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AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1
reply to Mr Matt

Re: Electric Bill

said by Mr Matt:

The point that the zone control manufacturer was making was that the zone control system allowed the architect to specify one 60,000 BTU central AC rather than three smaller central AC's to meet the architect's requirements. I should have mentioned that I saw the demonstration system before the 2007 recession. I am sure that two additional smaller central AC systems cost many $$$. The other point that was made was lower maintenance cost of only one system.

also single point of failure.
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Mr Matt

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reply to aurgathor
The point that the zone control manufacturer was making was that the zone control system allowed the architect to specify one 60,000 BTU central AC rather than three smaller central AC's to meet the architect's requirements. I should have mentioned that I saw the demonstration system before the 2007 recession. I am sure that two additional smaller central AC systems cost many $$$. The other point that was made was lower maintenance cost of only one system.


AVD
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reply to Archivis
It is also much warmer now, so you should be seeing a reduction.


Archivis
Your Daddy
Premium
join:2001-11-26
Earth
kudos:19
reply to aurgathor
We've cut our usage in half by shutting stuff down. The electric company gives us readouts on a 2-day delay. We're already seeing our usage cut in half.
--
A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. -MLK


aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
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Reviews:
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reply to Mr Matt
said by Mr Matt:

The problem of setting up a home zone control system is simple with a series of dampers and a zone control board as shown on this website:

Never heard of them before, but I guess in this case it's much easier to set up zones than I thought. Although since I don't see prices on their website, that leads me to believe that their system may be rather expensive.

Did they mention prices in that home show?
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aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
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reply to Archivis
said by Archivis:

My wife called. If I recall correctly, the previous owner's highest month was in the mid 200's.

Maybe the previous owner practiced what I would call is 'selective heating'.

I have 3 rooms, all with with electric heat, and unless I have visitors, I stay in, and heat only the smallest one, and occasionally the bathroom when I shave or take a shower.
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Archivis
Your Daddy
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join:2001-11-26
Earth
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reply to TomS
My wife called. If I recall correctly, the previous owner's highest month was in the mid 200's.

TomS

join:2008-01-21
Gloucester, MA
reply to Archivis
>>> "When we bought the home, the previous resident said her average bill was in the upper $100's. I won't be able to call the electric company until Monday."

Sorry if I missed it, but what did PPL say? Were you able to obtain previous usage info?

Mr Matt

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reply to aurgathor
The problem of setting up a home zone control system is simple with a series of dampers and a zone control board as shown on this website:

»xcizoning.com/

I saw a zone control system as is described demonstrated at a home show. The demonstration system used a 60,000BTU central AC where three separate AC unit would have been required to meet the requirements of the architect. The system allows the temperature of areas or individual rooms to be controlled with dampers controlling the air flow to the controlled areas. A thermostat is installed in each climate controlled room or area.


aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
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reply to Archivis
said by Archivis:

said by aurgathor:

The next step should be (if you not already have) installing programmable thermostat(s). This will cost you some money, but it shouldn't be too bad.

We thought about it, but is it worth it if we're going to switch over to a heat pump?


It will still worth to have even with a central heat pump, although controlling individual areas will be much harder. If you were to opt for separate heat pumps (looks like you won't though) then they would be must haves.

I'm looking into the insulation now. Our windows seem to be pretty modern. They're Anderson windows. Not sure how that holds up.

Obviously, before doing any of these you need to examine what you have, how good they are, and how much better you can make it at what cost.

Adding an extra layer to the attic is usually fairly straightforward and doesn't involve a whole lot. Adding extra insulation to the walls will usually be much more of a hassle.
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Antonica
Premium
join:2002-09-02
kudos:1
reply to Archivis
Need to confirm with PPL but the home warranty guy came out and replaced the refriderator parts that went bad. After talking wtih the electrian that came out today too to check on the baseboard heaters to make sure they were working ok, he seemed to think that it was most likely a combination of the fridge constantly trying to start up and the dryer having to run more times than normal that caused the high pull of electricity. He tested the dryer and the one heating element is out so that causes the loads to almost need to be dried twice to get dry.
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Archivis
Your Daddy
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Earth
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reply to aurgathor
said by aurgathor:

In the short term, you should turn them down, or completely off in areas not occupied, and then turn them back only when someone is in that area. So when you go to bed, turn down the heat in everywhere except the bedrooms you sleep in. That may be a bit of a pain doing manually (I'm assuming the controls are on the baseboard heaters) but probably not as much pain as paying an oversized electric bill. If you already have a programmable thermostat, just program it appropriately. This doesn't cost you any money.

This is exactly what we've been doing since we started this thread. I should go check my electric online, but I guess PPL Electric is down for maintenance for a few hours.

The next step should be (if you not already have) installing programmable thermostat(s). This will cost you some money, but it shouldn't be too bad.

We thought about it, but is it worth it if we're going to switch over to a heat pump?

