Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Heat Auditor determines...

Our house is super inefficient! Woohoo! That explains our heating/electric bills.

Okay, so today I had a honeywell heat auditor come out to our house to determine how efficient/inefficient our heating system and house is. He laughed when he saw our house. First of all our furnace is in the attic. Yep it has to pump down hot air through three stories of our townhouse with only 1 vent. Thus why our bottom floor never gets warm. And why it is absolutely necessary to use electric space heaters.

But what do we pay for heat? We use on average to heat our house only 424 therms/year. Low right? Well we also pay $2/therm so about $850/year for heat, not including using electric space heaters. Also because we use keyspan our heating bill will be going up by 40% in March, since they were currently bought out.

Another point our house is cold. Period. We leave it cold because getting it warmer is not possible. How cold? We leave our house to 50 when we are gone, 68 only when we're home, and 62 when we are sleeping. That is cold, most people leave their homes at 72 when home and warmer when gone. But for us getting the third floor to 60 is next to impossible.

Also this winter in the NE has been very mild even compared to last winter. Thus our bills have reflected this by a substantially decreased need for heat. So I expect if we had a terribly cold winter our bills would be double what they are now.

Second our house is entirely electric. Yep, our washer/dryer and water heater is run on electricity. Woohoo. And we have gas in the house, which makes it more unbearable to have an electric water heater. Our electric bills run about $156/month for an average usage of 836 kWh/month. Meaning we pay about 18.6 cent/kWh. The average cost of electricity in the us is 6.66 cent/kWh. Yep we pay 3x that on average.

So overall we pay approximately $300/month all year long for gas and electric on a newly refurbished 1900 sq ft 3bd/2.5ba townhouse. What were his suggestions?

1. Insulate the attic pulldown staircase, $200
2. Caulk flooring
3. Insulate all wall outlets
4. Install gas log in fireplace to heat bottom floor, $4k
5. Heating unit in basement for bottom floor, $40k
6. Install water heater in attic using gas instead of electric
7. install ceiling fan in bottom floor
8. Suggested a different energy efficeint light bulbs
9. More ducts from attic to bottom floor ($20k)

The company offers financing at 3% for 10 years up to $15k to do these renovations to your house. Will we do any? I have no idea, I am guessing we are going to do the caulking and pull down of the attic and insulating the wall outlets. One consideration will be that we may end up installing the gas water heater, which will cost about $500.


Anonymous said...

Who designed that heating system, and what drugs were they on at the time?

The furnace in the ATTIC???!!!???

Living Almost Large said...

I have no idea. And yes it is in the attic piping down through three more stories.