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Old 06-21-2015, 08:41 PM
 
46 posts, read 71,849 times
Reputation: 32

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Thanks for the good info.

Here's our latest update..

The House got up to 93 degrees. My mom didn't do any laundry today and we went out for dinner.

From 625am to 822pm our meter use was just 13 Kwh for the entire day (15425-15438) and that's including the spike in 3Kwh when we tested the A/C earlier.

Since it was getting cooler, I had my mom switch back on the A/C and we set it at 78. We started at approximately 822pm with the meter at 15438. At 922pm we checked it and it was at 15443. Since our usage was low anyways for the day, I let it run another hour and when we checked it at 1022pm, it had gone up another 5 Kwh to 15448. We then shut it off. It got the house down to 85, so the rule about lowering 1 degree every 15 minutes seems like the insulation is good. Hopefully the temp will naturally drop with the cooler whether outside. By midnight, I expect our meter will be at 14450 so about 27 KwH in use today but nearly half that amount is an A/C that was on for just 2 hours and a 20 minute test.

My Usage says from 18 May - 18 Jun was 1,467 Kwh which is almost 600 KwH higher than what we've used during the same period in 2011-2015.

I tried googling information about the model. I know it was installed here in July 2010 according to the sticker. But is this normal to use 10Kwh in 2 hours if it is running constantly? When it wasn't running constantly and we had it set at 80, it was still using 3-4 Kwh for most of the day.

Headed to SECO tomorow. I just hope we figure out what the issue is because I'm tired of sweating.
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Old 06-27-2015, 10:20 AM
 
46 posts, read 71,849 times
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Here was the update.

Got contacted on Monday and a SECO Technician came out.

The meter checked out fine.

The issue seems to be with how we were running the air. Apparently, the bulk of power the A/C will use in an hour is in the first 7-10 minutes after startup. What was happening is that we had the AC set at 80, it would run to cool the house to that and then turn off, but due to the heat, it would kick on about 10 minutes after kicking off. That was about 3 starts/stops in an hour.

He said the draw of our AC can be as much as 5700 KW depending on how hard it has to work. Setting it at 80 was making it work less and it was efficient, but each start-up generated more power.

Example:
12:00 pm - 1:00pm

Kick on A/C 12:00 at 80, runs 15 minutes, stops. Uses 2 KW
A/C kicks on again at 12:25, runs 15 minutes, stops Uses 2 KW
A/C Kicks on again at 12:55, runs 15 minutes, stops. Uses 2 KW

That's 6 KW in just over an hour

Compare that to:

Manually Turn A/C on 12:00pm. Let it run for a little over an hour. Uses just under 3 KW.
Letting it continue to run for another hour used around 2KW depending on where it was set (80 or less)
Manually Turning in off instead of allowing it to kick on/off.

See the difference. Our first method where we were letting is kick on/off (we don't have programmable thermostat) was using as much as 10-11 KW in 2 hrs depending on how hot it is outside, whereas if we just let the A/C run for a couple hours it will use about half of that.

So we've tried to optimize the times at which we run the A/C to keep it calm and comfortable the whole day and have seen a noticeable difference in the amount of KW used daily.

So running it longer and at a lower temp (77/78) is more efficient that setting it at 80 and letting it kick on/off. Now I know. Coupled with the fact that we turned off the hot water heater a week ago, things have returned more to normal.
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Old 06-27-2015, 03:52 PM
 
464 posts, read 798,804 times
Reputation: 499
Thanks for the update, AFN. And the education. It does seem counterintuitive, but glad SECO was able to pinpoint the problem and explain it well enough that you could explain it here. I have a programmable thermostat myself and love it. Perhaps you could get the landlord to install one for you.
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,979 posts, read 4,369,897 times
Reputation: 5025
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFNCO33 View Post
Here was the update.

Got contacted on Monday and a SECO Technician came out.

The meter checked out fine.