In the long term, you may want to switch over to heat pumps like these: »www.grainger.com/Grainger/ductle···t=subset and perhaps add some extra insulation and replace your windows with better ones.

I'm looking into the insulation now. Our windows seem to be pretty modern. They're Anderson windows. Not sure how that holds up. We have an outdoor AC unit. I could replace it with a heat pump, do little duct work and have a heat pump unit.
--
A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. -MLK


ropeguru
Premium
join:2001-01-25
Mechanicsville, VA
reply to AVD
said by AVD:

said by Jim:

said by Hall:

A "well guy" ? I didn't know there were people who were that specialized. I don't mean that as an insult either -- I live in the city, always have, and have no exposure to well water.

Our septic guy will not touch our well or inside plumbing. Our well guy will not touch our septic system nor will he do indoor plumbing beyond the pressure tank. I guess there is enough work without overlap although I'm sure it happens.

might be legal or insurance issues too.

In Virginia the well folks have to be licensed by the State Health Department. So it is different.


aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
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Reviews:
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reply to Archivis
I think your main issue is the electric baseboard heaters.

In the short term, you should turn them down, or completely off in areas not occupied, and then turn them back only when someone is in that area. So when you go to bed, turn down the heat in everywhere except the bedrooms you sleep in. That may be a bit of a pain doing manually (I'm assuming the controls are on the baseboard heaters) but probably not as much pain as paying an oversized electric bill. If you already have a programmable thermostat, just program it appropriately. This doesn't cost you any money.

The next step should be (if you not already have) installing programmable thermostat(s). This will cost you some money, but it shouldn't be too bad.

In the long term, you may want to switch over to heat pumps like these: »www.grainger.com/Grainger/ductle···t=subset and perhaps add some extra insulation and replace your windows with better ones.

As for insulation, I had good luck putting 1" .. 1.5" polyisocyanurate foam on the inside walls/ceilings, and then adding a layer of drywall on top of it, but depending on your house, other solutions may be more suitable and better.

The majority of heat pumps are in the $800 .. $3000 range, so they are not cheap, but they should pay off over time. Likewise, adding additional insulation/windows replacement may be a costly hassle initially, but they should pay off in the long run.
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hdman
Flt Rider
Premium
join:2003-11-25
Appleton, WI
Reviews:
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reply to Archivis
The previous owner MAY have been paying an annualized sum broken across every month. I think they call that the "budget" program at my utility. Also, you may want to look into whether your provider has a "time-of-use" billing. I have electric water heat, dryer, appliances, and I pay a premium between 7am and 7pm, but I pay a small fraction per kwh from 7pm to 7am. So....I put in a highly rated 80 gall water heater, and ONLY heat the water during the low cost times. A good electric water heater will only lose 1% of its energy per hour. Then we don't dry clothes until after 7pm.

I would also look at your insulation, windows, etc. Borrow a thermal gun and check around for air leaks. Also, look at your roof. If there is snow on it, thats good. If it melts off, that means your heat is going thru the roof.

If you have a fireplace, only use it if it gets its combustion air from OUTSIDE. If it uses the inside air, dont use it at all.

Good luck
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AVD
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Onion, NJ
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reply to Jim
said by Jim:

said by Hall:

A "well guy" ? I didn't know there were people who were that specialized. I don't mean that as an insult either -- I live in the city, always have, and have no exposure to well water.

Our septic guy will not touch our well or inside plumbing. Our well guy will not touch our septic system nor will he do indoor plumbing beyond the pressure tank. I guess there is enough work without overlap although I'm sure it happens.

might be legal or insurance issues too.
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Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
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reply to Hall
said by Hall:

A "well guy" ? I didn't know there were people who were that specialized. I don't mean that as an insult either -- I live in the city, always have, and have no exposure to well water.

You need specialized equipment to dig down 500+ feet for a well so of course there is people who only do wells. A standard plumber might handle well equipment but not the well itself.
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Jim
Premium
join:2003-02-10
reply to Hall
said by Hall:

A "well guy" ? I didn't know there were people who were that specialized. I don't mean that as an insult either -- I live in the city, always have, and have no exposure to well water.

Our septic guy will not touch our well or inside plumbing. Our well guy will not touch our septic system nor will he do indoor plumbing beyond the pressure tank. I guess there is enough work without overlap although I'm sure it happens.
--


Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
reply to robbin
A "well guy" ? I didn't know there were people who were that specialized. I don't mean that as an insult either -- I live in the city, always have, and have no exposure to well water.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to Hall
said by Hall:

Wouldn't that depend on where a plumber is based ? I mean, a plumber "in the city", you're right, may know little about wells, sump pumps, etc, but a plumber who is in more rural areas definitely could.

