Running blower fan has cost me.

Reply

  #1  
Old 04-01-09, 12:01 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Quebec Canada
Posts: 42
Running blower fan has cost me.

While having my heat pump serviced the tech recommended that I run blower fan all the time. I had read that it would not cost me much to do this so I decided to give it a try. I knew it would provide greater comfort and reduce the irritation of hearing it cycle on and off.

I started running the fan on the date of my last hydro reading (Feb 10). They just took a hydro reading yesterday (31 March). During this 49 day period I consumed 92 KWH a day!!!

Prior to this in all my history of winter heating I was only using an average of 64 KWH a day. My highest rate on any previous bill was an average of 70 KWH/day.

I understand weather is a factor but my historical bills reflect all kinds of severe weather as well. This period has been a mix of cold and mild days.

Can running a fan account for such a huge jump in consumption????

PS: I have a Oil force air Lincoln furnace that is about 18 years old. The 1/3 horsepower blower motor was changed in fall of 2007. Have a Keep rite heat pump installed in 2007.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 04-01-09, 07:21 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: ontario canada
Posts: 381
i am going to make a guess here...about 6 to 10 KWH per day so at most 300 KWH at the least about 180 KWH per month

this is just what i can find on the net..some electrical expert will be in to likely be much more precise
 
  #3  
Old 04-02-09, 11:48 AM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: johnson county, ks
Posts: 338
need more info. What size of furnace? Is this a 2story house or more? Did you replace the air filter recently? Has anyone been staying home more often? Any new TVs or computers?
 
  #4  
Old 04-02-09, 06:55 PM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 96
The last test that I did on running fan all the time vs auto added about 35 dollars to my bill.
 
  #5  
Old 04-03-09, 05:07 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Quebec Canada
Posts: 42
Quote from Cyberdead

The last test that I did on running fan all the time vs auto added about 35 dollars to my bill.


Can you tell me what time period was this over. 1 month. 2 months... a year???

Thanks
Slybry
 
  #6  
Old 04-03-09, 08:01 AM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 96
sorry... that would be monthly
 
  #7  
Old 04-03-09, 03:29 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Quebec Canada
Posts: 42
Wow $35.00 a month in extra cost to run blower!! Based on my recent experience it looks like it might very well have had same impact on my bills. That amounts to over $400.00 a year.

I sure that what I had read in the past led to believe that running fan 24/7 would only cost $30 to $50 a year. Even the service guy said it would cost hardly anything to run it.

Maybe the mis-information or confusion relates to differences in fans on new furnaces that may them more efficient.

Call me cheap, but I have turned my fan back to auto mode and we will see if the next electrical bill falls back into line.

If they do not that means I have bigger problems as it might be something wrong with the Heat Pump.

Thanks for the feedback.
 
  #8  
Old 04-06-09, 06:35 AM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: johnson county, ks
Posts: 338
If you had a variable speed (ECM motor) blower, running the fan 24/7 would increase electric usage around $5/month depending on your electric rates. If you don't have a variable speed blower, then yes, they severely impact elec. usage.
 
  #9  
Old 04-10-09, 03:56 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central Virginia
Posts: 93
I cannot see the rational to run the blower motor all the time. First it is shortening the life plus wasting electricity. I worked with HVAC guys for years where I worked and no two were the same about how to work on the Heating and cooling systems we had. I did the Electrical and Electronics and they would always say it was electrical. I most of the time had to prove it was mechanical. Most of these guys had very little time in the classroom and developed their own way of doing things. They would say it was electrical and I would have to tell them it's the low pressure switch and needed freon. If it failed again I would push them to find the leak. At that time freon was a lot cheaper than now and the law is I believe if it has to be recharged the second time it has to be fixed or get fined. Of course someone has to report it. I have been retired 12 years and the EPA is really tight on this stuff. My company used Dupont Freon TF for years to clean tooling. We got it in 55 gal drums and 90% of it went to the atmosphere as the reclamation system did not work. This stuff destroyed it the first 6 months of operation. That is a long story. Anyway I would question your repairman the need to run the blower all the time but I would change your service company.
 
  #10  
Old 04-10-09, 06:54 PM
airman.1994's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 5,729
Likes Received: 3
Running the blower 24/7 is a comfort issue. 1st it will circulate the air to help with warm and cool parts of your home. 2nd you will always get filtered air so it is good for IAQ. 3rd the hardest thing you can do to a motor is turn it on, so if it is already on less damage will be done. This should not add much to the life of a motor.

