Thursday, January 8, 2009

Can someone help me make sense of this math?

1. We used 323 therms to heat the house last December, during which time the average temperature (outside) was 26 F.
2. We used 116 therms to heat the house this past October, during which time the average temperature was 53 F.
3. We used 273 therms to heat the house this November, during which time the average temperature was 36 F.
4. We used 383 therms to heat the house this December, during which time the average temperature (outside) was 22 F.

So, is there a way to figure out, based on the above, if our stinking insulation job really paid off? Reason being, the job was completed right around Dec. 2-4-ish, when this billing cycle started. Soooooo, it goes to say that we should see the effects of the insulation on the Dec. gas bill, right?

Well, that came in at the highest amount we've ever paid for gas. But it appears that it was, on average, much colder than other months during which we had no such insulation.

Can someone tell me if I'm imagining this, or is there a way to prove, using numbers, that the insulation is helping? Please! I need to feel good about having gotten this project done (especially since every single person out there says, "Oh, you'll save XXX percent potentially off your heating bills if you get additional insulation work done").

I don't want to be a naysayer, so someone tell me that the numbers point to an improvement in our heating bill, please! :)


Britten said...

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if your attic is uninsulated, the insulation you just had installed will not do much to lower your overall heat bill. In most homes attics account for 60-80% of heat loss. As unpleasant as it may be, it's probably time to take a look at what's in the attic.

Andy said...

The attic is finished and the walls completely insulated. Now, the ceiling may or may not be (I'm not sure--but it is likely that there is something up there, because the walls are insulated behind the drywall), but I would think enveloping the first floor would help somewhat, seeing as we have zoned heating (1st and attic separate thermostats).

I know that, until the ceiling up there is done, we'll still have some heat loss, but it should be a little more difficult for the heat downstairs to escape, thus not kicking the thermostat on down there as much.

No? I'm really not sure...based on the numbers I put in the post, it appears that, comparatively, we used fewer therms compared to average temperature...but again, maybe my math is faulty and I'm just trying to justify the price tag... :)

denise said...

Well, since we leave near each other I can give you an idea of our usage around the same time periods so you can compare, however our billing cycle doesn't end until next week, around the 12th. Let me know if that will help.

denise said...

I meant to say "live", not "leave". :-)

Jennifer said...

Can you compare to previous year's Decembers and Januarys and such? Our gas bill comes with average monthly temperatures, and I just pull out last years' bills to compare. You can find a month with a similar average temp.

Gas Stoves said...

May be you need to keep track of every month details and compare.