It's not so much whether have have the knowledge as it is if they are equipped to work on them. A well guy probably has most all necessary repair parts on his truck which makes the job quicker, more efficient, and therefore probably cheaper.

scooper

join:2000-07-11
Youngsville, NC
kudos:2
reply to Hall
+1 - I live in a rural county, where wells are common (even though the county has put in a waterlines past most houses) - plumbers here know about wells as well as the usual plumbing issues. I would imagine that a plumber that works mostly in Raleigh would not be as familar with well problems.

BTW - my pressure tank has a bladder for the water, and you have to manually maintain the air with a tire like valve. In my case, when the tank is empty - you want to set the empty tank pressure to 2 PSI below the point where your switch turns the pump on, and the tank needs to be large enough that the pump runs for at least 1 full minute before shutoff.

Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
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reply to Antonica
Sounds like you have a bad air volume control. My parents submersible pumps pressure tank had a valve (air volume control) about 2/3 of the way up from the bottom of the tank. Every so often the air volume control would begin hissing. The way the system worked there was a check valve at the tank that prevented back flow when the pump was not running. The check valve also included a vent valve on the well side of the check valve to allow the water in the line between the pressure tank and the well to drain back into the well to keep it from freezing in cold weather. Whenever the pump started the air in the line was injected into the pressure tank as well as the water pumped in. The air helped maintain pressure in the system. When the water in the tank dropped below the float valve the air volume control released excessive air in the tank. Whenever the air volume control failed closed they experienced the same problem you are experiencing, air coming out of the faucets. The plumber replaced the air volume control to fix the problem.


Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
reply to robbin
Wouldn't that depend on where a plumber is based ? I mean, a plumber "in the city", you're right, may know little about wells, sump pumps, etc, but a plumber who is in more rural areas definitely could.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to Antonica
I wouldn't call a plumber unless you have other plumbing problems. Most of them don't have experience with wells.


Antonica
Premium
join:2002-09-02
kudos:1
reply to robbin
@robbin - This is some-what related as it was brought up by another member that the well pump could be part of the electrical issue if it was constantly running. This is my thread as well as Archivis is my husband, so all this is in reference to the same house.

The clicking noise that "I" have noticed is only when water is being used (toilet flushing, etc). I haven't heard it run other times so I assume again, the well pump is not running constantly. As for the air, we've tried to bleed the pipes for 15 minutes with every faucet turned on, still does the spitting. I will take robbins advice and that can be another thread or just dropped all together for now until the plumber comes out, but just wanted to clarify that I don't believe the well pump is constantly running. (Plumber will be asked to check that too).
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robbin
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Leander, TX
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2 recommendations

reply to Antonica
Why don't you start a new thread regarding your water pressure issues. This doesn't have anything to do with the current topic and many of us who can help won't see it buried in this thread. When you do, post some pics -- the blue tank and connected plumbing and anything else that you know of which is part of your well.


tschmidt
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Milford, NH
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reply to Antonica
The clicking at the pressure tank is probably the pump pressure switch turning pump on and off in response to water use. There should be a pressure gauge that you can watch to confirm pressure switch operation. One caution is that it might be plugged up so will not read properly.

If no one is using water and the pump is constantly cycling you have a leak either in the house or perhaps the check valve in the pump.

Since you have already dealt with the aerators spitting is probably air in the system. That normally only occurs if water is turned off and the system drained or partially drained. We have a submersible pump so pretty much impossible for air to get into the system. I'm not familiar with jet pumps.

Check if the pump is cycling unnecessarily. That indicates a leak, incorrect bladder pressure in the pressure tank or a waterlogged pressure tank. None of these problems explain air in the system - but needs to be taken care or right away.

Did the spitting just start? You can try turning on each faucet for a while to try and get the air out of the system. If that does not resolve the issue my guess is you have a jet pump and somehow air is getting into the system. I'll leave that to the plumbings professionals that frequent this forum.

/tom


Antonica
Premium
join:2002-09-02
kudos:1
reply to Jim
It's spitting all the time, every faucet (and we cleaned out the aerators in most of the faucets because they had this brown/rust like grime on them). There is a water softener system that was purchased 2 years ago and installed (Culligan). The Blue tank we're told is the well tank so I'm assuming its the well pressure tank. It's shorter and fat. Clicking noise, like a couple times in a row, then some pauses, then can click a few more times. No rhythm or anything to the clicking noise.
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Jim
Premium
join:2003-02-10
reply to Antonica
Water 'spitting' out of faucets could just be dirty aerators at the faucets. On the other hand, it could be more serious. Does it stop eventually or is it all the time the faucet is on? As far as the blue tank, do you know if it is part of a filter/softener system or if it's the well pressure tank? Is it tall and thin (filter/softener) or short and relatively large around (pressure tank)? What noise?

I apologize if I disappear. The weather is deteriorating rapidly here and I'm probably going to head home. It's a haul.
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Antonica
Premium
join:2002-09-02
kudos:1
reply to Antonica
and the blue tank in the basement makes noise :P