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Old 07-25-2010, 08:35 PM
16 posts, read 35,904 times
Reputation: 13


I moved to Springfield last summer and moved into a small two bedroom duplex with gas heat. I had to put plastic over the inside of the windows last year, turn the heat way down and "freeze" and my bill was still $200 so I am thinking of moving into a place with all electric. In general which is cheaper in this area?

My current place has a crawl space which gathers water (there is a sump-pump which drives me crazy to listen to) but because of the water issue there is no insulation in the floor. Could this part of the reason for the high bills? Also, is this a common problem in Springfield or did I just pick a bad place?

I did buy an oil plug in DeLonghi space heater yesterday at a garage sale thinking it would at least heat one room. Any thoughts on that? I can only afford $400 in rent so not sure if moving is the answer.
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:39 PM
12,317 posts, read 13,988,661 times
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I don't know which would be cheaper, but I think gas heat is "warmer" than electric heat. When I had electric heat in the past, it seemed like as soon as the furnace went off it felt cold again. Just my experience. I think your problem is insulation if covering the windows didn't keep the heat in.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:19 AM
57 posts, read 139,516 times
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I would agree it could be insulation. You say rent, so I imagine you're renting a duplex. I doubt they did a good job insulating. You might look around though. You don't want to go dumping money into fixing someone's rental property for them.
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:33 AM
Location: Vancouver, WA
158 posts, read 305,247 times
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I live in a large 2br 2ba apartment (1020 sq ft) with a big sliding glass door to the patio and my electric bill for Feb 2010 was $74. I usually keep the thermostat at around 68 in the winter. I looked around a lot and, sadly, $400 a month won't buy much apartment in Springfield but I can tell you that I paid $150 more for a smaller, and not nearly as nice apt in Beaverton, Oregon before moving to Springfield. Sigh ... Oregon does have some spectacular scenery though - did I mention that I have a couple of Oregon pics in my profile! :-)
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:29 AM
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 24,343,904 times
Reputation: 6133
GAs heat is warmer due to the way it is delivered. Old gas furnaces are not efficient. I knocked $2oo hundred off my bill by installing a new unit and doing some insulating. Some electric companies give a discount for an all electric unit; some don't. If you have to cover windows with plastic they are not e-rated and they are losing heat. The best defense in addition to plastic is heavy draperies in the winter to keep the cold out and in the summer to keep the air conditiong in. It does make a difference.
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:36 PM
Location: Springfield, MO
49 posts, read 235,924 times
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Like others have said, it is the insulation. My husband and I rent and January is usually our high utility bill month. We have tried electric by using radiator heaters and putting fans on low near them to circulate air, and we have tried gas. At our previous house we rented, we only used the gas when we had to because it was an old furnace and did a poor job in heating the whole house (it was a one room furnace so we had to use fans and radiator heaters for the other rooms). In our current house, our landlords replace the old gas furnace with a new one and it works great! We were leary of using it due to the previous house being expensive to run gas, but after getting hit with a big bill for using the radiator heaters, we tried the gas furnace and it saved us some money. Gas heat will also keep from drying the air out as much as electric heat does which is nice
Before winter comes, I would go around the outside of the house and make sure there are no holes or crawl spaces exposed to the outside air. Cover them up well. Caulk around window's, seal up around doors if there's any space for air to come in from outside, put plastic or even cardboard up on the windows...and if you don't have carpetting in the house, get some rugs to put on the floors or craigslist scrap carpet people have extra from their various projects and lay them out over the floors, this will help with insulation as well.
If things really get desperate, you can always put carpet or cardboard up along the walls during the winter.
Just some ideas.
One thing I have realized is that unless you are renting a brand new house, do not expect the insulation to be good in any house you rent. whether a house as good or bad insulation, does not effect a landlord since they do not pay the utility bill so why would they bother with it? And most contracts are a year on houses so by the time a person realized it cost too much on the utility bill to stay there, the contract would be up, they'd move, and the landlord would just get another person in to rent it.
Another idea I just though about is talking to your landlord about the insulation. Perhaps you could split the cost with them? I know if I want extra stuff done to the house, if it isn't something my landlord plans to do on their own, then they will often split the cost with me. Like, I wanted electric put in a kitchen once in our old house for my oven because the hook ups at that time for the house was gas. I paid the the labor hours it took for their maintenance guy to do it and they paid for the cost of the material.
So maybe your landlord will do something like that with you? Maybe you can pay to have it installed if they'll pay for the material? Or visa versa. Or offer to split the cost 50/50. Maybe suggest it to them in this way, "Would you be willing to share in the cost of putting new insulation in the house? It would benefit both of us if you think about it. It'll save me money on utilities and when I move out, you can advertise the home as having new insulation which will draw the attention of potential renters." but in your own and better wording of course.
Just some thoughts. I hope that helps!
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:59 PM
Location: NW. MO.
1,817 posts, read 5,613,642 times
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If that's an oil filled sealed space heater be careful how much it might jack up the elect bill. We had wood heat only back in Ca. and had to use one of the space heaters for the back bedroom and it cost a LOT of money. We were buying wood and paying over 250 in elect over the winter there for a smaller 2 bdroom. If it's an efficient one you might be ok.
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