Medallion all Electric Home Modern Living
Hey Classicsat, think I've seen ur handle before on ID? Anyways..
Thought i'd give you all my story and experiences with Heating systems I have tried as I have 4 of them. You live and learn.
We moved into our Dream Home 3 years ago, Cul de Sac, Huge backyard, raised bungalow.. we were looking for 5 years. We were surprised the house was still on the crazy Toronto market. What seemed to have scared all potential buyers was the fact the home did not have forced gas heating. House was built in the 1969 and was tooted as an all electric home with a 250 AMP service. That's insanely big even by today's standards. It has electric radiant in ceiling heating. A very pleasant and comfortable heat, but incredibly expensive to operate.
Anyways we bought the home and moved-in in the fall ( November ). When I called Toronto Hydro switch over account from old house to this one, they customer service rep said they wanted a $2500 deposit. That set off alarm bells. We ran the system, along with the 80 gallon electric water heater for a week and the bill came in at $788! It hadn't even started to get cold yet.
When I called Toronto Hydro they had told me nothing wrong with the bill, it was typical for the house and bills cold winter months typically hit $1400! I could see now why we were the 3 owner of the house in just 7 years.
I immediately started researching alternatives and speaking to Heating contractors and engineers. Part of the problem was we had no duct work and the basement, walk in from ground floor is beautifully finished with crown molding 8 foot high ceilings, so i wasn't about to run 12" trunk duct work everywhere.
First thing I did was rip out the electric water heater and installed a tankless Bosch gas heater 98% efficiency. That dropped the electrical bill buy $120 or so a month.
I had read some mixed reviews regarding geothermal and actually mentioned something to my sister's boyfriend who referred me to a friend of his which which had one installed. Long Story Short, it's very expensive and the success of the Geothermal system depended largely on proper installation. Not able and willing to make the huge investiment to rip up driveways, tear up my backyard and essentially spend 40K in a heating system, I called around and as luck would have it spoke to a hands on HVAC guy who spend an hr on the phone with me, who said he saw a lot of house like mine. Since mine home was open concept, he recommended direct vent gas fireplaces.
Within a few days I had bought 2. a 35,000 BTU for the basement and a monster 55,000 BTU for the upper floor. House is 3500 or so sq/ft so I thought should more than do it. the 2 fireplaces, with some home brew modifications worked well and we wound up spending a total of 1450 or so in gas for the entire yr as opposed to 1400/month.
I have a wife who complains it's always too cold in house in winter and too hot in summer. Our bedroom was furtherest from upper fireplace so when the fireplace was set to 22C in living room, that room would reach 24-25 degrees while bedroom was 18-19. The basement was also somewhat cold approx. 19 on cold days, which she couldn't stand.
For AC we have 2 ductless Mitsubishi AC 1 ton units, so I decided to replace one of them with a dual Mitsubishi 21 Seer Heat Pump and strategically place 1 wall mount unit upstairs by bedrooms and another downstairs. When the next winter arrived, we utilized the heat pumps. They worked great and somewhat cost effective, but as long as it wasn't say colder than -5 C outside and they were operated during low peak times. All in all it was a total waste of money. So i was almost reserved to the fact that my wife would freeze in this house during cold winter months, but then I had an epiphany. I realized where I could install a gas furnace and an easy way to invisibily run the duct work. I installed the 96% efficient furnace for $5800, duct work and all. No rebates, because I didn't qualify because I never had 1 to begin with.
This year we are cooking in this house and our total gas bill is 1/3 of what it was last year at this time. Mind you it hasn't been as cold, but i'm sure we'd be consuming more gas. we know have effectively 4 heating source in this house and my wife is content that she will never go cold.
Moral of this long winded story is everyone's house is different and their heating solution will be unique to their house. In my research for a suitable solution for my house, I considered outdoor, pellet and wood furnaces, dual fuel boiler- radiator heating, ventless wall mount units and the list goes on. There are many heating alternatives to expensive electricity, just have to find one that fits your house.
P.S. I would agree with the one posters remark that the electric heating strips are the cause of the high consumption, but also add refrigerant levels be also checked, we had simular problem with heat pump unit, so electric strips were compensation for what heat pump could not do because of leak.