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Old 08-04-2008, 06:14 PM   #1
sanapunk
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My APARTMENTS Electric Bill was $400!! Advice??

I'll be the first to admit I am NOT budget savvy. I generally see something I want and buy it. Now I'm the money nazi since we recieved our 400 dollar electric bill on our 1 bedroom apartment! I feel this is directly because our air unit stinks. It feels cool right now but it's still running and running. I had the maintenance guy come look at it today and he said it's running better than he expected! YEA RIGHT THEY JUST DON'T WANT TO BU US A NEW UNIT!!

So here is my dilemma, I could either:

-Go on the budget plan at 170 A MONTH!!
-MOVE
or any suggestions you guys can give me on saving energy! I'm currently sitting with all the lights off!!
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:19 PM   #2
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WOW that is insane!!! I thought our Electric bill was high at $500.. but that is a 4200 sq/ft house... not a one bedroom apartment. Are you sure the meter read was correct?

If so, and you can unplug your air unit, I would do so ASAP. I know it will be hot, but maybe a couple circulating fans for $20 would make it bearable? That would be my solution... since it is obvious that your AC is not going to get fixed anytime soon by the apartment manager!
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:27 PM   #3
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I don't know, but maybe you need to run it less or increase the temperature, especially if it is an old unit.

With the huge increases in energy bills, those are pretty much going to be your choices. We've decided that unless the humidity gets really bad (which, I know in Jersey is almost every day.......but not today) the air is off and we run a fan in the room where we are. Our bill last month was $269 for a 2100 sq. ft. home.
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:31 PM   #4
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I live in hot humid NC and my electric bill on a 2700 square foot house is less than 300 a month and we aren't very careful about turning stuff off and we run our air at 76 all day every day.

Something is not right in your apartment.
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:37 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone, I'm having the electric company come and look at our meter. I had the air off and it was still going at a good pace. I turned the air on and it was spinnnningggg!!!!!

My only concern with fans is, do they use a lot of electricity to power? I know it sounds like a dumb question but I'm only 21 and until I told my parents how much I was paying, I didn't even know that 400 was a lot!
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanapunk View Post
we recieved our 400 dollar electric bill on our 1 bedroom apartment!
We rent a 3 bedroom, 1-floor half a duplex with a full basement. We run 3 window units ACs almost constantly this summer, plus all of the regular appliances (2 old tube TVs, computer, kitchen stuff, washer, dryer...) and our last month's electric/gas bill was just about $185.

Our window units are newer (last 5-7 years) Energy Star units that we supply (no built-ins), and we keep the ceiling fans running (because I read somewhere that ceiling fans help your AC run more efficiently). Maybe you should request a newer Energy Star unit from the landlord?
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:16 PM   #7
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If you think the unit is crappy....could you maybe buy a new one and have it installed? I know it's supposed to be the landlord, but if you're spending $400 a month on electric, buying a new unit might drop that dramatically and be a better deal for you in the long run.

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Old 08-04-2008, 07:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanapunk View Post
Thanks everyone, I'm having the electric company come and look at our meter. I had the air off and it was still going at a good pace. I turned the air on and it was spinnnningggg!!!!!

My only concern with fans is, do they use a lot of electricity to power? I know it sounds like a dumb question but I'm only 21 and until I told my parents how much I was paying, I didn't even know that 400 was a lot!
Fans don't draw much electricity because they don't have any cooling or heating parts. We went to levelized billing a few years ago after getting hit with a huge bill like yours. I love knowing what my power bill is going to be every month.

For now I'd suggest you turn your AC to 78 and put out some fans, or turn off the AC completely (how hot is it in NJ anyway?) When I was growing up in South Alabama we didn't have AC at all. I used to take a wet washcloth to bed with me--wipe your face and stomach with it and lay under the fan. Very nice
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:31 PM   #9
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The only thing I can even consider telling you is bug the heck out of the landlord.... seriously, $400.00
And I can also say, good luck. I have never lived in an apartment that the a/c worked properly. We purchased a home and 2 years into it the a/c was on it's last legs (over 20 years old) and I said, forget it... we are getting a new one!!! Well, $6,000.00 later we are not only enjoying GREAT a/c but our electric bill dropped dramatically!
A PP suggested that you pay for a replacement yourself, I don't think that's such a good idea. 1) that's what you pay rent for.... they should and must keep all the major systems operational and 2) save it for when it's your own place... not a rental!
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:38 PM   #10
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If I were you, I would consider getting an inexpensive window unit. Then you can run it only when you need it.

My DD (23) has her own apt. and that is what she does. She also has a window fan and another fan that she uses when she doesn't run the A/C.

$400 is WWWWWAAAAAYYYY to much to spend.
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:39 PM   #11
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I am sorry ... I feel for you. We had this happen last year. Two years ago we lived in a high rise 1277 sq. ft. two bedroom in S. Florida. We had two full walls of windows facing North and East. In the dead of summer our bill was never over $200. We moved last summer to a first floor 1400 sq. ft two bedroom with little natural light and had bills over $375 during the summer and NEVER below $200 in the winter. I had the electric company come out and the maintance guys come out. It was just the way it was.

We moved this summer to a very similar apartment as the second one but 1350 sq. ft. with more natural light. Same builder, same age, same unit. Our first full month was July and our bill was $160. Kills me that we probably spent well over $1500 too much last year ...

Do you know any one that would know about AC units that could come and look at it? Maybe if you can get a professional to say something about the inefficency of the unit the landlord would consider replacing it.

Good Luck .. That killed my budget last summer when we were just adjusting to living on one income when I started staying home with my son.
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:40 PM   #12
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Check the AC air filter and replace that if it is all dusty which means clogged. Also gently scrape out dust from the fins behind the filter, using a wood toothpick or piece of cardboard.

Are you sure something else is not wasting all that electricity?

Like a refrigerator with a loose gasket (seal) around the door?

Do you have an electric hot water heater? That kind is expensive enough to begin with but a leaky faucet will make the bill much higher.

Try turning off different circuit breakers to observe what other circuits may be spinning your meter.

Or heaven forbid, a neighbor is tapping into your electrical lines perhaps because there is an outlet or light socket outside your apartment.

Home handyman hints: http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/home.htm
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:43 PM   #13
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Holy moley something is wrong! I'd write a letter to the property manager, requiring that the unit be repaired, or replaced. I'm not sure which state you live in, but each state is clear on landlord/tenant law and what is required on how you go about requesting repairs and the landlord's responsibilities. Also, pull out your lease agreement! Your lease agreement may have specifics on how your landlord requires you deal with things. If worse comes to worse, I'd go budget plan until the end of my lease, then I'd move if there's no resolution. I live in the deep south - very hot/very humid (think Orlando on crack,) and my electric bill runs no more than $120 per month with the thermostat set on 71 for 1000 sf.
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:54 PM   #14
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Just a thought, but there could be something not kosher going on, too. We lived in an apartment and got a HUGE electric bill; turns out that two apartments were on the same meter. The electric company should come and check this out for free. 400 for a 1 BR would be really expensive even in winter with electric heat! Good luck!
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:02 PM   #15
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My house near Orlando is a little over 2,300 feet of air conditioned space on one level and fully electric. I have lived here about 3½ years and my electric bill has never been as high as $200. I keep the AC/heat set at 78 year round.

Of course when it was built I paid extra for all themopane glass and extra insulation. I think it was worth it.
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