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Old 05-31-2007, 05:33 PM
 
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I am considering buying a two-story, 2233 sq ft home in south Garland. If anyone could provide some info on their summer vs winter average electric bills for a similar home, it would be appreciated.
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Old 05-31-2007, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Topeka, KS
1,560 posts, read 6,455,179 times
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Age, construction techniques, AC system ratings, the weather, how many times and how long the doors are open, where you set your thermostat, etc play very heavily into you cooling bill. You can expect to pay anywhere between $100 and $500 a month for cooling during the summer.
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Old 05-31-2007, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Allen, Texas
670 posts, read 2,673,709 times
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In my experience GoPadge is on the money. We had (we moved to Georgia and are moving back) 2900 s.f./2 story with Coserv and paid $100-500 (average about $350 throughout the year).
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Lake Highlands (Dallas)
2,395 posts, read 7,606,148 times
Reputation: 1033
As GoPadge stated, it will vary depending on the construction (insulation & is it leaky?), your HVAC equipment, weather, thermostat, etc, etc. If you have a someone home all day, it will be higher. If you have two zones (upstairs and downstairs), that can play a role in lowering the bills. If you have old HVAC equipment, that'll play a role.

As an example, I just moved into a typical 1976 home that's 2600 sq ft (single story). It has horrible insulation in the attic (more of a role player in the winter months, but does affect cooling costs somewhat) and single pane (leaky) windows. When we moved in, it had a 17 year old HVAC system that, when running 100% of the time, could only keep the house 8 degrees cooler than the outside. Needless to say, this is the worst case scenario. The first two weeks we were in the house (during Sept '06, which wasn't terribly hot), the bill was $230 - so we'd have had a $500 bill for a not-so-hot month.

We replaced the HVAC system with a 16-SEER (efficiency rating - higher is better [incidentally, 13 SEER is the lowest you can get at this point]) unit. Just received our latest bill. The last month was a little cooler than the two weeks we had in Sept '06, but our full monthly bill was $98. That should give you an example of how much new & efficient -vs- old equipment can vary the cost of conditioning your house.

I just pulled up my utilities spreadsheet (yes, I'm a geek like that) and our highest heating bill was $243 for gas + $120 for elec - but that was with the old furnace/blower. I have projected that our gas + electric bills will average $250 per month. We do not have someone at home mon-fri during the day, so we do set our thermostat higher during the summer to lower our bills.

We still have room to lower our bills more - once I get the master bath done, I'm going to increase insulation in the attic and also begin replacing the single pane windows. Speaking of windows, the orientation of your house will make a difference. The ideal position is to have your house on a lot with most of your windows facing north/south - minimal east/west windows. Additionally, if you have trees on the south side that shade the windows in the summer and drop their leaves in the winter, you will get "free heat" from the sun in the winter without getting any solar gain in the summer. Overhangs can accomplish the same thing if they are the right size.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by lh_newbie; 05-31-2007 at 08:53 PM..
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:47 PM
 
3,035 posts, read 13,019,187 times
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I'll report in once I get settled this summer. Nieghbors in my area with same builder, no Radiant Barrier and larger homes are telling mee $350 is average for them in the dead of summer. Again, construction quality and quality of equipment makes a big difference. You also need to consider shade and the facing of the home. Direct sunlight into living spaces will push costs up as well.
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Allen, Texas
670 posts, read 2,673,709 times
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Default And for us...

another thing was the kids. Our kids were in and out all day. My mom's house is a little older but comparable (by little I mean 5 years) and her bills are typically $25-50 less than ours. She does not have pets or kids going in and out all day long.
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:14 PM
 
6,585 posts, read 22,378,491 times
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We have a garage refrigerator and a freezer in the utility room in addition to our regular fridge in the kitchen which I think adds to our bills.
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Lake Highlands (Dallas)
2,395 posts, read 7,606,148 times
Reputation: 1033
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarNorthDallas View Post
We have a garage refrigerator and a freezer in the utility room in addition to our regular fridge in the kitchen which I think adds to our bills.
Excluding your A/C, fridges are the biggest energy user in a home... so if you have three, definitely expect your bills to be higher.
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Old 06-01-2007, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Topeka, KS
1,560 posts, read 6,455,179 times
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Yeah. We saw an increase when we added a second freezer. Once we were able to consolidate the food into one freezer, we turned off the second. We're heavily considering adding a radiant barrier into our attic, but at this point it'll probably be the fall before I can fit it into the budget. (You have to love those magic months where you get 3 paychecks instead of 2. )
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Old 06-01-2007, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Lake Highlands (Dallas)
2,395 posts, read 7,606,148 times
Reputation: 1033
FYI: If you're looking at a radiant barrier, there's a lot of hoopla about those spray on barriers. Their efficiency is way lower than they try to sell you on. The best option is to use the stuff that looks like tinfoil mounted to the bottom of the roof rafters. The heat is trapped between the two materials and rises to the roof apex - where the best option is to have a ridge vent. Also note that you need to ensure your soffit vents are clean and sufficient to keep the flow going.

We are planning to get a radiant barrier installed at some point; also going to increase attic insulation and replacing the glass in our two sunlights (old glass without UV/IR protection) which should all help to lower our bills even more!

Now... if only solar panels would be cost effective... still doesn't pay for itself yet... Man, I hate paying monthly bills. On the bright side, we just got our gas bill... Used 1.0MCF last month... that's the lowest bill we've ever had - I'm loving this tankless hot water heater!!!
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