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Old 07-30-2009, 10:03 AM
 
Location: palm harbor
471 posts, read 1,509,983 times
Reputation: 238

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we have 2250 sq. ft, no pool, keep the ac set at 75 and my highest bill ever was this last month at $157-generally it's about 95-115. And yes we had higher bills at our 1100 sq. ft house-both are progress energy.......but why the difference, I don't know, except we do have skylights in 2 rooms and rarely need lights in living room and bedrooms and lots of trees here.
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:44 AM
 
15,117 posts, read 31,011,075 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cariad View Post
we have 2250 sq. ft, no pool, keep the ac set at 75 and my highest bill ever was this last month at $157-generally it's about 95-115. And yes we had higher bills at our 1100 sq. ft house-both are progress energy.......but why the difference, I don't know, except we do have skylights in 2 rooms and rarely need lights in living room and bedrooms and lots of trees here.
The trees make the difference. If you have big shade trees, it is the equivalent of having air-conditioning outside! Three shade trees reduce your air-conditioning bill by 30 percent. So that is probably why you are fortunate to have such low bills.
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:28 AM
 
1,500 posts, read 2,784,215 times
Reputation: 1227
also shrubs will help block the sides of a house from direct sun. and paint the house white. if you replace roof use a light color. properly vent & insulate the attic. if you have ceilings higher than 8-ft consider dropping some to reduce volume. maybe partially closing off some vents (leave open some for circulation) in a spare room you don't use and close the door. of course all improvements will require cost analysis with results depending on how long you plan to stay.

this is yet another reason why i buy only smaller older florida houses with proper 8-ft ceiling heights and i plant jungles around them. my house on fp&l in south florida, at 1200 sq ft (of a/c'd space) runs about $100/month while keeping the house in the low 70s. just got this month's bill for this 1350 sq ft tampa house for $143 (in a very hot month). as electric is more costly here, i guess i'll average about $110-120/month yearly after i plant the new jungle. there are existing pines providing some shade and i'll be adding bamboo to provide more. also i will have to reroof eventually and though i like the look of a darker roof i'll be using a light color, maybe even white. when you plant, keep the plants far enough away from the house for air circulation (assuming you've the property) so that you do not substitute your lack of shade problem with a persistent mold problem.
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:10 PM
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346 posts, read 1,301,135 times
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Your pool pump, typically will run $50-$60 per monthif it only runs 10 hours per day. A dirty pool filter will make the pump work twice as hard trying to push water through it and will burn a lot more energy.

As for energy savings, you can also add extra insulation to your attic. An automatic tempurature controlled attic fan will also help by pulling out the heat during the middle of the day. They only run about $150 at Home Depot and you can install it yourself if you are handy.

Longer term, you can plant trees along the south and west side of you house to shade the roof from the direct sun. You could put in Sycamore or Water Oak trees which grow 6+ feet a year. They will have you shaded in no time.

To truly have an energy efficient house you need to design it from the get go.
I had my house built in 2005 and it is nearly 4k sq ft and my worst power bill in august was $280 and out summer average was around $220. There is a catch however. I had them put in 3 A/C units, a 4 ton for the main area, 1 2.5 ton for the upstairs, and a 1.5 ton for the master bedroom suite. during the day we only ran the 4 ton since we were never upstairs or in the bedrooms. (Both my wife and I ran businesses out of our home so we were always there) In the evening, we turned off the 4 ton and turned on the other 2. We kept the house at 78 during the day with ceiling fans running, and at night the upstairs was at 78 and my master was at 74 (I like it colder for sleeping). We had greater than R-30 insulation in the ceilings, had 2x6 2'nd story exterior walls with R-19 insulation and had an additional R-4 foil barrier placed on the inside of the first floor concrete walls. All windows and doors had double paned insulated factory tinted glass. All exterior doors were insulated fiberglass, not metal or wood. We also did a lot of tile flooring to absorb the cool and act as a thermal radiator. 10 ft ceilings on both floors kept the heat high above our heads. During the day, our 2'nd floor would approach 90, but when we turned on the A/C it would cool it down in under 20 minutes. Our total cost of the upgrades was only in the neighborhood of $8k so we did the math and determined out payback would be relatively quick.


