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Tampa Bay Tampa - St. Petersburg - Clearwater
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Old 11-16-2009, 01:11 PM
Location: Tampa, FL
162 posts, read 604,832 times
Reputation: 96


I have a 2600 sq ft. home and keep the heat and AC at 72 year round. I also have a large pool by Florida standards. My windows are factory tinted. I have a radiant barrier in the attic and I bought the most energy efficient appliances (including central air unit) that I could afford. The pool runs a good 9 hours a day and is solar heated. The back of my house is mostly glass, facing either east or south east so in other words - ALL DAY SUN. I don't have blinds up covering the windows. I could probably lower my utility costs but I'd lose the beauty of the pool.

My electric bill has only once topped $300. Mostly it's about $250. We have several computers running and the plasma TV is always on which is a resource hog.

When we put our pool in we went with the salt system and the valet cleaning system. I do not spend any time vacuuming the pool ever. Not a big fan of the Polaris or creepy crawly type vacuums. Hate seeing those things lying in the pool. Our pool is screened so there's no debris. The filter must be cleaned once a month which takes 10 minutes. To shock the pool, I flip a switch. I have to add acid each week - but usually I only remember every other week. The bottle runs me $5 and will last me two months or more. I have a stain preventative I add which is about $15 per bottle. I think I go through 2 or three of those per year. Salt, which replaces chlorine is $5 per bag. I usually only need three of those per year. BTW - these are the recommendations of my pool company - not just some routine I came up with to cut costs. It depends what you inherit when you purchase the home or what you put in. I didn't want to spend a lot of time working on the pool so I spent the money up front. It's been well worth it. This is my third house and my third pool. I don't find myself needing to add water every week. Mother nature sometimes takes care of that for us. I probably spend $80 in chemicals for the year and my pool vacuums itself.

I couldn't be without a pool in Florida but I've had a pool all my life. There is nothing like a dip in the midst of yard work. I wouldn't be running down to the community center mid way through my work.

It's a matter of preference. You might want to find a home without the pool and then put something in yourself later so that you can control any potential future costs as well.

You should request copies of the owner's previous energy bills prior to any agreement. I have always disclosed that info to the buyers when I've sold my homes. But, I've always sold my homes FSBO.
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:54 PM
12 posts, read 62,747 times
Reputation: 12
$500 per month in summer
2600 sq ft 2 older A.C.
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:02 PM
Location: Hernando County, FL
8,488 posts, read 18,529,964 times
Reputation: 5397
Originally Posted by EHSFFL View Post
$500 per month in summer
2600 sq ft 2 older A.C.
Your AC's must be pulling a lot of power.

I have 2500 under air with a pool and I think my bill has been over $200 one time in 4 years.
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:47 AM
14 posts, read 26,238 times
Reputation: 16
$500 does seem high for a $2600 sq ft home - even with two stories which, to me, are notoriously more expensive.

The original poster didn't say what the size of the home was. My bill is in the $250 range usually, year round. I keep my AC about 72 and my heat about 70. We also have a fireplace which helps. I turn back the pool in the winter months so it doesn't need to run as many hours.

$500 seems high to me and under $200 I think is a low estimate but it depends what you are keeping your temp at, if you have shade trees, the exposure of the house and a myriad of other things.

Ask the previous owner for copies of the bills. They should be willing to give them to you. But if anyone just starts shouting out estimates of what they pay be sure to ask for the whole picture. A lot of folks down here turn the house up to 80 during the day because no one is home, keep the blinds drawn, unplug every last appliance, have the house shrouded in trees, etc. I also called my electric company one time to ask how someone who kept their home at the same temp, had small kids in the house, multiple tvs and lights on at all times could possibly have a bill half of mine. That's what I had been told. Turns out, the electric company told me that NO ONE in my neighborhood was getting bills like they said. Get copies from the previous owners, pool or no pool.
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Old 11-22-2009, 06:44 AM
Location: Ohio
1,217 posts, read 2,460,969 times
Reputation: 2229
Originally Posted by u000226 View Post
I have a 4/2 villa with a relatively large pool in davenport florida. I dont actually live there and only use it in the summer months. My water bill in the month of oct-nov 09 was in the region of $225 which is extremely high for a house that is not lived in and for a house which the sprinklers have been switched off back in Aug 09. I spoke the water company and they are saying that sometimes the electricity goes off and re-sets the irrigation system. Can anyone throw any light on this matter. from a desperate first time forum user.

I agree with your water company about the power outage causing your problem. Unless you have a separate meter for irrigation only you are also being charged a sewer fee for irrigation use (that you aren't using). It's possible that one or more of your irrigation heads has been knocked off by the grass cutters and is spewing water (seen that before).

Summer is the rainy season here and should not require that much water use (although where I live we had a drought this summer). If you live in an HOA your grounds crew should be checking your irrigation timer every month AND you should have a rainbird detection so that your irrigation doesn't come on when it has just rained. These are available at very little charge from county and city water departments who want people to conserve water.

If you are not in a HOA and have no neighbors who will tell you when your irrigation is overwatering you are out of luck.
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