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# winter gas bills

#1
09-12-02, 01:03 PM
mwolf
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Posts: n/a
winter gas bills

I live in Ohio and own a 30yr old ranch. I was charting some bills and noticed 80% of my gas bill (for the year) was from four months of usage... December thru March. Just curious how everyone else's is. I know I've got some inefficiencies. Single pane windows (although in great shape and w/ storms), attic could use some extra insulation, old sliding patio door in kitchen, 30 yr old furnace.

If anybody has an idea how much their bills run up in the winter or can offer advise on what area would be most cost effective to start improving, I'd be interested to hear it. Thanks!

#2
09-12-02, 04:00 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 1,875
First you want to determine approximately what your heating costs are. To do this you have to subtract the gas that is used all year round, like water heating, cooking and/or clothes drying. A very simple method is adding the bills for May, June and July. These months usually do not use heat and represents those gas appliances used all year round, except if you have a natural gas grill and it is used a lot. Let's assume the bill for May is \$20., June is \$25. and July is \$15. If you add them together and divide by 3 (20 + 25 + 15 = 60/3 = \$20.) You get a base of \$20./mo. If you multiply this by 12 months (1 year) you get \$240. which represents you annual costs for cooking, drying and water heating. Subtract this from your total annual cost. Let's say it is \$1,000. minus \$240. Your annual heating costs is \$760. Though this a crude method of determining annual heating costs and I use a much more complicated method, believe or not, it's not much off this method. I would say plus or minus 3% in the vast majority of cases.

Once you determined your annual heating costs, you can use that to determine the cost effectiveness of doing something to reduce the heating costs. Let's use the \$760. as an example and the patio door and it cost \$500. to replace. A reasonable payback is 10 years. In other words, the replacement would have to reduce your heating bill by \$50./yr. It is highly unlkely that a patio door, unless it was in really bad shape, would represent a more than 6% reduction in heating costs. A heating system because it heats the entire house could easily represent 6% and more reduction in heating costs. Just like attic and wall insulation for the entire house and not just for the kitchen. On the other hand, let's say you're remodeling the kitchen, then by all means change the patio door. We're talking about cost effectiveness and not aesthetics.

You'll find in most cases that if the home is well maintained, the heating bill will be low. And if they are low, the savings one gets when they install something to conserve energy are also low and the payback usually exceeds 10 years.

#3
09-14-02, 11:19 AM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 661
Windows

Weatherstip old windows instead of replacing unless it because of asthetic reasons or wood rot.
it takes forever to recover energy savings unless windows are in real bad shape.
If the wood is not rotted sometimes the best thing to do is remove the window sashes, weatherstrip and repaint them if needed while they are out.
A LOT cheaper than repalcing the windows !!
Weatherstripping has an extremly quick payback time normally under a year.