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Old 01-15-2009, 02:51 PM
 
167 posts, read 265,623 times
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Default average cost of heating home - utility bills

I know this is like "how long is a piece of string", but what do the average heating bills run in Chicago area. We are moving there in spring, and starting a search for a house, but I am coming from a much warmer area and am curious about utility bills. It currently costs me $300/350 a month in winter for my electric bills, which includes heating.

Hope you don't mind the question. Just trying to cover all our bases.
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Old 01-15-2009, 03:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missinggreen View Post
I know this is like "how long is a piece of string", but what do the average heating bills run in Chicago area. We are moving there in spring, and starting a search for a house, but I am coming from a much warmer area and am curious about utility bills. It currently costs me $300/350 a month in winter for my electric bills, which includes heating.

Hope you don't mind the question. Just trying to cover all our bases.
Egads, every house is different, every family keeps the house at a different temperature. My gas bills range from $65-125 per month in the winter, but we have 1500 sq ft, keep the temperature at 62F and use our White Rodgers brand programmable thermostat to shut down to 50F when we are away for the day. And our place is well insulated.
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Old 01-15-2009, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
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We have an older 3bedroom, 2story, brick house with a superduper high efficiency furnace. We usually keep our place toasty. Our max is usually 300 in February and 100-200 the other months (Dec-April).
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Old 01-15-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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We like to keep ours around 70 degrees in the winter. We have a heat-pump which runs on electric so our total bill runs around $300 for heat/electic and around $50 for water. Just didn't want any surprises next winter - heating bills around $600. Glad they are around the same range.
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Old 01-17-2009, 04:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missinggreen View Post
We like to keep ours around 70 degrees in the winter. We have a heat-pump which runs on electric so our total bill runs around $300 for heat/electic and around $50 for water. Just didn't want any surprises next winter - heating bills around $600. Glad they are around the same range.
2800 s.f. set on 71 degrees. 18ft Vaulted master bedroom ceiling, two story dining room ceiling, tray ceiling in 2nd bedroom and master bath with skylight. Heat bill $280 and electric at $180. Never,never,never again will I buy another house with high ceiling in the bedroom.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:50 PM
 
Location: West 'Burbs of Chicago
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I started keeping track of my utility bills in Excel. I have the past 3 yrs.
I have a 3000sq ft home, i'd like to think it's well insulated since it's only 7.5 yrs old... but one never knows...

for 2008 i averaged 138.50 for electric, and 91.00 for gas
most costly month for electric was July at 224.00 and gas was 225.00 in Feb 2008

I keep my thermometer set at 68 during the day, down to 64 at night, and at 9am it kicks down to 66 for "away" even though we are usually home. Many of my windows are southern exp. so on sunny days, my furnace rarely kicks on until the sun goes down... my thermostat is in the DR which is the south exp. so it's usually warm in there, while it can be cooler in the Fam. Room which is western exp. IF i get chilled... i put on a sweatshirt. And obviously, upstairs is warmer.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:46 AM
 
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Wow, you people need to turn down your thermostats. I could not even imagine a $300 gas bill.

Programmable T-stats are best. Why heat the house when you're at work or sleeping under blankets?
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Old 01-21-2009, 12:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loudes13 View Post
Wow, you people need to turn down your thermostats. I could not even imagine a $300 gas bill.

Programmable T-stats are best. Why heat the house when you're at work or sleeping under blankets?
The two things that I don't understand about people that complain to me about their home heating/cooling bills:

1) They will not invest in a good quality programmable thermostat (~$150 installed) or replace an ancient furnace ($2-3k) when the payback is easily less than two years. Most people will save 20% once they put is a good Programmable thermostat and not heat the home as much when they are gone. The new thermostats let you set the heat pretty much for the whole week and save it.

2) They run the air conditioning 24/7 from Memorial Day to Labor Day. I live in the Chicago suburbs. My wife and I walked the neighborhood on a night where the low was 45F and the high 65F. Believe it or not, 18 of 28 homes had their AC running. Personally, these things called windows so we cracked them instead of using AC. Of course, the neighbor who is always complining about the high cost of electricity and how it is a conspiracy with COM ED and all that stuff was running the cooling all night long.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:44 AM
 
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My second home in the Chicago 'burbs that we just bought is currently set at 62 deg F using an old unprogrammable thermostat. I will have to try to change it to a programmable one in the spring, but it's currently unoccupied as we live out of state and we just had the home de-winterized (yes, de-winterized, not winterized), so the water is running but shut off in some places, so we have to keep it at that temp to avoid freezing pipe problems. I hope I'm not surprised with too high of a gas bill, but I did hear the furnace kicking in quite a bit when I was staying there for a long weekend.
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:45 AM
 
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Why even have it at 62 if you are not there? Most houses with decent insulation set at 50F will not have problems with frozen pipes.

Or just turn off the water and leave it unheated.
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