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Outrageous Heating Bills

November 15th, 2013 at 09:40 am

I HATE winter!

We spent over $1,500 last year buying propane.

Our furnace is old. And while I am glad this year it started up fine without having to call someone to come fix it like last year, it wastes so much propane.

We thought maybe our house was just leaking a lot last year because we were remodeling and just had insulation up, no drywall. But it does not seem any better this year.

We turned the heat on a chilly 55 degrees only 2 days ago, and we have already went down 4% of propane. Which is 60 dollars!!!

And another problem is that I think the duct to the bathroom is disconnected because no air is coming out of it. And there is NO WAY to get to the crawl space under the kitchen/bathroom addition because it is separate from the rest of the house and there is no door. The previous owners had cut a hole through the kitchen floor. Well we just fixed that and installed a brand new floor. *face palm* So it appears we will just have to continue heating under our house. On the side of the house there is a place without siding where there is just some plywood. I’m seriously considering ripping it off and seeing if we can squeeze under and fix the duct.

If the % drop continues at this rate we will spend over $2,000 dollars this winter to keep the house only 55 degrees. I can not stand it!

We also have a oil space heater running in the bathroom and the bedroom, which raises are electric bill another $80 - $100 dollars a month.

No one believes how much we spend on heat, we have had them come out and test for leaks TWICE and nothing.

We have all new insulation. There is no reason to be wasting this much.

It has to be the furnace. And while I would love to replace it and get an outdoor wood burner I just do not have the money now. It is so frustrating.

More bad news is that our new windows have not been put in yet. Over 6 weeks later... gr. I just called him again and he is leaving on vacation and wont be able to get to it at least for 2 more weeks. Mean while, cold air is leaking through our old windows.

It is weird. In the summer our house stayed cool with no air conditioning. We had a window unit in our room for sleeping. But the rest of the house never got above 80 on the very hottest days. Most of the time staying in the low 70s. If it is insulated enough to stay cool, why wont it stay hot! Gr.

7 Responses to “Outrageous Heating Bills”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    i just spend $1400 on propane and I have a very insulated house. ( My hubby built it)

  2. Xtreme Thunder Says:

    What kind of R-value of insulation do you have up in your attic? What has been tested for leaks? i.e. Building envelope, duct work? Is the home larger than when it was originally built and furnaces designed for that you know of? Is there an option to supplement heating with say a used pellet stove? If the furnace is really, really old, it may be only 55-70% efficient, where newer models are 80-95% efficient. If you have unconnected duct work, you are throwing money away as the furnace has to work harder to reach target temp using the remaining connected ducts.

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    Have you had the line from the propane tank checked for leaks? Most folks don't think to check there, but it can happen.

  4. Looking Forward Says:

    Before our current house we lived in a doublewide in the country. We had propane and I am with you we spent a small fortune every winter. Our furnace was new, but the trailer had like zero insulation, single pane windows, etc..
    I would get estimates for a new furnace - it might not be as much as you think. My DH is in HVAC and a simple change out is sometimes as little as $1700-$2k. The other trouble, like you say, is your duct work. If you've got holes in it then you are certainly losing heat under your house and that sucks. Frown

  5. snafu Says:

    In our area where it gets extremely cold, it's common to tack up quilts/blankets over window frames for extra insulation in older homes with inefficient windows. It could be a no cost, short term fix.

  6. klarose Says:

    We do/have done all these things.

    Brand new R30 insulation in the attic. But that should not matter. We have the entire upstairs shut up and unheated.

    We use oil heaters to supplement the rooms we are mostly in.

    We have had all the propane lines checked for leaks, twice!

    I think it's a combination of the old duct work, and the old furnace.

    I'd love to get a price out on a new furnace. But we'd really like to buy a wood burning one, and those are quite a bit more. But maybe it would be worth it to see about a price.

    Thankfully it's in the 70s again. So no heating. But I'm sure it will get back in the 20s within a couple days. Crazy weather.

  7. Xtreme Thunder Says:

    US Energy, as well as I, would suggest R60 in the attic if you are northern part of the Midwest. Air moves from areas of warm air to cold air, so I am willing to bet that even though the second floor is closed off, it is acting as a cold zone as if it were just the "attic" space. The warm air is getting wicked out. Something you could look into. It doesn't help that propane is usually more costly than oil, which both are usually more costly than natural gas. It doesn't hurt to get a quote as most places offer free quotes, then at least you know what your up against!

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