I will say I could run electric heat for 30 days for not much more that your $35.00 for just the blower. Maybe it was colder then? Also I don't recommend running blower 24/7 in the cooling season unless you have away to remove RH.
 
  #11  
Old 04-21-09, 02:58 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: massachusetts
Posts: 10
While it's unlikely that your 1/3 hp blower motor is actually running at full load, let's assume that it is and calculate a worst case energy consumption:

1 horsepower = 746 watts , call it 750 to make arithmetic easier

so 1/3 hp = 750/3 =250 watts = .25 kw

(for comparison, typical overhead light fixture is ~200 watts)

running all day, energy = .25kw * 24hours = 6 kwh per day
... this is nowhere near the 20 to 30kwh per day that you observe .. and this is a worst case calculation - probably the blower is actually drawing much less than 1/3 hp.
.. so I don't think you can blame the blower

where I live, electric energy goes for 15 cents per kwh, so 6 * 15 = 90 cents per day

so that comes to ~ $30 per month for me

Remember, though, that this energy is not wasted during the heating season - 100% of this electrical energy ends up heating your house. So while electric energy costs you more than oil or heat pumping, it is not wasted, but in fact you get double duty, blowing air and minor heating - and your oil consumption is slightly reduced.
This applies to all electricity used during heating season - it ends up heating the house (except of course for outdoor lighting and dryer hot air exhaust, and hot water that leaves the premises).

This incidental heating is an extra cooling load during AC season - another good reason not to run the blower non-stop (or leave the lights and TVs on) then.

The comfort of constantly moving air is a personal preference; do you find it pleasant (then run the blower) or annoying (then don't run the blower) or don't notice (then don't run the blower) ...
 
  #12  
Old 04-22-09, 08:06 AM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: johnson county, ks
Posts: 338
Not to nitpick, but 1/3 HP at rated full load is closer to 860W, not 250W. Using values taken from the NEC full load amps of 1/3 HP are 7.2 A @ 120 V. 7.2 X 120 = 864W.

Looking at some product data from other 1/3HP blowers, the rated full load current might be closer to 7.5A. IMO, you are being a bit optimistic with your numbers if you are honestly going for worst case.
 

Last edited by badtlc; 04-22-09 at 08:31 AM.
  #13  
Old 04-22-09, 11:32 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: massachusetts
Posts: 10
That's a very interesting observation, badtic.
I wonder why it's called a 1/3 hp motor if, as you say, it consumes over 1 hp of power.
I just now looked at the data sheet for the York 1/3 hp blower motor; they say full load amps: 2.8 at 230 volts = 644 watts or ~ .86 hp ...
which is closer to your numbers than my assumption ...
I imagine this full load is at startup, but can't find a value for steady running, which I imagine is less, but who knows.
Maybe the motor rating is for the mechanical power it can deliver rather than the power it consumes ... with the difference being the amount lost in heat/ friction - but that seems like way too much - I guess it's time to hook up an ammeter, or better a wattmeter (since the motor is not a resistive load as I was assuming) - but maybe someone else knows for sure.
 
  #14  
Old 04-22-09, 12:08 PM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: johnson county, ks
Posts: 338
Originally Posted by idler View Post
That's a very interesting observation, badtic.
I wonder why it's called a 1/3 hp motor if, as you say, it consumes over 1 hp of power.
I just now looked at the data sheet for the York 1/3 hp blower motor; they say full load amps: 2.8 at 230 volts = 644 watts or ~ .86 hp ...
which is closer to your numbers than my assumption ...
I imagine this full load is at startup, but can't find a value for steady running, which I imagine is less, but who knows.
Maybe the motor rating is for the mechanical power it can deliver rather than the power it consumes ... with the difference being the amount lost in heat/ friction - but that seems like way too much - I guess it's time to hook up an ammeter, or better a wattmeter (since the motor is not a resistive load as I was assuming) - but maybe someone else knows for sure.
Rated Full Load Amps do not include start-up inrush. You use a simple calculation to account for that and it isn't really a big deal in residential applications.

Rating the motor for the mechanical work it can do rather than the power it consumes makes sense but I have no idea if that is true. I'd have to ask my fellow mechanical engineers for I am just an EE.
 
  #15  
Old 05-02-09, 06:32 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 251
If its a multi-speed motor then full-load probably refers to power draw on highest speed and at rated system cfm. I can't imagine anyone running a blower on high speed 24/7.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes