Electric boiler seems expensive to run

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What is your normal electric bill in summer as baseline of $310? Eg if normally $110 then $200//month for heating is not unheard of. I am guessing when electric boiler was installed electricity was inexpensive.
 
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Sorry you have the problem I know a lady who sells the house she is in every 10 years and buys a new house Her philosophy is that she seldom has to pay any large bills for appliances, roof, replacement cost and etc And she says she gets energy efficient appliances, heaters, etc It does cost her some money but she is happy to move every 10 years and eliminate big problems Hope yours works out and is not crazy costly
 

AZjeff

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Originally Posted by ram_man
My main concern is before just replacing a "working " unit would it be wise to look for any issues that would cause this amount of usage? I'd assume it shouldn't use this much and if it is maybe there is an issue?
It sounds like you have a laundry list of things to do to make your house more energy efficient. Have you had an HVAC guy out to check the unit out and make sure it's operating properly? Seems like that should be first. Maybe the pump is weak? The radiators have those little flaps, are they open? Also they have to get air flow, is carpet blocking the bottom or do you have furniture in front of them? Good luck sorting it out. We had a house with gas fired hot water and it always took a little bit more attention it seemed. Curious if you were offered or asked for previous year's electric usage before you bought it. Most people are wary of all electric houses.
 

ram_man

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Originally Posted by AZjeff
Originally Posted by ram_man
My main concern is before just replacing a "working " unit would it be wise to look for any issues that would cause this amount of usage? I'd assume it shouldn't use this much and if it is maybe there is an issue?
It sounds like you have a laundry list of things to do to make your house more energy efficient. Have you had an HVAC guy out to check the unit out and make sure it's operating properly? Seems like that should be first. Maybe the pump is weak? The radiators have those little flaps, are they open? Also they have to get air flow, is carpet blocking the bottom or do you have furniture in front of them? Good luck sorting it out. We had a house with gas fired hot water and it always took a little bit more attention it seemed. Curious if you were offered or asked for previous year's electric usage before you bought it. Most people are wary of all electric houses.
All electric houses are common around here. I did the average was $196 which didn't seem to out of line I knew the windows were crap. We got the house for a deal so I am happy to do the work needed. I am surprised though that the bill is what it is so far.
 
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Jeeze... I'd be really mad if my electric bill was that high! I have a gas-fired boiler in my 2600 sq. ft. that was built in 1905. It's got all the old-school cast iron radiators except for the kitchen and master which have baseboard radiators. I also have a gas dryer, water heater, and range. My gas bill is about $200 a month in the winter and $40 in the summer. I keep the thermostat set to 69 degrees in the winter, I don't mind being cold.
 
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There are some homes around here built into the side of a hill with a walk out from the basement level. It's especially common in Calgary, a city which is filled with low hills. Combined with that is that it's common to run plastic lines inside the concrete slab of the lower level. Heated slabs are very comfortable to the point where you don't even notice you"re in a basement. The water to heat the slab is heated with a natural gas boiler where gas is available, or propane or electricity where gas is not available. Electric boilers suck in my opinion but it depends on propane costs vs the electricity cost. I've heard lots of complaints that the bills for the electric boilers are huge.
 
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He he I'm on total electric. My pc has total electric heat rates . I pay 7.3 cents per kWh for all of my heat. And just over 11 cents for all other power. I am on demand for all non heat power so a gotta be real careful about just letting my air compressor run at will. If I remember correctly the TWACS remote monitoring is polling my meter every 21 seconds so there is no running high amp loads without them seeing it. None the less I'm pretty happy with the gig I got. Ps I heat my 2500 sqft shop with forced air propane. About 400 gallons per year.
 
