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Power Consumption??

Discussion in 'Electricity/Wiring' started by GuitarGy, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. GuitarGy

    GuitarGy New Member

    Ok, so i have 3 snakes that have under tank heaters and lamps on top. temp stays within normal readings for all 3.

    The question that i have is about my electric bill. I live in a small 1 bedroom apartment and and my electric bill runs around $170 a month depending on the weather around here. should the heaters and lamps make that much of a difference in mu electric bill? I estamate that my bill should be around $100. anyone see a big difference in there bill when adding a few tanks?

  2. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    It would depend on the wattage of lamps your using and how long everything is on. I think my electric bill went up $60 or so dollars with the 2 additional tanks I added but I used high wattage bulbs for them.
  3. jaydsr2887

    jaydsr2887 Elite Member

    yeah my bill went up when I got my iguana due to the 160 watt mercury vapor bulb, extra flood lights, ceramic heat emitter, humidifier, and small space heater.... went up 80 bucks
  4. GuitarGy

    GuitarGy New Member

    OK. thanks for the answers. i just wanted to make sure there wasn't anything wrong with the heaters.
    anyone have any better ideas for heat that cost less to opperate?

    how do these guys do it with like 10-20 tanks in their house. electric bill must be $1000.00.... wow.
  5. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Well heat tape and radiant heat panels use less electicity but are more expensive to get out right. What kind of bulbs are you currently using?
  6. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I have 13 snakes, a cuban tree frog, and a turtle, and a bearded dragon, and 2 cockroach colonies all living in the same room.

    I just bought my first Radiant heat Panel, and if you attach it to a thermostat, it will turn itself on and off according to the temps you told it you wanted it to maintain. Though it is 100 watts, it is not on all the time. You would need one for each cage, and they are not cheap (Mine was $155) but they last a long time, and you'll make up what you spent in savings on your bill. I am in love with the thing, and already planning on buying more of them as I can afford them.

    I start by keeping my reptile room warmer to begin with - I run a small ceramic heater and humidifier in there on thermostats, so the cages don't have to heat as much. The room averages 75ºF lately, though it raises and lowers a bit, it does not fall below 72ºF.

    Keeping a cage 90ºF in a 57ºF room will take a lot of energy. Keeping it 90ºF in a 75ºF room will take less.

    Also, racks. 5 of my snakes are small enough to live on a rack - where I can heat them with heating pads, and the small, plastic enclosures will retain much of the heat.

    Most of my cages are lit with fluorescent bulbs, as they use less energy. We are looking into LED's. They are not cheap, but they use a LOT less energy, and they last a very long time. Most of my snakes also have belly heat (heat mats, heat pads, etc).

    So while the room is ~75º the cages are pretty well sealed (vents and screen will let your heat right out, so best to keep those to a minimum.) the fluorescent do add a small amount of heat (usually under 5 degrees increase) over the 'basking spot' and the belly heat is usually accompanied by a cave that will help enclose and maintain the heat, to keep a warm spot warm.

    As a result, the coolest temps in any of the cages (my BRB and Indo boa need cooler temps) are room temp. My beardie has a basking spot of 120º (using the only incandescent bulb in the room - 120 watts) and my JCPs have basking spots that range from 89-92ºF, with cool temps in the high seventies.

    Now, we have an inefficient gas furnace, and our house is poorly insulated. My power bill reflects that my electricity use is high, but not outstanding. My gas bill was through the roof. Because the furnace is inefficient, it actually provides very little of the heat to that room (since it has an electric heater) meaning my bill was high because my poor, useless furnace just can't keep my house warm without help.

    In other words, if I insulate my house, I'll save more money than I could by upgrading my reptiles to better enclosures (both are on the to-do list)

    My power bill for last month was $530 (I cried when I read it, but I paid it off without having to do anything more drastic than postponing a few UN-necessary purchases). My mortgage, by comparison is only $500. I wasn't thrilled, and my tax refund will be spent on insulating the house, and getting a tank-less water heater (hopefully.) both of which should bring the gas portion of my bill down considerably.

    Throughout the next year, My goal is to replace the most inefficient cages with nicer, newer, better insulated cages, using more radiant heat panels, LED lighting (because snakes don't really need lights, it's for my benefit more than anything.) and move as many snakes to rack-style enclosures as possible - in short, everyone but my JCP's, BRB, Common boa and Indo Boa. One rack to house every BP I own (only 4 right now, but I want room to expand) and another rack for my Colubrids. The non-rackable snakes will simple get upgraded to efficient and well-insulated cages.

    Having a record cold winter probably didn't help. My house temperature (outside of my reptile room) is 57ºF.
  7. CryHavoc17

    CryHavoc17 Elite Member

    It just depends on how your animals are set up, how much wattage the heaters are, what type of heating equipment your using, ect. Honestly I havent seen a huge difference as ive added snakes. The iguana, however, is a totally different story.
  8. jaydsr2887

    jaydsr2887 Elite Member

    I need to take some tips from you..... lol
  9. GuitarGy

    GuitarGy New Member

    WOW, thanks to everyone for your input. i will be looking into your suggestions and keep you posted to my results. just found this site today and already found some great posts..

    Thanks everyone
  10. CryHavoc17

    CryHavoc17 Elite Member

    Also I pretty much agree with Dragoness on everything. Radient heat panels, thernostats for everything, space heating the whole room, and using tubs/racks where appropriate all help a LOT
  11. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    yeah, we have a LONG to-do list involving the reptile room, and how we can make it cost less to run.

    I would like to upgrade my BRB into something more efficient than her makeshift 55 gallon aquarium. I want to make her a well insulated cage, with sliding glass doors, and a front panel with all of the environmental monitoring and controls in one spot - thermostat, thermometer, hygrometer, timers, etc.

    I will make a rack big enough for at least 4 ball pythons, with an extra slot or three for expansion.

    The colubrids and dwarf boa can all share my existing small rack (holds up to 6, and I currently only have 2 colubrids)

    My Indo boa (who is TINY - only as thick as my little finger, and a little over a foot long) may end up getting a nice wall-mounted planted terrarium, with a vertical heat gradient. I'm not sure if they make radiant heat panels small enough to suit her or not.

    In the long run, I also want to build something much nicer for my common boa, as she is a monster, and needs more space than she currently has. I'm thinking 8x3x4', at absolute minimum.

    We are tossing around the idea of skylights or solar tubes for a natural photo-period, especially since the roof in that part of the house is south-facing. Not sure if they are necessary as the window in that room is also south facing and gets plenty of light for the room. If I want to use that wall, though, it would be necessary to cover the window, in which case the skylights would be a great addition to the room. It would minimize how much light was necessary for enclosures, and make most of the lights obsolete (which would mean less energy necessary for that room, great if the bills are high, or we have to run a generator)
  12. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Dragoness, I feel your pain. Our bill last month was almost 700, and same issue, gas portion was horrible. As for the op's question, I never noticed a big jump because our collection expanded gradually over a coupl years. And racks on t-stats just don't burn many watts. I did at one point do the math and figured everything was costing me between 50 and 75 bucks a month.
  13. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    over the next year, we will be putting everyone who can be on a rack, on one.

    I probably could rack my JCP and BRB, but they are just too pretty, and their display cages are quite efficient.

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