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Old 03-14-2010, 11:06 AM
Location: Raleigh
542 posts, read 1,335,004 times
Reputation: 757


Everybody who is heating with heat pumps and had extremely high bills this winter probably needs to have their heat pumps serviced so they have the correct charge and also so the heat strips are only coming on only when needed. I have a 1500ft2, 25 year old home with a 10 SEER heat pump and the highest my bill this winter was $185, not low, but definitely not outrageous. Also, you may want to have a duct test done or at the very least a good visual inspection of your ductwork to identify and repair any leaks. You don't accept plumbing leaks so why would you accept duct leakage? A typical home's duct leakage can range from 15%-30% or more! Progress Energy's Home Energy Improvement Program is offering rebates for both duct sealing/testing and HVAC tune-ups. The work must be completed by a pre-qualified contractor though.

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Old 03-14-2010, 01:16 PM
412 posts, read 929,391 times
Reputation: 540
Wanted to edit my earlier post, but couldn't. Want to add that we used 1262kw in the same time frame that OP used 4000+. My house is 2000sq ft. If the difference is only in her heat pump, that is incredible. I do have gas heat and I think I've never been more grateful.
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Old 03-14-2010, 01:36 PM
476 posts, read 1,398,722 times
Reputation: 716
Might want to call them in for an energy inspection! That is outrageous!
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Old 03-14-2010, 01:42 PM
Location: Five Points
32 posts, read 56,598 times
Reputation: 16
My family lives in a 55 year old 1000 sq. ft. home with single pane windows that are so old they don't open any longer. I keep my heat on 68 or 69 and the last few months have been to the tune of ~$240, 280, 240ish, which is higher than I've ever paid. It stinks paying that much, but what's the alternative?

This is with electric heat of course and as someone mentioned the emergency heat (secondary source) is when the 'ol meter starts spinning & spinning when it gets below freezing.

Posting your bill amount is pretty much useless unless you elaborate on what you set your thermostat to. My parents are pretty hardcore and keep theirs on something like 65.
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:46 PM
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
128 posts, read 304,952 times
Reputation: 60
Wow, that makes me cringe. Thus far our highest electric bill has been $92 while our highest gas bill has been $150. Even then, you're only looking at $250. I have three computers running, two fridges, and all the other usual suspects.
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:41 PM
1,840 posts, read 5,130,901 times
Reputation: 1664
Again, the number you want to be looking at is not the price of your bill, but the amount of energy your are using. 4200 kWh is alot, and I agree with the others who have suggested that your heat pump has probably not been running at all, and you are doing all your heating with your heat strips.

For comparison sake, we have a 1900 sqf house with a dual fuel heat pump, which means when it gets below 35 we use a propane furnace instead of heat strips. Last year we only used something like 100 gallons of propane, for the entire year, and our electric ran around 1300 kWh/month in Jan/Feb. This year, we've burned 60 gallons of propane in each of Jan and Feb, and ran around 900 kWh/month. In other words, we've hardly ran our heat pump for two months.
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:06 PM
Location: NC
4,529 posts, read 7,043,876 times
Reputation: 4720
Good Lord! That's a hi bill! My house is close to that size and I have Apollo heat and natural gas water heater. First, your new washing machine is supposed to be more efficient, even if you ran it day and night I don't know if you could use that many kwatts! I used 566kw Jan 29 to march 1...a huge difference! And, I've been home all day for this time period so have kept the house warmer.

As someone said, you need an energy audit. have you spoken with the power co to see if they've made a mistake?
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:23 PM
122 posts, read 246,513 times
Reputation: 89
We've had service guys out here 3 times so far. The problem is that we bought this place with a 1 yr. home warranty and they keep dispatching the Sears repair man. He claims everything is working fine. (It's not cuz the heat pump for the upstairs #1. doesn't heat and #2. never shut off when it was super cold). Now, the guy who worked on our renovation on the lower level says it needs a super boost something-or-other which will cost about $300 but at this point we should probably just eat it and do it. The home warranty program won't cover it cuz they won't dispatch Carolina Comfort. At some point we want to switch it all over to propane since DH wants a heater on the pool and I want gas for the range in the kitchen. Also this house is 10 years old and I've been told the life of a heat pump is ~ 10 years. Its a 5,000 sq. ft. house and we actually have 2 heat pumps, one for the main and lower level, and one for the upstairs.
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:55 AM
510 posts, read 1,510,441 times
Reputation: 239
IAPonyGirl -

Had the exact same situation. My home is 3250 and we have split systems, one up and one down. Our system rannon-stop and bills were ridiculous. we had the company that installed the systems out every week for a month and they always would say it is working "within specs"

The issue turned out to be that yes, per code it was adequate but my size house required by code a total of 4 Tons. They put a 2-ton unit up and a 2-ton unit down, which by code is 4-tons. Butin reality, more living space upstairs thus the need for more tonage up there. We wound up eating 5k for a new 2.5 ton system upstairs because the installer met code but logistically it did not work. Since replacing the upsatirs unit we have had no issues.

Not sure if your in this boat or not but make sure your tonage is right for the amount of space.
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:14 AM
2,410 posts, read 6,729,787 times
Reputation: 1719
Technically the sizing of your HVAC system should be done via a Manual J Residential Load Calculation as heat loss through walls, windows, etc. contributes to the proper sizing. So anyone who looks at your sq ft only isn't doing the job properly either.
While a 2.5 ton unit has more capacity and therefore might run less often it will use more electricity (if equal efficiency) while it is running. So if you're seeing a drastic decrease in your bills with the 2.5 ton system I suspect something else was also askew ..

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