I was up one night checking out an issue with my furnace. And I turned on the attic fan to ventilate the attic for comfort and safety. It is a huge fan and, for me, a power hog. Hard to pin down the exact figure, but it uses something in the realm of 230 watt/hours give or take.
I finished up my work and forgot to turn it off. About 3 days later, while looking at the always on numbers, I noticed that the amount of power I was using was about 200W more than the average I had been using, and I had no way to account for it.
Since my Always On usually only adds up to about 50W, 250W is a pretty substantial. I started going around the house looking for things that I might have left plugged in and on. then I thought about the attic and considered the possibility that I might have left the attic lights on. And then it hit me. THE FAN!!!
And as I said in my post, I don’t feel comfortable leaving that fan running. I am very nervous about stuff like that running out of sight and out of mind. My primary concern (which I was told is unnecessary) is that it might catch on fire.
But I have other concerns about it that would cause $250 dollars to be the lower limit of my savings.
I worry that continuously sucking in cold air (during winter) and hot air (during winter and summer) will affect the efficiency of my Air Conditioner and Furnace. This is debatable, but I don’t believe air circulation in the attic is going to keep the temperature during the summer cool enough to help me. I expect hot air, in motion, will do more harm than hot air standing still.
Especially since my duct work and the insulation in the plenum of my unit needs to be replaced. My AC sweats because the insulation went bad, and so I don’t want to continuously suck in fresh humid air from the outside which could cause issues if the sweat leaks down into my insulation and sheetrock again (like it did before)
tl;dr, running that fan in the attic elevates my energy use substantially. On its own. and I fear it has the potential to cause my hvac electric bill to go up, and create damages that I would have to pay for.
Even if I am nuts, and $250 is the most I saved, I am happy Sense gave me peace of mind by helping me realize that the fan was still running in my attic.