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Old 06-20-2015, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Ocala, FL
4,061 posts, read 6,801,479 times
Reputation: 3874

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Customer service for utility companies is virtually non-existent on weekends and holidays. Only the emergency hotline is open 24/7. Your issue can't be magically solved with a snap of the fingers. You need to be patient and allow them to schedule an evaluation of your situation. Keep in mind that they only thing they can verify is if there is an issue with the meter or make suggestions to reduce your energy costs.

Best wishes to you. Let us know what happens.
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Old 06-21-2015, 07:45 AM
 
46 posts, read 71,849 times
Reputation: 32
I need to be patient? Each day this is going on, SECO is still charging me $9 in phantom usage that I can't find and nobody will return my calls or email. We are sweating in a heatwave with the inside of the House at 84 too afraid to touch the A/C and have switched off every major appliance in the house. I don't have $300 a month to pay for electric, and from reading posts of other people with similar issues, it's virtually impossible to get the Electric company to reissue a credit because they will blame the user regardless of what they find in their energy audit.

Since we shut every major appliance off:

The only things running at the moment are:
Fridge/Freezer
Ceiling Fans
I have a plug in Fan running because my room warms up faster
My laptop
Cell phone recharging
The box that runs the cable/internet/phone
42" LCD TV in living room - Best Buy Model
No Lights at the moment

15420 - 9pm
15421 - 10pm
15425 - 7 am
15427 - 9 am

1 KwH during the day and 0.5kwH overnight seems about normal. Actually, is this normal? I don't have a clue based on what I'm running. I guess, but it should it be less? I'm guessing the TV uses the most energy because it drops off when we turn it off at night. But the meter has also showed this for previous days during the same timeframe At about 11am and running to 8pm is when it skyrockets to over 3kw per hour. Whenever this problem gets fixed and the air can run again, maybe their a 2KwH usage at most, possibly 3 if mom does a load of laundry, but not 3-4kw for 8 consecutive hours. That's just not possible. Based on our usage, 40KwH would be considered a high day of use for us. Anything above that (especially 50,60,70, or 82Kwh) is obviously erroneous.

Sorry, I know you're trying to help and I don't mean to come off with an attitude. I'm just frustrated because I can't fix whatever the problem is and get back to living comfortable in the house.
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Old 06-21-2015, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Gainesville, FL; formerly Weston, FL
1,048 posts, read 1,101,451 times
Reputation: 1087
The Google search I did showed that average usage in the U.S. is about 900 kWh a year. If you can, it might be helpful to see if you can find out what the previous owner/tenant was paying. If it's about what you're paying now, then an energy audit might help -- but could point to an inefficient AC or poor insulation, problems that unfortunately usually take some bucks to fix.

I know our tenant had a similar problem, but with the water bill (in Florida, but different part of state). Comparing what we paid, versus or tenant, they were being charged around $50-$75 more. They had the city come out and inspect the meter, but it was fine. We had our lawn guy look at the sprinkling system for leaks, and found none, but he recommended a timer change, so the lawn was still watered automatically, just less frequently. That adjustment worked.

It took some detective work on our part, our lawn guy, and the tenants, but we figured it out, reducing the water bill. I wish you the same result.
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Old 06-21-2015, 11:48 AM
 
46 posts, read 71,849 times
Reputation: 32
Continued readings:

15428 - 10am
15428 - 11am
15429 - 12pm
15430 - 1pm

Then we ran some experiments and restarted the A/C since it got to 86! in there. We set it at 82 and watched the meter.

15431 1:10pm
15432 -1:20pm
15433 - 1:25pm

This doesn't look normal, so we shut it all down again.
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Old 06-21-2015, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,978 posts, read 4,369,897 times
Reputation: 5025
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFNCO33 View Post
Continued readings:

15428 - 10am
15428 - 11am
15429 - 12pm
15430 - 1pm

Then we ran some experiments and restarted the A/C since it got to 86! in there. We set it at 82 and watched the meter.

15431 1:10pm
15432 -1:20pm
15433 - 1:25pm

This doesn't look normal, so we shut it all down again.
I think you found your problem. Good work. It is the A/C. Since it is Sunday I would turn on everything you normally use except the A/C. I expect that you will use less than 2 kw per hour and less than 24 kw a day (your above post on usage). I assume you have check out the A/C as best you can, therefor it looks like you are going to need an A/C repair company on Monday.

No experience with Fl A/C repairs but my guess is they will have to clean your inside and outside units and it could take a few hours. I can see a few hundred dollars for the repair. At least you will save on your electric bill in the future. I think you should start a new thread that asks for Ocala A/C repair costs and who did the work. Do a little bit of vendor research on the net. Remember with the hot weather they maybe booked up for a few days so I would go with a vendor you get good reports on and not the one that says they will come out the fastest.

If you are ventures (I never did this) you can remove the metal side of the A/C air handler (inside the house) and see if the coils are dirty. It should unscrew and there is little risk of damage. I would not try and clean the coils without researching the best method. Do not want to damage a coil. If your problem is the A/C I think you are beyond home repair. But you could learn how to clean the units by watching the repairmen and do some preventive maintenance for the future.

