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High summer temps = massive electric bills. How do you cope?

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posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 03:09 PM
Power bills,Whats that? There is a big orange ball in the sky that is pure energy,Take a look it will burn your eyes out.Sympathy factor =zero

posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 03:58 PM
Our problem with the bills started last winter when the furnace went out and we couldn't afford a new one (it can't be repaired). We used 3 electric heaters in a 2 story home and we were cold but managed. The heaters made the electric bill go sky high and we just finished paying off those bills from last winter. Then we got the heat wave in July - no ac - we managed with one fan but I got sick. Had to go to the ER and I am still not well, it really took a tole on me (I have a heart condition). So to make a long story short we saved money on bills over the summer even tho we were paying off the bills from last winter. This coming month will be our first lower bill. But wait -winter is around the corner and we still don't have a furnace - so here we go again. Whewwwwwwwww!

To make ends meet we don't go out much,that saves on gasoline.I am very thrifty on food shopping and anything else we need. We're hanging on by a few threads.

posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 04:01 PM
reply to post by wiredamerican

I use the water spray bottle method too, it works good - I even use it on the dog to cool him down.

posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 04:17 PM

Originally posted by crazydaisy
Our problem with the bills started last winter when the furnace went out and we couldn't afford a new one (it can't be repaired).

LP, natural gas, or oil?

posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 05:09 PM
Well you had better get used to it, energy bills will only go higher.
If you live in a house, install a solar powered fan(s) to get the heat out of the attic, then install grids/vents in the ceiling to exhaust heat from the house into the now free-flowing/cool attic space. this will create a suction so be sure to install a make-up air vent at lowest shadiest area in your home. ensure your solar array is equip with a deep cell battery so it runs all night...if your handy its a $200 fix.

For heating in the winter...get a wood stove.
It's only going to get worse, so you had better make the provisions now while you can still afford it.

posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 05:33 PM
Our last electric bill was a real shocker to us - $350 which is twice as high as any other bill we;ve had over the last 8 years.

We had a leak in our heat pump cooling unit which didn't help.

Closing off unused rooms and shutting the vents going to them can help as well.

Don't run the oven or clothes dryer during the day and if you use a fan to vent the house do it near the refrigerator as that puts out a great deal of heat just by normal running.

posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 05:59 PM
reply to post by Mr Tranny

Natural gas

posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 06:29 PM
reply to post by Asktheanimals

If you are drying laundry using a machine dryer in such heat, you deserve the bill.

posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 06:34 PM
We just deal with the bills,
I won't suffer with not sleeping,
I'd rather pay the fine then sweat to death.

[edit on 29-8-2010 by Lil Drummerboy]

posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 06:34 PM
In the winter you can also attach 50' copper coils on the 4 unused areas of the woodstove for hot water on demand. ever feel your garden hose in the sun?

posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 06:41 PM
reply to post by Lil Drummerboy

Works for the energy co?

posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 06:45 PM
reply to post by virraszto

Ah count yourselves lucky. In the UK we have the opposite problem, low summer temps=high heating bills!!!

Bloody English weather.

posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 07:27 PM

Originally posted by crazydaisy
reply to post by Mr Tranny

Natural gas

If you have a friend, family member or neighbor that is mechanically competent, and can install one for you, and….

If you are in the Indianapolis/Lebanon area, check with a company called surplus city liquidators.

They stock the older, last year models and closeout stuff.
Scratch and dent stuff goes pretty cheep.

Good 50kbtu 80 to 85AFU furnaces can be had for $400 to $600
They currently have a batch of 50kbtu ducan natural gas 80% AFU furnaces.
14 units in stock.

If you don’t know how to hook it up properly, then just do the rough install and see if you can find any company to come in and finish out the gas and electrical connections.

If you can not swing that, then look into direct vent wall heaters.
They lend themselves more to DIY installation.

Surplus city has direct vent wall heaters, but I wouldn’t suggest buying one from them, they are a bit high on them.

Go to the internet you will find 25kbtu units going for $390
35kbtu going for $416
50kbtu for $577

They may not be stylish in the new modern home.
But they are direct vent, so they are safe.
And they will keep your butt warm.
They don’t require power, so if the power goes out, you are in good shape.

Home depot would be a preferred source for them around here. 3147&cm_mmc=shopping-_-googlebase-_-D26X-_-100073147

You can DIY on the mounting and vent pretty easily, but unless you know what your doing with the gas connection, I would pay a qualified person to come in and hook it to the gas supply for you, and verify proper functionality.

Here is a 18kbtu for $499

From Nortern tool

[edit on 29-8-2010 by Mr Tranny]

posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 08:09 PM

My heart goes out to those who are paying these horrendous bills.
The primary reason why bills are so high is because of the very low efficiency of the insulation in your homes.

The gov't, utility companies and manufacturers of low efficiency insulation combine their efforts to make sure very little high efficiency insulation is used. In fact the US Senate has twice intervened to make sure you use an high excess of energy. The gov't makes 100's of billions in taxes on energy you shouldn't be using.

