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Old 01-23-2008, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
42 posts, read 106,197 times
Reputation: 12

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My Winter Electricity usage for some reason is almost double of summer's bill. I am trying to figure out why it might be. Most people says that is usual, I am not sure myself since I just moved to Dallas area this summer.

I live in 1200 sq Apartment in Richardson, TX. During June, July, August my Electricity usage was around 700 KW to 800 KW per month. During Sept. and Nov it went up to 1000 KW (Oct was 800KW).

Now finally in December it at 1500 KW!! Its double my June/July months. I am have looking at electric meter and seems like Jan. will around 1500 KW too.

I actually went out bought Kill-A-Watt meter to measure all my electric equipment. At most all them combined usage is probably 100 KW to 200 KW only, so its not them causing the usage to skyrocket. That left the Heating/Cooling system as main suspect.

The apartment has electric everything (heating and cooling). I am thinking its probably the heating system. I have kept the Thermostat during both Summer/Winter at 70F to 75F usually.

Any ideas or suggestion on what might be causing my usage to go so much?
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:54 PM
 
2,930 posts, read 4,570,897 times
Reputation: 561
Quote:
Originally Posted by thureen View Post
My Winter Electricity usage for some reason is almost double of summer's bill. I am trying to figure out why it might be. Most people says that is usual, I am not sure myself since I just moved to Dallas area this summer.

I live in 1200 sq Apartment in Richardson, TX. During June, July, August my Electricity usage was around 700 KW to 800 KW per month. During Sept. and Nov it went up to 1000 KW (Oct was 800KW).

Now finally in December it at 1500 KW!! Its double my June/July months. I am have looking at electric meter and seems like Jan. will around 1500 KW too.

I actually went out bought Kill-A-Watt meter to measure all my electric equipment. At most all them combined usage is probably 100 KW to 200 KW only, so its not them causing the usage to skyrocket. That left the Heating/Cooling system as main suspect.

The apartment has electric everything (heating and cooling). I am thinking its probably the heating system. I have kept the Thermostat during both Summer/Winter at 70F to 75F usually.

Any ideas or suggestion on what might be causing my usage to go so much?
I don't know if they use a heat pump, but if you do, I bet I know what's wrong.

A heat pump it provides both heating and cooling, but it has emergency heat as well... which is provided through a resistance coil. When the temp drops below around 36 degrees or so, it's not efficient to use a heat pump for heating, so "emergency" heat is better to use. But it still sucks quite a bit of power. Now most people don't put their thermostat on emergency ever, they don't quite know what it does.

BUT... if you adjust your thermostat up by more than 3 degrees at one time, emergency heat will automatically kick in. If you adjust it up by 3 degrees, and then another 1-3 degrees to get to your optimal temperature, it's much more energy efficient.

Check and see if your thermostat has an emergency heat setting, if it does, that could be your issue. If not, let the landlord know that there might be a problem with the unit and you need them to inspect and clean it. Also, check your filters. The landlord is responsible in most locations to replace the filters, but they do it so infrequently.... if it's clogged up, it's much less efficient.
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
42 posts, read 106,197 times
Reputation: 12
I just checked the thermostat, there is no emergency heat setting. I will try and call the apartment office and try get them to check it out.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Lake Highlands (Dallas)
2,395 posts, read 5,705,386 times
Reputation: 988
Apartments are notorious for not giving a hoot about efficiency. You probably have very poor insulation. Drop the thermostat to 68, put on a sweater and wear slippers. Next time you look for an apartment, check with the electric company to see what the previous bills were. This is something that can really burn apartment dwellers, as there is absolutely nothing you can do about it... and I'm speaking from experience. I was shocked at my first winter heating bill.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:53 PM
 
Location: White Rock Valley - Dallas
197 posts, read 860,996 times
Reputation: 77
Electric heat i hugely inefficient compared to cooling. You should set back your t-stat to 68 every morning you leave, and at night when you go to bed. JUmp up quickly in the morning to pump it up 10 minutes before you really want to rise.
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:53 AM
 
Location: WA
4,066 posts, read 13,366,092 times
Reputation: 2949
I have experience with a number of units that have simple electric resistance heat and the electricity usage is typically higher in the winter months. It is just an inefficient way to heat but it is the cheapest to install.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:01 PM
 
69 posts, read 295,044 times
Reputation: 74
Dallas has about an equal number of heat and cooling degree days per year.

The average central AC unit is about 300% efficient.

The average electric resistance heater is exactly 100% efficient (minus whatever goes out your ducts).


So, you should not be surprised to spend 2-3x as much for heating as cooling by that fact alone. This is why they've created gas furnaces and heat pumps. Heat pumps are often 300% efficient at 47 and still often 200% efficient at a bone chilling 17.

But you don't have a heat pump, you have an electric resistance heater. The way to tell is simple. Go find your AC unit outside your apartment. Turn on your heater, and see if your fan goes on on your outside unit. If it does you've got a heat pump and something is REALLY wrong, but it will not turn on. Most apartments around here have cheap old resistance heating.

jason
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:33 PM
 
415 posts, read 1,179,891 times
Reputation: 110
Jason, where did you find your numbers?
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