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I am in the mtns of NC at approx 2200 ft. and I have a 1250 sq ft log home.  it is a second home right now and has been closed up since Nov.  I have maintained my inside temp at 50 degrees all winter.  I am having higher electric bills than my neighbors who are doing the same thing and keeping all electric the same way.

I was told to check for snow or ice build up around AC unit, but snow hasn't been very heavy in NC except back in Dec and early Jan.  Temps have been pretty cold....30s -40s, which means my heat has been coming on a lot.

Do we need to keep heat on constantly at 50 in winter to maintain the logs in a log home?  any ideas of how to cut this bill down.  I paid $137 then next month $173.  My neighbors paid between $60 - $90 these same months.

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Pat - a few items to consider.

  • Is the heat pump properly sized for the amount of cubic square feet the unit is trying to heat/cool?
  • When was the last time the air filters were checked and replaced?
  • Cold air is getting in from somewhere - complete a check for air leaks around doors/windows, etc.
  • Would suggest insulating between the floor joists in the crawl space as well as the perimeter.

For a comparison - my log home is 2000 sq ft with 2/3 of the roof being exposed beam cathedral ceiling.  My log wall is 6" thick.  I used double pane, low-e glass in wood/clad windows and have a heat pump that was replaced 2 years ago.  The crawl space is insulated and also has a moisture barrier covering the ground. Our 12 month average electric bill is $115 month and we are all electric with a heat pump for both heat and air conditioning.  We keep our summer temp around 78 degrees and winter temps around 67 degrees inside the house.  Our location is the upstate of South Carolina.  My home is 19 years old this September.  You'll need to better insulate the home and stop any air leaks to bring down the bills.  If you are interested, a qualified inspector with a blower door test can assist you in locating the air leaks and recommend where/how to insulate the structure.  Best of luck....Donald

How do you insulate the perimeter??? walls?? They are concrete so there's no wood alond the inside of the wall in the crawl space.

Pat, That is great that you do not have wooden walls.......just glue on styrofoam insulation onto the concrete walls on the inside of the perimeter and heat the crawlspace a bit.....You could as Donald suggested put down a vapor barrier on the earth.

Is the crawlspace vented?

Tim

yes and I closed the vents when I left in Nov.  But my neighbor said it seems very drafty in the crawl space when she checked it.  said the vents didn't seem to be keeping the cold out.  Can I just cover all the vents in winter with a piece of insulation?  or caulk around each vent edge?

Now I know why I wasn't going to build alone....but am doing it anyway!!  I must be crazy.

Pat:  Depending on how the floor joists were installed....if the floor joists are setting on top of the concrete perimeter walls, there is a space between each joist.  These voids between the joists at the perimeter walls should be insulated as there is only the perimeter band (the boards that surround the end of the joists exposed to the outside) between the crawl space and the outside. If you can't place batt insulation in these locations, you may want to try some of the new spay in, expanding foam or engage an insulation professional to help seal the crawl space to not only keep this area dry but also well insulated.  all the best....Donald

Just as a follow up to my high heating bills.  I had my 22 month old AC/Heat pump checked by the AC company last month.  All was fine except it was one pound low on the freon product...(so missing one pound out of total of nine pounds.)  since there does not seem to be any leaks...the AC rep felt that my unit was never filled properly when it was installed.  So my heat pump has been running short on freon since installation 22 months ago.  

So be sure and have your freon levels checked if your bills are running high.

Just as a follow up to my high heating bills.  I had my 22 month old AC/Heat pump checked by the AC company last month.  All was fine except it was one pound low on the freon product...(so missing one pound out of total of nine pounds.)  since there does not seem to be any leaks...the AC rep felt that my unit was never filled properly when it was installed.  So my heat pump has been running short on freon since installation 22 months ago.  

So be sure and have your freon levels checked if your bills are running high.

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