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Old 07-30-2009, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
162 posts, read 581,444 times
Reputation: 95
I should have added that my typical bill, or average we'll say, is about $210 - keeping the a/c at 75 and the heat in the winter at 72. Despite my energy efficient appliances I do have several computers up all day and a plasma TV that I know is an energy eater. When I got my highest bill last month at $294 I also had another family staying with me for the month.

I would strongly recommend the original poster consult with the electric company to see what can be done. Is it possible that someone is borrowing power when you aren't home or overnight? It does happen.

Knowing what I have spent on furnishing my home I personally would be uncomfortable allowing temps in another part of the house to reach 90 degrees. When I had to put our furniture in temporary storage it was recommended by the furniture manufacturers that I find climate controlled storage with high temps not exceeding 80 degrees. I would also worry about mold myself.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:36 PM
 
Location: 05 to present Venice, Fla 91-05 Manchester, NH
354 posts, read 1,134,207 times
Reputation: 120
1800 sq ft plus pool plus Hot tub in Venice. avg $210 - FPL. 2 people in house plus 2 cats. I run the pool pump about 5-6 hours a day. the hot-tub I shut down for the summer.

I have programmable stat: settings: 83 days, 79 weekends and early eve, 77 night. The pets are fine during the day and one of my cats prefers the hotter garage - go figure. ( we have a cat door from garage to house ). Do laundry all the time. I have irrigation and have well pumps that are electric and nothing special on HW. AC is 12 seer. House built in 2004. I also have a habit of leaving lanai slider open and computer on all day.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,732 posts, read 31,722,796 times
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My daughter and I live in a house that is just under 2000 sq feet, we are about halfway in between Orlando and Daytona. I can't handle being hot so the highest our AC is set is like 74 during the day. At night its at 70 or I can't sleep. We don't have a pool, our water heater is gas as well as the stove. We do have one extra fridge which is in the garage which they say is an energy eater because the fridge has to work harder to keep cool in such a hot place.

My electric bill that I just paid was $444 for one month of service. I almost choked. I am looking forward to cooler temps so I don't have to rely on the AC so much.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:47 PM
 
25,787 posts, read 39,007,818 times
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I forgot to add that my sqft. is aproxx. 3500, 2 story and we keep the A/C on 80 since we like it warm...I get cold when it is on 78 (maybe silly but it also helps in the costs, ) When we aren't home which isn't much since we also work from home a lot of times, so many comp. are on the whole day, etc... Our last bill was $ 220.- and this was the first time ever it was so high! We have Withlacootchee.
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
807 posts, read 2,820,773 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindsey_Mcfarren View Post
My daughter and I live in a house that is just under 2000 sq feet, we are about halfway in between Orlando and Daytona. I can't handle being hot so the highest our AC is set is like 74 during the day. At night its at 70 or I can't sleep. We don't have a pool, our water heater is gas as well as the stove. We do have one extra fridge which is in the garage which they say is an energy eater because the fridge has to work harder to keep cool in such a hot place.

My electric bill that I just paid was $444 for one month of service. I almost choked. I am looking forward to cooler temps so I don't have to rely on the AC so much.
I'd have the power co. do an energy audit. A thermal scan can find where you're loosing the cool air. Maybe you just need more insulation in the attic. It would seem that your dryer would be gas as well so $444 is excessive. You're right about the extra refrigerator in the garage. It will need to work harder.
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:48 PM
 
5,453 posts, read 7,755,838 times
Reputation: 2141
I know a lot of you mentioned the attic insulation, but what about windows and doors? maybe you guys are loosing cool air that way too? I think is may be worth looking into it.
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