Wednesday, January 24, 2007

House Update.

So apparently owning a house really is a lot of work. The story of the week, though, is power consumption. I’m not a well-versed expert in Kilowatt-hours (kWhrs). Who’d have thought?

A few days ago, Monika and I received a bill for $50 – for FOUR days worth of power consumption; from 1/15-1/18 we used 370 kWhrs of power, apparently. This raised a red flag. I went outside to check the meter, which told me we’d used another 350 kWhrs the next four days. So the initial reading obviously wasn’t that crazy. Of course, you can project this out to 2500 kWhr months and massive electric bills on the order of $500+. I know come summertime it’ll be brutal, but the winter months? Come on!

To save time and not bore you all to death, here is the gist of what I have learned:

-The last ten days in DFW was a serious anomaly, with temperatures that just went above freezing for the high.

-We have a heat pump system, all-electric, which is more efficient in cold weather than “really cold” weather, where it has to go into “auxiliary mode” and uses a shitload of power.

-I verified yesterday, with temperatures from 30-45, our power consumption was more “normal,” around 50 kWhrs over the course of the day, which is what I expect when it’s that cold outside.

-My coworkers claim that 65 inside the house is “comfortable” and “you get used to it.” So that’s how people keep their power bill low.

Final thought of the day – yesterday I went to Lowe’s and Home Depot to find a one-sided deadbolt…the kind of deadbolt I’ve had in every single place I’ve lived! You bolt it from the inside, but there is nothing on the outside of the door. Well, apparently these things are incredibly rare and you have to special order them to obtain them. What the hell? I can special order them from Lowe’s with a 5 business day lag period, which doesn’t do me much good since I have a locksmith coming today. However, the locksmith might have something acceptable since all they sell are locks, but it remains to be seen how heinous their markup will be. I’ll keep you all updated.


Blogger robby said...

and that is why i don't own a house...

i used the heat twice (for about four hours each time) last month. my apartment stays between 53 and 58 degrees in the freezing weather. and my electric bill was $74 last month (i'm used to $40).

what a racket!

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Chad said...

Heat pumps are evil. They must have been invented by a secret cabal of power company executives.

In a climate where the weather rarely stays too cold for long, you shouldn't be in too much trouble. But here in PA, heat pumps were really in vogue in mid- to late-80s construction. And then people started getting their electric bills in the winter months. They revolted. They caught some contractors, strapped to furnaces, beat them senseless, and then sacrificed them to the gods of sun and high temperatures. And no one ever spoke of it again.

Until now.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Hey Adam, I remembered your page from the FLP course and thought I would check it out again - I hear your heat woes. We had the same deal when we first moved in. We keep it at 60 when we're not home and at night, and then around 66 when we are home (which honestly isn't that often!)

Also, re: the lock, my dad is a builder and he refuses to put those kinds of locks in esp. if your door is 1/2 windows - thiefs can break the glass, reach in to turn the lock and voila, the deadbolt is free. If it's a full door, this is not a concern, but if any glass around the lock you may want to reconsider.

Best of luck!!

1:38 PM  

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