The issue seems to be with how we were running the air. Apparently, the bulk of power the A/C will use in an hour is in the first 7-10 minutes after startup. What was happening is that we had the AC set at 80, it would run to cool the house to that and then turn off, but due to the heat, it would kick on about 10 minutes after kicking off. That was about 3 starts/stops in an hour.

He said the draw of our AC can be as much as 5700 KW depending on how hard it has to work. Setting it at 80 was making it work less and it was efficient, but each start-up generated more power.

Example:
12:00 pm - 1:00pm

Kick on A/C 12:00 at 80, runs 15 minutes, stops. Uses 2 KW
A/C kicks on again at 12:25, runs 15 minutes, stops Uses 2 KW
A/C Kicks on again at 12:55, runs 15 minutes, stops. Uses 2 KW

That's 6 KW in just over an hour

Compare that to:

Manually Turn A/C on 12:00pm. Let it run for a little over an hour. Uses just under 3 KW.
Letting it continue to run for another hour used around 2KW depending on where it was set (80 or less)
Manually Turning in off instead of allowing it to kick on/off.

See the difference. Our first method where we were letting is kick on/off (we don't have programmable thermostat) was using as much as 10-11 KW in 2 hrs depending on how hot it is outside, whereas if we just let the A/C run for a couple hours it will use about half of that.

So we've tried to optimize the times at which we run the A/C to keep it calm and comfortable the whole day and have seen a noticeable difference in the amount of KW used daily.

So running it longer and at a lower temp (77/78) is more efficient that setting it at 80 and letting it kick on/off. Now I know. Coupled with the fact that we turned off the hot water heater a week ago, things have returned more to normal.
I think something is still wrong. I agree that when a motor starts it uses a lot more power. But I think most of us just let our A/C run on automatic and do not have the problems you have.

My current thought is that you might need more insulation in the attic or maybe the house is not as air tight as it should be.

I think I would ask a few of your neighbors with similar homes what their experience is.
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:22 AM
 
46 posts, read 71,849 times
Reputation: 32
Yeah, there may some other issues.

When it's gotten really hot like yesterday, it's very difficult to cool the house to 78. We had it on 81 and it took 90 minutes to get it to 79 after which when we turned it off the temp went right back up to 80. We used just under 50Kw yesterday and that's because the A/C was running pretty much all day yesterday. I tried cooling it to 75 this morning but by 11 am it was 81 again. It's on again and struggling to get it to 79 and it's not supposed to be as hot today. In our kitchen though, we have this big glass window in the ceiling that brings a lot of natural heat/light into the kitchen/living area that there's no way to shield it.

When the SECO Tech checked the attic he said our fan only has one hole (or something like that) where the heat escapes and that he couldn't find any other holes and said it was odd for a house of this size to only have 1. He also said to check with the landlord about possibly doing a maintenance check on the A/C Unit. It looks like it may still be under warranty since it's 5 yrs old, but there wasn't anything showing a service check had been done since installation in 7/2010.

I don't know. At this rate I guess I have to plan for using 1,400 KW a month this summer. Seriously given the size of the A/C Unit I don't know how it would be possible to use under 1,000 KW like we normally do especially in this heat. It's been 90's since Mid May like Spring was skipped and went directly to summer.
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:09 AM
 
464 posts, read 798,804 times
Reputation: 499
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFNCO33 View Post
Yeah, there may some other issues.

When it's gotten really hot like yesterday, it's very difficult to cool the house to 78. We had it on 81 and it took 90 minutes to get it to 79 after which when we turned it off the temp went right back up to 80. We used just under 50Kw yesterday and that's because the A/C was running pretty much all day yesterday. I tried cooling it to 75 this morning but by 11 am it was 81 again. It's on again and struggling to get it to 79 and it's not supposed to be as hot today. In our kitchen though, we have this big glass window in the ceiling that brings a lot of natural heat/light into the kitchen/living area that there's no way to shield it.

