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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our electric bill runs from about $300 in the summer down to about $100 in the winter.

I have a graphic showing this, but can't post it because I haven't done 15 posts yet! But if someone would do it for me, let me know and I'll message you the link to post.

A couple of points:

1) We had two relatives living with us through 2010.

2) It's a 2000 SF 2-story. Central HVAC w/ gas furnace. Typically we have the thermostat set at 75 in the summer and 72 in the winter. We live in Houston, TX.

3) This is only electrical, not gas. We use 100% wind so it's about 10 cents per kwh.

4) The house is only about 10 years old, but the builder cut a lot of corners. Single pane windows and lousy door stripping. also poor insulation in walls and attic (see below).

5) I went on a weatherizing spree late 2010. Replaced back door with low e double-pane. Think we are already seeing some benefit in furnace running less this winter.

6) The attic has been horribly under-insulated. From the attic I can actually look down HVAC chases THROUGH the 2nd floor to the 1st floor. No insulation in those chases, open to attic and bare drywall. Heck one of them I can see the uninsulated back of one of our shower inserts.

Blown fiberglass does not go all the way to eaves, I can see ceiling sheetrock at the edges. Central decking that HVAC sits on in attic has some bays with no insulation, others fiberglass batt. Loose fill fiberglass has settled to 10-12" where it was actually blown properly. HVAC ducts are flexi with built in insulation, but hanging from rafters. Why didn't they run them at attic floor and loose fill around them at least???

I have an attic insulation rep coming tomorrow to give me quote on rectifying. Bet I make my money back in 18 months in lower cooling bills?
 

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I live in Houston also. We started a couple of years ago doing free and low cost things to save electricity. It did make a difference.

I had a new high efficiency A/C and synced furnace (gas) installed last April. I got the state rebate and the $1500 income tax deduction for 2010. Now THAT made a big difference and lowered our electricity consumption in the summer. We will be installing more insulation in the attic as soon as we our income refund.

Do you have an insulated blanket on your water heater? What temp is your water heater set at? You can probably turn it down.
Have you looked at the cost of replacing your windows? My brother and best friend had new windows installed this last year and got the $1500 tax deduction for 2010.
Do you have things on power strips that you can turn off completely? TV, cable box, microwave, coffee pot, stereo, etc.

Every little bit helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I live in Houston also. We started a couple of years ago doing free and low cost things to save electricity. It did make a difference.

I had a new high efficiency A/C and synced furnace (gas) installed last April. I got the state rebate and the $1500 income tax deduction for 2010. Now THAT made a big difference and lowered our electricity consumption in the summer. We will be installing more insulation in the attic as soon as we our income refund.

Do you have an insulated blanket on your water heater? What temp is your water heater set at? You can probably turn it down.
Have you looked at the cost of replacing your windows? My brother and best friend had new windows installed this last year and got the $1500 tax deduction for 2010.
Do you have things on power strips that you can turn off completely? TV, cable box, microwave, coffee pot, stereo, etc.

Every little bit helps!
Thanks for the tips! We will need to replace HVAC in a couple years, and water heater needs replacing now. Probably go tankless.

Windows are single pane, but we can't afford to replace those this year.

We have started being smarter about electrical, turning off computers etc when not in use. We will continue to work on using power strips to minimize power consumption when not in use.
 

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For years I was running $43 a month during the summer and $150 during the winter with a Budget Monthly Bill of approx $80 a month for a 1,700 sq 3 story townhouse. Then they de-regulated and everthing DOUBLED!! My Montly Budget is now $153 and I'm at rock bottom as far as electric usuage is considered right now - can't go any lower.
 

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This post absolutely depresses me....sigh LOL
Dave and others great job.

I have a 3,000 sq Victorian with a new as high efficiency furnace , rating as you can go with these old homes without retrofit.... I try to conserve as you all know.

Don't ask my heating bills for winter or my summer bills , unless you want to be down in the dumps . My summer bills are low but no where near some of yours and I have air conditioning and don't use it even when it gets to 100 here and I can summer produce. That is it I am buying my farm and going solar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah those "classic" homes are a nightmare to heat and cool. They just were not designed for today's fuel costs.

I have a riot of a story about an early 1900s basement apartment we rented in New Orleans when I was in college. Yes, stop and read that again. Basement apartment....in New Orleans....it involved the previous tenants ingenious solution for the fuse blowing on the AC circuit....:screwy:
 

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Several years ago, I lived in a house that never got cool enough, even when the central air ran all day.
I got a quote to blow additional insulation into the attic. It was pretty inexpensive at the time, so I went ahead with it.
They came one morning and did the work in less than an hour.
I noticed a difference in the temperature of the house that same afternoon!!
I don't know what it costs today or exactly how long it will take to recoup the money, but it will definitely be worth it.

I noticed the temperatures you set your heat & air at. Try 70 for heat and 77 for air. You might not even notice the difference, but your pocketbook will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I noticed the temperatures you set your heat & air at. Try 70 for heat and 77 for air. You might not even notice the difference, but your pocketbook will.
I would be HAPPY to do so...but the other denizens of my humble abode are already revolting over temperature. :)
 

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To translate: His wife was cold and when wife is happy, everybody is happy. :laugh:
Luckily, I live alone and don't have this problem.
But whenever my father comes over to visit in the winter, the first thing he does it head for the thermostat to turn it up!
He's never even noticed that as soon as he gets settled, I change it back
 
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