New Jersey Setback causes Aux Heat usage

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by the blur, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. the blur

    the blur Member

    We like a night time setback of 63 degrees. Also, during the day time when no one is home, we set back to 63 degrees.

    Every morning & every afternoon we are into aux heat to bring the house back up to temperature. We have oil for aux, so it's not too bad with current oil prices, but if I had electric heating strips, not sure it would be worth it to set back, or just leave the house at 68 all day.

    The electric bills on a cold month are $500-$600 from the 2 compressors.

    It's a new house, so we have no prior bills to compare pre-geo.
     
  2. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    When heating with a heat pump or a hot water system slow and steady wins the race. Run the math and see if you want to skip the geos when it gets real cold. Oil might be cheaper this winter.
     
  3. the blur

    the blur Member

    The problem with slow & steady is night setback. The wife sleeps at 63 degree's F. Even I can't sleep at 68F. Just too hot.

    $2.00 for oil is pretty reasonable. Not sure how that relates to KWH.
     
  4. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Leave the set back out of the comfort equation and let the machine work. Close the duct work in the bedroom(s) snf open the window.
     
    Stickman likes this.
  5. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Or, put up with the aux heat costs.
     
  6. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Close the register in the bedroom, or the damper in the ductwork.
     
  7. the blur

    the blur Member

    Then how do I get the room back up to 68 in the morning ?????????????????????
    That's why it's called a setback.
     
  8. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Open the register again.....!?!?!?!??!
    That is what zoning does. Or put a zoning system to have your bedroom controlled by a separate thermostat.
    Or leave your bedroom at 63F during the day when you don't use it.;)
     
  9. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Comfort/costs? I must have missed something.
     
  10. the blur

    the blur Member

    Zoning ????? You still have the aux heat kicking in to bring the room up to temperature.
     
  11. Stickman

    Stickman Active Member Forum Leader

    Close the register, open the window AND close the bedroom door when you go to sleep. When the alarm goes off, close the window, open the register and slightly open the door?
     
  12. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Seal the bedroom from the rest of the house, it becomes zone one. By a Comfort Cove radiant panel and install it in the bedroom with a separate thermostat with a timer, that becomes zone two. It will be cheaper to run than adding aux to the whole house every morning.
     
  13. ChrisJ

    ChrisJ Active Member Forum Leader

    How do you sleep in the summer if you can't sleep in 68* in winter??
     
    Palace GeoThermal likes this.
  14. Stickman

    Stickman Active Member Forum Leader

    This is getting good...
     
    Palace GeoThermal likes this.
  15. connie pangan

    connie pangan New Member

    Hi "The Blur". I am from North Jersey with PSEG providing our utility. We installed our geothermal early 2009. We took our oil completely as heating. I never knew that you could use oil to do back up heat. We have the auxilliary heat doing that on a very very cold weather just like now in the 20's. It is doing fine in the 30's. Our bill combined with gas(stove and hot water only) and electric don't go over $500. We have 1-1/2 ton (2 compressors and air handling unit at the attic). The house is kept at 67 to 68 in the winter and one advice i get from geo contractor is not to touch the thermostat even when you're away as it will struggle and takes longer to get the temp. if you lowered it 5 degrees. So far the bill i got this December was $131 with emergency heat for few days since our other unit went lockout. I have about 1,500 SF + finished basement.
     
  16. jk96

    jk96 Member

    How long would your home take to get back to temp without aux heat? Our aux is on breakers and is turned off so that it never comes on. We are also oversized so it doesn't take long for us to warm back up. Like you we lower the bedroom temps at night.
     
  17. connie pangan

    connie pangan New Member

    Blur, we never turned the auxiliary heat off since the installation. If we have to lower the temperature, we do 1 degree at a time but it will take maybe 15 minutes 30 minutes. Again, the auxiliary heat comes on and off only when it is lower 20's and more when it's single digit.
     
  18. the blur

    the blur Member

    Any pediatrician will you tell babies need to sleep at 64-65 degree's. It's better for their health, and they do sleep better.

    As far as the other comments, the load calculations were done with a manual J, and my units are NOT oversized like 90% of the installations out there. In fact, they are a tad undersized, but with the oil AUX, it can maintain sub zero. So bringing a house back up to temperature takes much longer without AUX. I'm heating 5000 sq-ft with 8 tons of equipment.

    And now, with oil <$2.00 / gallon, it's actually equal or cheaper to pay for oil, than to pay NE electric rates. 18 cents KWH. I'd have to go through the calculations, but I believe $1.80-$1.90 oil is equal to using geothermal.

    And why did I keep the oil??? Because it made no sense to buy an electric water heater; and the hydronic coils were already in the duct work.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
  19. ChrisJ

    ChrisJ Active Member Forum Leader

    "Any pediatrician will you tell babies need to sleep at 64-65 degree's. It's better for their health, and they do sleep better."

    Ok, but you didn't really answer my question. Do you run your air conditioning down to 64*- 65* in the summer???

    I really could care less about your use of oil, burn away!

    "It's a new house, so we have no prior bills to compare pre-geo." Must be new to you, I wouldn't think someone would build a new house and put oil and Geo in.

    So does the boiler run all summer to supply your DHW? Heating up the basement in the summer. Switch to a Heat Pump hot water heater in the summer shutting off the boiler, basement will be cooler and dryer.
     
  20. the blur

    the blur Member

    We typically run the A/C down to 71. Sometimes 70.

    Unfortunately the boiler maintains temperature all year long. I could change the controls so it only fires when there is a call; but haven't gotten there yet. It's on my list. For now, I keep the boiler at 160. The boiler heat doesn't affect the basement temperature during the summer, in fact, it takes the cool damp feeling out of the air, because the entire basement is below grade.

    The hybrid water heater, I would need at least an 80 gallon.
    My indirect water heater is only a 45 gallon, and I can fill up the big bath tub spa no problem.
     

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