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Electric boilers are typically 220 V which means 3,000 watts is not a problem to deliver. 3,000 watts is 3 kw. Running it for 24 hours would be 72 kwhrs. The other 60 kwhrs is coming from all the other stuff such as appliances, lights etc. smile Edit: Our power rates are 10 cents (US) per kwhr. The 72 kwhrs x 0.1 = $7.20 day. Multiplied by 30 days is 216 per month There is still the appliances and lights to add to this. So basically substitute your electric rate in there and see what it can amount to. smile
 
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Snag don't forget about the water heater. Usually the water heater is 50% of your monthly bill if you are not running a marathon heater.
 
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Originally Posted by alarmguy
You should never close off the attic vents. Closing off the attic vents allows moisture to build up in the attic insulation. The buildup of moisture in the insulation greatly reduces the effectiveness of the insulation. Leave the vents open and make sure you have at least 12 in of insulation in the Attic. If not add some, best would be blown in cellulose but laying down fiberglass is most practical if you are looking to do it yourself. Make sure there's no air leakage from the attic to the lower floor. Absoulty your crawl should be properly insulated.
There might be an issue about the definition of the attic vents.Certainly the vents at the top of the roof and the eaves should always be open but in this case I believe the OP is talking about vents in the ceiling at are open to the attic in the summer. Those get closed in the winter.
 

ram_man

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Originally Posted by Snagglefoot
Electric boilers are typically 220 V which means 3,000 watts is not a problem to deliver. 3,000 watts is 3 kw. Running it for 24 hours would be 72 kwhrs. The other 60 kwhrs is coming from all the other stuff such as appliances, lights etc. smile Edit: Our power rates are 10 cents (US) per kwhr. The 72 kwhrs x 0.1 = $7.20 day. Multiplied by 30 days is 216 per month There is still the appliances and lights to add to this. So basically substitute your electric rate in there and see what it can amount to. smile
How do I find out the watts? It is 240v and it's 86 amps says 68,000 btu on the tag, Also what kind of kw numbers would I expect from a forced air style furnace.
 
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If it were mine I would have a professional check out the system. You may not really know what you are dealing with and what your options are until that happens. Good luck!
 
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Originally Posted by ram_man
Originally Posted by Snagglefoot
Electric boilers are typically 220 V which means 3,000 watts is not a problem to deliver. 3,000 watts is 3 kw. Running it for 24 hours would be 72 kwhrs. The other 60 kwhrs is coming from all the other stuff such as appliances, lights etc. smile Edit: Our power rates are 10 cents (US) per kwhr. The 72 kwhrs x 0.1 = $7.20 day. Multiplied by 30 days is 216 per month There is still the appliances and lights to add to this. So basically substitute your electric rate in there and see what it can amount to. smile
How do I find out the watts? It is 240v and it's 86 amps says 68,000 btu on the tag, Also what kind of kw numbers would I expect from a forced air style furnace.
Watts = Power Factor*Amps*Volts, we'll assume a PF of 95% because of the pump(s). 0.95*86*240=19,608 watts An online calculator shows 68,000btu = 19,928 watts, pretty close. I have a 95% efficient gas furnace that says it draws 9.5A maximum at I'm assuming 110v. My math says that's 992.75 watts. If I'm wrong, someone please correct me!
 
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I think you have the answer Skippy. At 19,228 watts, call it 20,000 watts or 20 kw, it would cost $2.00 per hour to run if power was 10 cents per kWh. Running it for 5 hrs would be 100 kWh's and cost $10. Do this for 30 days and you would be at $300. Adjust the number for your power rate. They must have a heck of a breaker or fuse on that thing. One thing for sure, any mods to increase the insulation in the house would pay out quickly. smile
 