When the SECO Tech checked the attic he said our fan only has one hole (or something like that) where the heat escapes and that he couldn't find any other holes and said it was odd for a house of this size to only have 1. He also said to check with the landlord about possibly doing a maintenance check on the A/C Unit. It looks like it may still be under warranty since it's 5 yrs old, but there wasn't anything showing a service check had been done since installation in 7/2010.

I don't know. At this rate I guess I have to plan for using 1,400 KW a month this summer. Seriously given the size of the A/C Unit I don't know how it would be possible to use under 1,000 KW like we normally do especially in this heat. It's been 90's since Mid May like Spring was skipped and went directly to summer.
Wow.....
90 minutes to get to 79. That's nuts. I have to agree with RJ....something else is going on...insulation in attic, that ridiculous skylight, something....was the property occupied before you got in? SECO should be able to tell you what the previous bills were for the past year. Can't say I blame you for being PO'd. As far as that skylight, if you can get to the ceiling, I would buy a couple of tension curtain rods and a piece of insulating styrofoam. Cut the styrofoam to fit and hold it in place with the rods. Cost you maybe 25 bucks all in, and it works.
My house is 1600sq ft, triple sliders, pool, and home all day....and I have NEVER run that much. And my air is original to the house in 2005.
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:56 AM
 
46 posts, read 71,849 times
Reputation: 32
The home went into foreclosure last September I believe and the buyer (our landlord) hasn't lived in it (he lives up north). When I got the power put in my name, the lady at SECO told me the average bills were $210 and that they were using almost 2,700 KW a month which I thought was absurd and that the previous owner must have been running the A/C at 65 or something 24/7. I don't know, I didn't think too much of it.

So it isn't normal even when the temps are 95+ outside that if I set the A/C at 78 when it's on 81-82 in the House, that it should take 90 minutes to cool 2 degrees? This isn't always the case. Like in the morning, I cooled to 75 this morning when it was on 81 and it got there in just over an hour. I know cold air is coming out of the vents. So I thought it had to do with the hot weather outside.
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Old 06-28-2015, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,979 posts, read 4,369,897 times
Reputation: 5025
I think you have no choice but to call the landlord and tell him he has to get a repairman to check out the A/C.

If not that then you call a repairman to find out if anything is wrong.

You have a problem with the house and not something you are doing.

I would be friendly and let the landlord know you are just trying to help him etc. But once you get your problem solved consider small claims court to get you extra electric costs etc back.

Read your lease and see what it says about maintenance.
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Old 12-12-2017, 04:48 PM
 
46 posts, read 71,849 times
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So okay, I know this thread is like 2 years old, but this issue never went away. We just have had to deal with it b/c it's difficult explaining to our landlord how kwh's and normal usage work.

Does anybody else use SECO prepay? That is we prepay an amount and each day I can log in and see exactly how much my electricity is costing and how much we are using.

We've got one more month before we leave for the new house but wanted to share this. I have a feeling when the new tenants show up they'll be in for a shock when they get their electric bill and it's $300-$400 cause they programmed the A/C or Heat to a certain temp but the poor insulation/windows makes it impossible for the house to keep it's temperature.

Case in Point:
The last two nights we've had really cold weather. We've only ran the heat b/w 2:00AM-7:00AM and sometimes at night 10:00pm-Midnight. We set it to 74 and during the period it's off b/w Midnight and 2 it can plunge to 65 in the house depending on how cold it is outside.

It takes about an hour to climb a degree. You can definitely feel warm air throughout the house, but it's clearly escaping so that the temperature can't hold. And on top of that even when it gets to the target temp, the Auxiliary Heat is still on!

For running those 8 hours, SECO says we used a total of 104 kWh Sunday Night and 102 kWh Monday night. Do the math and this comes out to over 3,000 kwh a month if this were allowed to continue. Because I was curious I checked the available records of the people that let this house go into foreclosure several months before we rented from the new owner. Guess what they were averaging? 2700 Kwh a month. It all makes sense now. The new owner is planning on living in the home next summer. I wonder how many $400 bills it will take before the fix the insulation (new windows, new fans for the attic).
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