A/C system suddenly using much more electricity?

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Old 09-15-19, 07:12 AM
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A/C system suddenly using much more electricity?

My parents are snowbirds and spend their summers in NY. They have a condo down in Florida. Today they got their monthly electric bill from Florida Power and Light for $130 dollars. Their usual electric bill is about $25-29 for this time of year.
The power company said most likely something is wrong with the A/C system and the best move was to have someone shut off the circuit that the A/C is on for a day and see if that lowers the power usage. They did that, and the power usage went from $4.75 a day to $0.40 for the day. Clearly its something with the A/C system.
I've been trying to read what could cause the A/C system to basically use 5x the power that it typically uses. I mean when they are there using the A/C its under $4.00 a day.
When they are away they have a the thermostat set to 80 degrees and a humidastat set to 50% so the A/C only goes on if humidity rises above 50 first. Everything has been working fine with that set up for years.

Any advice on what could be causing this? About 8 months ago they had to get someone to empty the system to level the piece of wood it was on, it started to sag, then refill the system. Could low Freon cause this?

thanks for any help in advance.
Jay
 
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Old 09-15-19, 06:37 PM
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I'm not quite following your usage vs price as it looks like the price for electricity is awfully low in a hot zone. I would expect the A/C to use at least $1 or 2 a day in that area.

There really isn't anything in the A/C side that could cause the system to use that much power. Either the system is running and overcooling....... defective thermostat or humidistat or there may be a problem in the electric reheat coils. Heating and cooling at the same time.
 
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Old 09-15-19, 06:45 PM
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Hi PJ. Maybe I didn't explain it well. Included a couple of power company graphs that probably show it better. In the yearly one you can see how the 2 prior months alot less energy was used and last year at the same time less energy was used. Then on Monday Aug 12th energy usage shot way up, and it stayed that way till they had someone shut off the A/C breaker on Sept 13th at 10am

It seems clearly that it has to be the A/C unit as that is the only device on the circuit and the energy usage dropped to basically nothing with that shut off. So why would the A/C power consumption jump up so much. Something must be wrong with the A/C system and I'm just trying to get an idea of what could be going wrong with the system so when I get someone in there to check it out I have some idea of possibilities and don't just hear you need a new system this is done.
 
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Old 09-15-19, 07:10 PM
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Do you have a smart thermostat monitoring the inside temperature ?
Need to verify that temp is staying at 80 instead of dropping sharply.

The next step is to look into the reheat system.
A tech would use a current probe to see where the current draw is and the heat would show up instantly.
 
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Old 09-16-19, 03:47 AM
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Sounds like a heat pump and the heat strips are coming on causing the spike in electric..
 
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