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Disappointed w/ my heating bill for 1st yr burner.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Bster13, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Well I had been waiting on the edge of my seat for my heating bill to come in December and it hit last night:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I am disappointed to say the least. We had a dogsitter at the house using the natural gas for a long Thanksgiving weekend, but that was it. Otherwise I've been home loading the stove two times a day and I ~thought~ that heating bill would of been flatlined like November as I can't recall the heat kicking on but once....honest....and I watch the three thermostats in the house like a hawk. From heating with wood I now know my new-to-me 1957 home is poorly insulated, windows are crap, etc., but if I never noticed the heat kicking on, what gives? The only draws on Natural Gas is the cooking stove (should not of changed significantly) and the water heat (in the basement as it's always been, and just my wife and I using it.)

    It's colder this same time vs. last year and there are 2 more days in the billing cycle vs. last year, but only a 55% reduction in the bill?!
    So what gives?! Argh, so disappointed for all this work an $ invested.

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  2. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    55% is pretty significant drop but you don't mention the type of system(air, steam, water)
  3. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Baseboard/boiler/NG. The previous owner converted from oil to NG (thank u) but bought the least efficient boiler possible (no thank you). It's also a 1 story ranch, so moving heat horizontally has 3 fans going 24/7.
  4. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Its been colder this year than last year, do they take an actual reading or estimate? I wouldn't mind only paying $100 for the month in addition to my wood which is mostly free.
  5. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    I just went and checked my meter myself, it's close to what was on the bill a few days ago and they specify they are taking actual reading, so yeah I guess.
  6. mass_burner

    mass_burner Minister of Fire

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    55% reduction in gas use. That's nothing to sneeze at. What about when your both sleeping? Does the furnace kick in to keep the house at a programmed temp?
  7. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    I guess I was just so darn sure the bill would of been flatlined as the first thing I do in the morning is check all three zones to see if the reported temperature is higher than where I have the thermostat set, and it only was once. I also do the same thing when I get home. So I'm baffled where these CCFs are getting used....
  8. mass_burner

    mass_burner Minister of Fire

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    also, don't look at the dollar amount cause they may charge you different at different usage levels. focus on the amount of units used.
    PapaDave likes this.
  9. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    If this trend continues (~50% reduction) it'll take me 10 years to pay off the investment in the stove, not 5yrs (was banking, naively, on total elimination of heating bill).
  10. mass_burner

    mass_burner Minister of Fire

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    it maybe lower when you happen to look at it, but during the night it could have cycled on/of many times to keep it there. my Nest is good cause it sends an hourly usage report to your phone of actual usage and for how long the furnace kicked on and what the temps were at the time.
  11. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    It's got to be my sunroom then. The other two zones are at least 5 degrees higher than the setting of the thermostat. The sunroom at times is 1-2F higher when I wake up and that room is the most poorly insulated and farthest from the stove room. I guess tonight I'll drop the thermostat of the stove room real low and see if it's magically 1-2F above where I set it again.
  12. Laurent Cyr

    Laurent Cyr Member

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    My suggestion would be to look at your whole winter usage, and how much you have saved heating with wood versus not heating with wood. Last year was my first year too. I saved $750 during the winter, heating with wood from November to end of May. I didn`t think it was much either. But $750 in my pockets, is better than in theirs. You may want to look at the amount of hot water used during showers, and the use of hot water in the washing machine. Is your dryer NG too? My house is a 1968 construction, and was seriously lacking in insulation. We changed all Windows, doors, and insulated outside when I installed new siding. I even built a porch to cut the winter wind from the main door, and still, it seems we didn`t save all that much. You may want to look at insulating the attic too. At night, I keep my furnace at 67F, and it kicks in early in the morning. Especially these days when the outside temperature at night is -15F.
  13. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    I have a ultraflow shower head and take navy showers (I'm bald :p) but the wife enjoys a hot shower, but still only two of us. We have an electric dryer, but just purchased new washer/dryer and this one will be NG, so once that is installed, yes NG usage will go up on that account. Eventually we'll replace the windows and seal some leaks, but yeah, still disappointed. Maybe I was fooling myself that the heat never kicked on in the sunroom.
  14. Nick Mystic

    Nick Mystic Minister of Fire

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    Do you know if your dog sitter might have cranked up the thermostat to keep nice and cozy while you were away over the long weekend? We turn our propane furnace off all winter unless something unusual occurs that causes us to activate it. When it's turned off there is no chance of it kicking on if we are off long enough for the house to cool down to what a thermostat be set at. With as little as you said your furnace ran it seems that the long weekend is the only apparent incident that could have run the bill up.
  15. mass_burner

    mass_burner Minister of Fire

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    Is there any way to close off your sunroom for the winter?
  16. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    The dogsitter says she "likes it cold" but not sure of her interpretation. For a long weekend to use that many CCFs seems not plausible. I'd love to turn off the boiler pilot light (I do in the summer) but that's the compromise with the wife, that we have that backup insurance.
  17. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    With the boiler being stone cold each time it may start. It has to heat all the way from basically (ambient)F to 160-180F that uses a bit of energy. Boilers in my opinion are tricky...I have fin tube also and tried a set back of 5 degrees and had larger bills than when set at 70. How can that be? I asked around and found for me to set it and forget it, no set back temp.
  18. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Good idea on the sunroom, but it is a part of our kitchen with a breakfast bar pass through, not really feasible. Maybe I can think up some way of measuring if the 3rd zone in the sunroom is kicking on or not.
  19. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    I hadn't even thought of nor knew of a way to set my boiler to a minimum temp., can u explain more how that's done?

  20. mass_burner

    mass_burner Minister of Fire

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    Nick,

    Its like you broke into our cape house and are sitting on the hearth...you didn't, did you?

    [​IMG]
  21. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    the set back can be done on your programmable thermostat. You can also set your aquastat on the boiler lower than say 180F. I have mine set at 155F because at 155F we get usable heat and the room heats up quickly with that temp. I would go to the boiler room for advise, I have friends who work in the field and plus my experimentation. Not that I mind giving advise but I am by NO MEANS and expert!
  22. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    BTW, my electricity bill went up $16 from running the blower on the insert and three fans 24/7. But.... at least that will stay constant. It's not like the fans work harder as the temps drop further.
  23. mass_burner

    mass_burner Minister of Fire

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    cold air is heavier, so more energy to move it. you moving cold air to the stove room, right?
  24. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    It may be a shorter payback than you think. You say your windows and insulation are crap, mine were too. I have replaced them and insulated. I don't know the savings cause I did a lot at the same time but this will save you huge! I remember in the not so distant past sitting in front of the windows feeling a serious draft. Well, they got replaced and made the house look great. I think the biggest thing I did was roll in insulation in the attic. That made a large difference....I know this all adds up but its stuff that has to be done sorta like brakes or timing belt on your car.
    Bster13 likes this.
  25. Hardrockmaple

    Hardrockmaple Feeling the Heat

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    But are you more cozy/comfortable with the wood heat?

    To help you feel better I just got my power bill, $487.00 for the two months of Oct./Nov. and I'm using two stoves. And, it's down 16% from last year.

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