It’s going down, I’m yelling efficient… ?>

It’s going down, I’m yelling efficient…

Yes, I know Ke$ha wasn’t referring to energy bills when she wrote that song, but for the past few months I have been actually cheering whenever our new electricity bill comes through because it keeps going down, down, down.

From the moment we turned on our ductless heat pump last fall, we knew it was a smart decision to replace our old, inefficient wall heaters. I had forgotten what it felt like to be warm in our house during cold weather, so when I didn’t need to wear multiple layers plus gloves to be warm, I was thrilled. And the warm, happy feelings kept coming month after month as we saw our heating bills go down while maintaining (or rather increasing) our comfort.

Annual Energy ComparisonAccording to our energy bills and the energy bill comparisons our electric provider Portland General Electric provides, we saved $327.59 in heating costs since we installed our heat pump. The savings were modest at first – our bill only went down $19 the first month, but when the colder weather hit we started to see the real savings. Our bill for December was only $89 – less than half of what it was in the winter of 2013 AND our house was noticeably more comfortable!

Saving so much money on our heating bills every month not only means that the payback time for the unit will be shorter, but it also means we can put the money we save every month toward other expenses, like other house projects or our savings. Of course it’s not really extra money in our pockets until we save enough on our bills to cover the upfront cost, but it feels like extra money.

The ductless heat pump hasn’t been the perfect system, however. Because of its placement, it doesn’t reach our three bedrooms enough to heat them so we’ve had to supplement by using the existing wall heaters. Thankfully, leaving them set at a low temperature was enough to make sure we were warm at night. This was something that our installer told us would happen, so if you are considering a ductless heat pump, keep that in mind.As with any dual heating and cooling system, we’ll have to be careful to avoid using it too much in the winter. It’s the first time either of us will have air conditioning in about 10 years, so we may go a little crazy and turn it up at first to see how well it works, but I’m sure that as the summer goes on, we’ll rely on it less and less. Our house faces west, which means our bedroom is on the shady side at the end of the day, so we’re hoping that will help keep our room cool enough to sleep.

Energy Use Chart

We also plan to use fans, rely on the shade from our neighbor’s tree and hopefully the added attic insulation we will be installing soon will help us stay cool.summer so we don’t negate any svings we saw this It is satisfying to see how making an energy-efficient improvement in our house has increased our comfort and saved us money in such a short amount of time. I am very thankful that we had so many resources to make this an affordable project for us. Thanks to the State of Oregon, Energy Trust of Oregon and Portland General Electric, an upgrade that was formerly out of our reach is now saving us hundreds of dollars less than six months after we installed it.

Heating season is pretty much over now so you aren’t likely to find the great deals that we did on our system, but if you are in the market for an upgrade, I suggest doing your research now to be ready for those killer deals that are sure to come around in the fall. And as always, if you have any questions about the research we did, or the specific model we installed, ask away in the comments.

2 thoughts on “It’s going down, I’m yelling efficient…

  1. Yes, that is true. But for the truly “winter” months of November and December, when it was comparable to 2013, we saw the biggest savings. I also can't stress enough how much more comfortable our house is. Even when the weather is fairly warm outside (50s) it is still cold inside, so having warm air blowing felt like the best thing ever. Even if our payback period is longer because the weather keeps getting warmer, the comfort fact is worth it. Thanks for commenting!

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