The order of efficiency of insulations, lowest to highest, is:
fiberglass about 5-10%
cellulose about 5-10%
foam, petroleum based about 20%
aluminum foil about 97% aka RB
This is based on data from the emissivity chart of a mechanical engineering handbook.

The tests used to provide the overinflated "R" values are condoned by the gov't for the reasons above. If tests that reflect the insitu conditions were used, FG and cellulose would not be on the market.

You can make safe rooms by hanging single sheets of aluminum foil insulations on the walls and ceilings. They are usually 48-51" wide. You can also install reflective films on windows.

There are methods to PROPERLY install RB in attics over existing insulation and on the exterior of the home if you are remodeling.

The above is based on my 30 yrs as an insulation contractor.

A ranch style home insulated with RB on a 95 deg. will usually not go over 82 degs without the ac on. Humidity levels are lower too. No shade, black shingles.

RB can be installed in such a way that you have more energy coming into the house thru windows and infiltration than thru the walls.
And, contrary to the misleading info on the gov't website RB are equally efficient in any direction.

Another option is micro ceramic beads. Check:

posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 08:12 PM
reply to post by Mr Tranny

Thank you very much for all the great info and links. I live in Ft Wayne but your ideas have put me in the right direction. Thinking about the wall heat that you mentioned. I know absolutely nothing about installing a furnace and my husband is disabled. Nice to see a fellow Hoosier on ATS.

posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 08:34 PM
Keep in mind that there is 3.4 btu per watt hour.

Normal plug in electric heaters usually have a max setting of 1500watt.
You get about 5100 BTU per hour per heater running full tilt .

A set of three will yield about 15300btu.

The 18000btu unit from nortern tool will be able to put out 17% more heat than the three full size electric heaters running full blast.

Depending on how hot you kept it with your three heaters, you may want a 25kbtu unit. Or you could get one 18k unit now, and put it in one end of the house, and when finances make it viable, get a second unit for the other end of the house. That would give you 36kbtu of total heating capacity. And give you more even heat across the house.

You want the units on the lower floor. Heat goes up, so you normally won’t have a problem heating the top of the house, unless you got it closed off from the bottom.

woops …. I posted a link to the top vent style at home depot. You can use those on interior walls, but you need to cut a hole in the roof for them. Not very DIY friendly.
The product brochure for the earlier one.

Here is the direct vent ones with associated brochure.

14kbtu for $475

30kbtu for $588

They have to be on an exterior wall, but it is a simple hole through the wall. Watch out for electrical wires though.

[edit on 29-8-2010 by Mr Tranny]

posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 09:11 PM
Dear Friends... we live in a Big Ol' Civil War era farm house... our elect bill has averaged about 100.00 a month this summer.

First, we don't use the A/C...we open the windows in spring and naturally acclimate ourselves to the weather/ enviroment. We stay outside in the shade a lot... we have a massive oak in our front yard. It is our gathering place in summer. We cook there, we entertain there, we sit there and watch dusk settle...sipping sweet ice tea...or eating watermelons.

Why, it sounds like olden times down South, now don't it?

At night, we use window fans to pull in the cool night air and blow out the hot air. By day, we cut them off and go to work.

Really, just drinking enough fluids and taking things at a slow steady pace is we go swimming at the lake across the road, dress with loose light colored clothes....

basically, life here in NC is like it always has been...clothes lines hanging full in the blistering summer sun, fishing down by the river, chasing lightening bugs, munching on cool, ripe cantaloupes....

...ol' times there are not forgotten.

posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 10:53 PM
Going to the dark cooler area behind big things, I believe people call it "shade".

posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 12:12 AM
reply to post by virraszto

I lease my place with utilities included, a 5 year lease. I don't worry about the heat, just turn up the ac!

posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 01:26 AM
reply to post by virraszto

one of the things I have started doing
to keep power bills down is compartmentalize
the area of the house that gets cooled.
Spare bedrooms and baths, get AC vents covered
up so it can't disburse cool air. The doors are
shut and sealed with towels and duct tape.
I don't use the rooms and don't allow the AC
to keep that part of the house cool.
We minimize the cooling spaces just to the
areas necessary. And I basically save from
$50 to $100 a month. Course some of
the kids nowdays don't like sharing bedrooms
again. But losing a lil privacy buys a lil more
food at the end of the month and every lil bit helps

I would stay away from dark curtains
as dark colors attract heat.

Also, turn off all unnecessary appliances.
It is not necessary to run 3 TV's and 2
X-Boxes and 4 light bulbs per room.
I have replaced my light bulbs with the
small florescent bulbs and have decreased
from 2 bulbs to 1 bulb per mounted light.

Also, running your hot water heater at
non-peak hrs can save you dough as well.
If you take showers after 9 pm at night
instead of 7 am in the morning you avoid
the peak rates.

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