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First gas bill $1484.83!

By jettman - 17 August 2013 65

Moved into a new house with ducted gas heating. Got the first bill yesterday for 11 weeks consumption……$1484.83. I knew that it wouldn’t be cheap but this was a pretty big surprise! Is this normal?

To clarify, we have a 4 bedroom house, large open kitchen/family room and separate lounge.

It is only my wife and I so all bedrooms except ours are shut and the vents closed.

The ducting is through the floor.

We do like it toasty so we have the heating on 21.5 when we get home around 7pm and it stays on till the morning around 8am.

All the windows have roller shutters and they are closed every night, we also shut the doors to the lounge and hallways and shut vents off.

So overnight it is only 2 vents in the bedroom running and 4 in the kitchen/family which is where the thermostat is.

It is also worth noting we are never home during the day and on average not home 1 night a week.

Would like some thoughts from people with a similar set up.

What’s Your opinion?


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65 Responses to
First gas bill $1484.83!
Darkfalz 3:49 pm 17 Aug 13

I think RCAC is cheaper to run if you insist on having it on all the time. Biggest bill I ever got was because of the ducted gas heating in the place I used to live (and I didn’t even like it that warm, my sister did). It was about $1000 from memory. The place I am in now only uses gas for the instant hot water and cook top. Our gas bill is generally around $120. We only run the RCAC for a few hours maximum, only when it’s really hot or cold. I suspect ducted gas heating uses a lot of gas.

Madam Cholet 3:17 pm 17 Aug 13

Our most recent electric bill was $447 which also included cooking and water heating. We have been quite warm enough. It’s not healthy to swelter as you sleep – leads to bad sleep and thus tiredness. I have had bedroom windows open overnight to let in fresh air. I hate the cold as much as the next person, but I also hate that stuffiness from being too warm.

Masquara 2:51 pm 17 Aug 13

Wily_Bear said :

Gas has to be the biggest rip-off ever. My four bedroom home is kept at 23 degrees 24/7 in winter, and our most recent winter electricity bill was $470.00. That includes running a pool, at least two dryer cycles per day, all cooking and hot water etc. My neighbours all run gas heating and complain of similar heating costs to you. Get rid of it!

$470 for how many weeks?

AlexanderWatson 2:36 pm 17 Aug 13

Definitely don’t run your heater overnight, that’s what we have blankets for. If you make sure the house is draught proof and has decent insulation it will retain its heat overnight anyway. Most draught proofing can be done as a DIY, keep an eye out for gaps around windows and doors, exhaust fans, evap cooling outlets and downlights… They’re usually the main air leakage culprits.

A couple of great products to look up are Heatsaver Vent Covers, Draftstoppa Exhaust Fan Covers and Tenmat Downlight Covers. Gaps around windows and doors can be taken care of with foam seal and fullers ultraclear gap filler. Check out Lish Fejer’s GIY blog http://www.greenityourself.com.au/topics/draught-proofing for a heap of cool how to videos.

You could always get one of our energy assessors in with the thermal camera to give you some comfort and energy saving tips too 😉

HardBallGets 2:21 pm 17 Aug 13

When was the unit last serviced? Worth checking as much of the ducting & connections as possible.

vg 2:19 pm 17 Aug 13

Is it normal?

Well if you use a shed load of gas like you do then yes. Our house design is virtually identical. We have kids. We have large north facing windows that enable the busy part of the house to warm up naturally with the sun once its up and intensity increases. We turn the heater on of an arvo when the house drops below 20 degrees. When we go to bed we turn it down to 14.5 so the house doesn”t become freezing and it fires up quickly in the morning. We would melt if we left it on your temp overnight.

We pay on even pay every fortnight. For 11 weeks we would be paying about $500.

You, my friend, are a gas guzzler

Morgan 1:59 pm 17 Aug 13

Yep sounds about right to me- 18 degrees and don’t run it all night is the only way to run central heating.

Madam Cholet 1:28 pm 17 Aug 13

Why do people insist on running heating overnight? Extra blanket? Pyjamas? 21.5 is hotter than even a summer night in Canberra. Try a lower temp and try turning it off at about 10pm. You’ll find your house will hang on to a fair bit of warmth.

annus_horribilis 12:59 pm 17 Aug 13

We have the same size house, and ducted gas, closing the vents makes no difference here and the heating isn’t zoned. The baby way crawling last year on stone floor so we heated to 21 in the mornings and evenings and the winter school holiday. Don’t run it over night and both of us work full time. It was $1200 for a quarter. This year we are running at 18 degrees and a quite warm enough, and the bill is probably going to be less as the march to june quarter was.

Wily_Bear 12:18 pm 17 Aug 13

Gas has to be the biggest rip-off ever. My four bedroom home is kept at 23 degrees 24/7 in winter, and our most recent winter electricity bill was $470.00. That includes running a pool, at least two dryer cycles per day, all cooking and hot water etc. My neighbours all run gas heating and complain of similar heating costs to you. Get rid of it!

gumby34 11:26 am 17 Aug 13

That sounds about right for 21 degrees heating overnight. We have heating down to 14 overnight and come onto 18 at about 5:30am ready for the morning run.

We moved into a 5 bed house 7 years ago with a scary gas and electrics bill and we insulated it to death, put up multiple window coverings I.e blinds and curtains and use a small oil heater in the bedrooms for the overnight. Also draft stoppers and door seals. Saved us about 30-40% on the gas an electric over the years. – due to all the insulation we no longer even need to run the air con in summer so totally worth the investment.

Mike Bessenger 10:58 am 17 Aug 13

That sounds about right, but maybe on the high side.
Get under the house and check that not of the duct work has come loose.

It’s also possible that the previous owners ran it 24/7 and actew have given you an “average” bill.

tommy 10:12 am 17 Aug 13

We have a similar heater. Closing the vents doesnt change how much gas it uses.

21.5 is probably too hot. Try 18 and dont run it all night. Instead get it to fire up when you normally wake up.

Go hunt for gaps especially in halogen light fittings in the ceiling.

mr reason 10:08 am 17 Aug 13

Sounds not outside the realms of possibility. Heating to 21.5 is exponentially more expensive to heating to 19 and wearing a jumper. Also, why run it when in bed? Have it turn of at bedtime, and on before you get up, and use an extra blanket.

AstarothReborn 10:03 am 17 Aug 13

Well, my four bedroom house with almost the same setup costs me about $500-600 in the peak quarter of winter. but we have the temperature set to 18 degrees, and don’t run the heat overnight. From the times we’ve run the heat longer and hotter, I’d say that $1,500 is really quite easy to do.

Closing vents/etc helps, but the only real way to save is to lower the temperature and turn it off at night. You’d be surprised how warm 18 degrees seems after the initial adjustment period.

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