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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The deep South
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: High Electric Bill/Questions

    What type of heat did you have previously ? If it is the same type of heat as before , and everything in your original post is accurate , then I would certainly take the next step by contacting the manufacturer .

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: High Electric Bill/Questions

    Same question(s) here...as djohns.

    What type of heating unit did this new electric unit replace? Electric also or natural gas or ???

    Is it the same output? ....or less?

    If you have it turned off all day and then turn it on when you arrive back home, it's gonna take a while to reheat the mass of the house....and the smaller the unit.....the longer it will take.

    Tile floors that have been allowed to get cold while you're gone will probably contribute to delay in reaching target temp. Vaulted ceilings will do the same. The higher those ceilings, the bigger the problem. If you don't have ceiling fans in there to push that heat back down, I would recommend that you consider installing some. If there is alot of glass/window area, this too willcontribute to prolonged "reheat" times.

    we also had new insulation put in in dec 07.

    The house wasn't previously insulated? ....or did you replace old insulation ?......or did you install additonal insulation on top of some existing insulation.

    Something doesn't sound right here, for sure.
    Last edited by goldhiller; 02-24-2008 at 05:36 PM.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: High Electric Bill/Questions

    it had insulation in it it just wasn't up to code so now it is. (Whatever that means) The old unit was also all electric not sure of the type, etc. except that it was around 20+ years old.

    Thanks for the answers and advice!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: High Electric Bill/Questions

    Another possibility occurs to me........

    Since you said that you have to set this new thermostat at 78 rather than 70......I'll ask if the new thermostat is in the same location as the old one? Mounting it on a wall that is for some reason warmer than where the old one was would/could cause this phenomenon.

    For instance, if the thermostat is located where the sun can shine on it, say thru a skylight, will cause erractic/errant behavior.

    Or....if it's mounted where warm air is blowing on it.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: High Electric Bill/Questions

    Thanks for the response.

    The new thermostat is in the hallway (same exact place as before) no skylights, etc.

    This may seem like a stupid question but i know nothing about a/c-heating except turning it off/on, adjusting temperature. A previous poster said something about checking to see if the outside unit is running, if the heater is on shouldn't that unit be running also? Or is that just for AC?

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The deep South
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: High Electric Bill/Questions

    Unless you have a Heat Pump , the outside unit should NOT be running . Surely the HVAC tech checked that . Right ?

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: High Electric Bill/Questions

    i just checked and no it is not running, it sounds like it because there is a vent in the bathroom next to where the outside unit is but i opened the window and it isn't running. i really don't know what all they have checked. they were only up in the attic the times they have been here.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lakeland ,MN
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: High Electric Bill/Questions

    Sorry for the long winded answer but it is necessary. If you have a heat pump you need to understand how it works or you will have extremely large electric bill. Your HVAC Contractor should have explained how a heat pump works if you have never had one before. The heat pump works like an air conditioner only backwards. It recovers heat outside by use of the compressor and then pumps the heated refrigerant inside. The fan on the inside unit (air handler) then blows over the coils and delivers air out to the air ducts and heats your home. The heated air is not as hot like a gas furnace. This why it feels almost cold as it blows out your house registers. This is why it takes a little longer for the temperature to rise. Now when the air outside is unable to achieve enough heat outside the second stage of heat come on. These are strip heaters inside you air handling unit. They are anywhere from 40amps to 90 amps at 240 volts. It is like have toaster on steroids running. Living in a milder climate like Houston you should most of the time be using the outside Heat pump. That should be more than enough heat and the inside unit strips heaters are not used but rare occasions. The inside house thermostat has two stages and you should know how it operates also. When there is a mild change in room temperature (3 degrees or less) the thermostat calls for heat. The heat pump is energized and the fan comes on and blows air. When there is a larger change in temperature (over 3 degrees) then both the heat pump and the strip heaters come on. When the thermostat is satisfied all is shut down. When the strip heaters are energized there is typically a pilot light that should light up on the thermostat. The ones I have seen are typically red or blue lights and are labeled emergency heat. If that is lit then the strip heaters are on. There also a switch that allows you to turn them on manually if there is a malfunction in the heat pump.
    Now what can cause the high electric bills? The thermostat is wired wrong making the strip heaters run all the time. The thermostat is located near a door and when the door is opened a sudden rush of cold air makes the thermostat drop more than 3 degrees. This makes your furnace go right into stage two and energizes those strip heaters. Another reason you are constantly adjusting the thermostat more than those 3 degrees and causing stage two to come on more than what is needed. When you leave for work you turn down the heat and when you come home you turn it back up. All these make that steroid toaster turn on more then needed. Look at your electric meter when the emergency light is on you can see why you have high utility bills. It spins like a top.

    Now to correct the problems if it the unit is functioning correctly. Find a comfortable set point and don not touch the thermostat. Do not turn the heat lower when you leave for work. Do not leave the doors or windows open any longer than possible. If you want to turn the heat back have your HVAC contractor install a programmable thermostat for heat pumps. It will ramp up slowly to not allow the stage two to kick in unless it is needed. I have personally never had one on my house when I lived in Maryland. I suggest the easiest way to lower those costly utility bills is to set the thermostat to a comfortable setting and leave it alone. I hope this helps let me know.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: High Electric Bill/Questions

    thanks! i am called the co that did the installation to ask exactly what was installed. i told them i wanted a new a/c and heating system when i was quoted the price. i called tonight to find out exactly what was installed and i have to call tomorrow between 8 - 5 and they are suppose to be able to send me the info. i will post when i get it.

    I also looked at some of the papers from when i called them out after installation.

    Also the day after the new system was installed we turned the heat on and it wouldn't come on the guy came out and said some wires were crossed and supposedly fixed it.

    Then the next time they came out they said the new thermostat had settings for Gas or electric or both and it was set for gas/electric, well we have all electric. so he supposedly fixed that.

    i just don't know what to do.

    Thanks for all your help and advice.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: High Electric Bill/Questions

    IMO, it's time to call Carrier and tell them that their newly installed high-seer unit is costing you way more money than the old unit was. (If you mention the name/manufacturer of the old unit and it wasn't also Carrier or one of their related brands......that will certainly get their ears up. No company wants their units to be considered inferior to another brand.)

    Hopefully, the person who fields the call will then transfer you to the tech department. Tell them what you've told us as regards the cross-wiring, the thermostat "mis-install", the high electric bills,etc.........and that the unit still isn't functioning properly.

    *Hopefully* they will either show themselves (their own rep and tech guy)....or they will send someone local and knowledgable (other than the original installer) to troubleshoot and make things work properly.

    The squeaky wheel gets the grease.....as a rule. We can hypothicize (sp?) here on forum ad-infinitum....but that won't fix your unit or its malfunctioning. Time to dial the manufacturer, me thinks.

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