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airheatman, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 8164
Experience:  Furnace, A/C and heat pump specialist.
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We installed a Trane Variable Speed 2 Stage up flow

Customer Question

We installed a Trane Variable Speed 2 Stage up flow horizontal gas furnace, UDO60R9V3K in attic our 1000 square foot one story cottage in March 2003. It has Rogers White programable thermostat. We have never had problems with it, change the filter every 1-3 months. Had the ducts cleaned last year, 2014 (very clean). PROBLEM:
In high usage months from December through January, our gas usage is TWICE as much as "similar homes", according to PGE. We NEVER turn thermostat past 65, most of the time it is running at 61-63, or turned off. PGE said the burner flames look correct.
No professional maintenance has been performed. Looks like there is some kind of problem that happens ONLY in December and January. (Other gas using appliances have been ruled out of the equation.) Our gas bill is nearly identical to "similar" homes during ALL the other months. ANY IDEAS???
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Tim H. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I'm Tim and I'm an HVAC expert here to help answer your question(s). Please provide all the information I ask for since I'm not onsite. At the end of our dialog you will be asked to rate my service, but please wait until then and all your question(s) have been answered satisfactorily. Thanks for your business!

Is attic insulated? Is the ductwork from the furnace insulated in the attic?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Actually, the floor of the attic has 20-year-old loose cellulose insulation that we removed by 30percent when roof was replaced. some of it is still left. Again, the ducts themselves ARE insulated.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The crawl space runs from 6" to 66", so not much to insulate.
Expert:  airheatman replied 1 year ago.

At this point how much attic insulation would you say is there? 20 year old insulation has probably settled quiet a bit. Another question is if you have had the Trane techs check the unit to verify it is properly going into second stage when needed.These high efficient furnaces can actually be less efficient if not operating properly.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. It is obvious that more insulation would help, but I KNOW there also is something else like "going into second stage" that could be the real problem. PGE says we have used about the same total therms every winter from Dec.-Jan,
so this could have been happening since the unit was installed. Gas prices are so much higher we NOTICED when the
charts came out and we are nearly 50% higher in those 2 months compared with other houses that are similar. Plan to schedule visit by technician. done.
Expert:  airheatman replied 1 year ago.

Hope they can verify an issue about staging maybe. I definitely would consider adding more insulation though either way .I feel that will help a lot.