Also you could have grass etc sucked into the outside unit and a garden hose might clean off some of this.

I do not know if you can check the Freon. I think cars have a glass eye to look at but no your A/C. Maybe someone can answer that.

If you get a recommendation to put in a new unit you might want to get a second opinion if you have not been able to verify the reputation of the company. Not sure how long an A/C should last. Up north I think I get 20 years which is probably very good. That could be 10 years down here. If the unit is closer to 5 years old I think it should be repairable.

You did not mention icing on the A/C pipes (either inside or outside) so I assume your blower is working correctly. Freon is also probably ok, but maybe you have a small leak since you are getting cooling but the unit could be running too long due to the leak.
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Old 06-21-2015, 12:55 PM
 
46 posts, read 71,849 times
Reputation: 32
Thanks.

We're tenants so the cost will go the landlord, but from what we know the A/C unit is not old.

Question, we figured out how to run the fan without the compressor operating. Would this generate a lot of KwH or is it like running a ceiling fan?

We're up to 88 in the house now. I just checked at 2:50pm and it only moved 1 at 15434. Right now the only things operating are the Fridge/Freezer, fans, and my laptop.

Question, when an AC is set at 80, how much energy should it use on average per hour if insulation is good and it's running properly. I thought there was some formula to tell that with the numbers on the Unit.

Also, if we run the A/C fan separately from the A/C compressor, would this use a lot of energy?
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Old 06-21-2015, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Gainesville, FL; formerly Weston, FL
1,048 posts, read 1,101,451 times
Reputation: 1087
You should contact your landlord then, so that they can use the a/c company that they are comfortable with. We are renting near Gainesville, and our landlord scheduled a routine service for the a/c at the house we're renting from him-- the week that Bounds AC was coming out, the a/c quit. Bounds came out that day, called the landlord to explain the problem, and the landlord paid for the service and part.

We are renting out our home in South Florida, so we're landlords too. We hired someone who has his own a/c company to perform a routine checkup on the a/c for our tenants and as landlords, we paid for the service and freon and parts. Our AC guy told us that in South Florida, the life of an a/c unit that is properly maintained is about 10 years, and about half that for those that don't receive routine cleaning, coil cleaning, freon, leak checks, etc.
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Old 06-21-2015, 02:09 PM
 
46 posts, read 71,849 times
Reputation: 32
Can anybody give me the Kilowatt average usage of what the A/C should be.

This is a TRANE Model 4TEC3F48B10000AA 4 Ton 13 SEER, Says 2.7 Fl A (I'm assuming Amps) and 230-270 Volts

Like I said before when we were running it, we had it set on 80 so it wasn't running consistently. I thought I read somewhere where you could take Amps x Volts to get the average hourly rate in Watts but wasn't sure if that worked for this model or if I was pulling the right numbers.
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Old 06-21-2015, 06:33 PM
 
4,300 posts, read 3,616,929 times
Reputation: 14293
Just out of curiosity, I checked my usage graph for the past year. I have a 1600 sq ft house about 10 years old, good insulation. A/C unit is that old. Last year during the summer, July and August, were my highest usage months, at just over 1,000 KW per month. It then lowered to around 400 kw during the winter months. I keep my a/c at 79 during the day and 72 at night. My May bill is $105, but Im expecting June's bill to be higher since its been so hot lately. My bills last year during those 2 hottest months were $147 and $136. Im expecting this months bill to be higher, since its been hotter.

Let me know if you need a good honest a/c repairman. Ive had the same service since I moved to Ocala in 1999.
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Old 06-21-2015, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,978 posts, read 4,369,897 times
Reputation: 5025
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFNCO33 View Post
Thanks.

We're tenants so the cost will go the landlord, but from what we know the A/C unit is not old.

Question, we figured out how to run the fan without the compressor operating. Would this generate a lot of KwH or is it like running a ceiling fan?

We're up to 88 in the house now. I just checked at 2:50pm and it only moved 1 at 15434. Right now the only things operating are the Fridge/Freezer, fans, and my laptop.

Question, when an AC is set at 80, how much energy should it use on average per hour if insulation is good and it's running properly. I thought there was some formula to tell that with the numbers on the Unit.

Also, if we run the A/C fan separately from the A/C compressor, would this use a lot of energy?
I think it is more like a ceiling fan. I have a circulation setting which runs the fan more than when the AC is on and less than 100%. Running all the time is ok. I did that up North. Summer and winter.

Energy used - The inside and outside units should show the kw's use and the internet can probably help your est. Also note the BTU's. This is the cooling size. Probably 32,000. The inside might just be the blower so the outside one is important.

I do not know the answer to energy usage, but my guess is 10 kw's or less a day. Remember an uneducated guess.

Just the post with SEER 13. This is a lower rating so less efficient. 4 Tons is a large unit. But I do not think this is the problem.

You need to get your landlord to fix the AC and once the problem is fixed and you get a reasonable electric bill discuss getting a credit on your rent to make up for the extra electric. A credit spread out over a few months might get you a better settlement.

Last edited by rjm1cc; 06-21-2015 at 07:21 PM..
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