credits.

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Re: June Electric Bill
Old 07-21-2006, 10:24 AM   #54
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Re: June Electric Bill

Also check your local utility company. They often offer rebates for new gear. PG&E paid me some good money for the new dishwasher and washer/dryer we put in a few years ago, and I got kicked back some money for the insulation, new windows and new water heater we put in my wifes old house just before we sold it...
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Re: June Electric Bill
Old 07-21-2006, 10:35 AM   #55
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Re: June Electric Bill

Chandler AZ
1080 sqft townhome, built late 90s
Heat pump

Just got a $134 charge from SRP for June. The next one should be the worst one of the summer for us. The level payment plan we're on is $104, and our low (I think it was November) was $58.

At our last house we replaced a 15 year old heat pump with a new efficient Lennox and our annual electricity usage dropped almost $400, so that thing probably would have done the cliche "pay for itself" after 10 years or so.
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Re: June Electric Bill
Old 07-21-2006, 11:40 AM   #56
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Re: June Electric Bill

We just went through the hottest June in recorded history here in Phoenix. That's saying a lot. We did not have the hottest highs in history, but we haven't seen much cooling during the evenings this year and that is unusual. Last night I was outside at 10:00 PM and it was still 95 degrees.

June 06 $189.29 (hottest June in recorded history)
June 05 $139.81 (new heat pump)
June 04 $160.75
June 03 $197.48

See the pattern? . . . Neither do I.
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Re: June Electric Bill
Old 07-21-2006, 03:54 PM   #57
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Re: June Electric Bill

SG,
Maybe I see the pattern: As you spend more years in RE, you're learning to stand the heat better?
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Re: June Electric Bill
Old 07-21-2006, 05:07 PM   #58
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Re: June Electric Bill

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Originally Posted by ESRBob
SG,
Maybe I see the pattern:* As you spend more years in RE, you're learning to stand the heat better?
I think as you spend more time in the Phoenix area, you are learning to stand the heat better. I think our blood thins!

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