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Originally Posted by ram_man
How do I find out the watts? It is 240v and it's 86 amps says 68,000 btu on the tag, Also what kind of kw numbers would I expect from a forced air style furnace.
The btu is normal for a boiler especially one that provides domestic hot water. Does the boiler have an indirect hot water tank or is it trying to heat water thru the boiler for home?(inefficient!) The boiler can be replaced with one using a propane or oil fired burner which is more normal. Have your purged the air out of HW system? Are the circulator pumps working? (Will heat by convection very slowly otherwise)
 

ram_man

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Originally Posted by madRiver
Originally Posted by ram_man
How do I find out the watts? It is 240v and it's 86 amps says 68,000 btu on the tag, Also what kind of kw numbers would I expect from a forced air style furnace.
The btu is normal for a boiler especially one that provides domestic hot water. Does the boiler have an indirect hot water tank or is it trying to heat water thru the boiler for home?(inefficient!) The boiler can be replaced with one using a propane or oil fired burner which is more normal. Have your purged the air out of HW system? Are the circulator pumps working? (Will heat by convection very slowly otherwise)
Well I do not know how to purge the air out of the system. I believe if I understand correctly the boiler has a Separate water tank. All the heaters in the house get very very warm i do know that much.
 
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$300/month seems high but is it that bad? My old house wasn't that great and I think we did 500 gallons of oil per year. My new house i'm assuming I'll do close to 1,000 (much larger and as a ranch it'll be worse than a 2 story). Crawl space is not insulated? is the floor insulated against the space? I wonder if you might have some drafts that you could fix. Dunno about the windows but maybe replacing would help, along with doors or other places of heat loss. 68 is kinda warm. Nice for sitting at a computer I'll give you that. We usually do 64 or so. You could lower the house temp and run a small space heater wherever you are at, blowing at your feet, if it's just too cold for you.
 
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One thing I can agree with some others on is $300 to heat an electric home AND provide electricity in your cold climate doesnt seem outlandish. But you being from the area might know better. Your temps commonly go into the teens and lower teens. So to have a total cost of all power to your house of $300 a month seems reasonable to me. I mean an electric heated home is expensive anyplace in the country. In reading all these posts I'm not understanding why anyone would think something is wrong with your system, your not complaining about lack of heat, your complaining about cost.(almost everyone does, except me :o) our primary system uses gas with a second floor heat pump that rarely ever turns on because the first level is gas heat. .... Ive been working adding insulation on a tricky part of the attic where the builder left it a little lacking on our 2006 home. Ive added a few bundles of batts to the floor and about 4 compressed packages of cellulose (which of course I uncompressed) as well as sealing some gaps with foam. All homes can use some improved insulation. The main part of our home has around 12 inches of blown in cellulose and is very impressive but one end of the home has a bit complicated design and the insulation crew messed up when the house was built, its all good now, I got it figured out and almost complete what I wanted to do, I enjoy this stuff, buttoning up a house. Still our total cost of energy, gas and electric on our 3000 sq ft home is pretty much what you pay, actually I think less then what you pay. Anyway, A 1950s home is not properly insulated in the attic, your area calls for at the very LEAST an R30 factor and being electric heat I am sure you should be closer to R 60 . So, like I stated before, open up those attic vents, let the insulation breathe and get to work insulating. You should have approx at least 12 inch thick layer of insulation up there. Also make sure no gaps are allowing attic air to the lower heated level. Google and watch youtube videos on the proper way to insulate attics. (its hard to compare actual electric rates with others in the forum, because cost of electricity varies greatly from area to area, INCLUDING peak usage charges, always use KWH not dollars to compare.) I would give those numbers but would be pointless since our house is heated 95% (or more) natural gas. I actually bought a really good Infrared Thermometer to check for cold spots on the interior walls of where I was working. Again, as a hobby almost. I wanted a thermal camera but could not justify the cost for the limited work I was doing but, it is possible in your area that Home Depot might rent them, they dont in my area but it is on their website. Anyway, this helped me identify a couple areas where cold was leaking ... these things sell real cheap but I bought an expensive one looking for quality, Im happy with it. Again, in your case I would suggest a thermal camera but none the less, first pack that attic with a foot thick layer of insulation. I bought this one from Home Depot - Click
 
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