Anyone planning on moving to the Dallas area and craving the look of an industrial space would think that the American Beauty Mill Lofts would be the perfect solution. It definitely has it's appeal, formally an old flour mill built in 1920, Isaac and I fell in love (especially with the view from our bedroom window) a perfect shot of the Dallas skyline. Little did we know that it would turn out to be an energy nightmare.
Before moving in we were told to expect an energy bill of around $200.00 per month (already pretty pricey, but we knew that a larger space would cost more to heat and cool, so we were willing to cope with the increased cost) especially since the rent was so much cheaper in Dallas then what we were used to coming from Southern California. We moved to Dallas mid month in August and (not being used to such extreme weather ) we had the air conditioner constantly running. Our bill ended up being the expected (about $195.00) Imagine our surprise when the weather turned cold and our bill for the month jumped to $350.00! Wow! We were shocked! but discovered that our filter was incredibly dirty, therefore causing the heater to have to work twice as hard to heat the space. We changed the filter and set the temperature at 65. We were cold, but layered up in sweaters and dealt with it. The next bill came in ...$840.00!!!OMG! there must be some mistake (is what we immediately thought and everyone else that we told about our situation thought too). We called the energy company and had them come out to do a meter reread. We had the maintenance man come and shut off the power to see if someone was tapping into our power source. Then we found out that other people in the building that had corner units experienced double and triple increases to their energy bills as well, and as a result, were moving out. One family had a bill of over $500.00 while another (that only used space heaters and never ran the central heating) only had a bill of $50.00!
"I don't know what to tell you, unfortunately these corner units have no insulation at all" is what the maintenance man told me after I had him come and check out our heater for the second time. Our bill for this month was over $600.oo. Which brings our energy bill to over $1,400 for two months. BTW, I've barely run the heater at all. I actually wake up at night if I hear the heater go on. I'm freezing, but so terrified of the energy bill, I'll turn the temp from an already chilly 65 to 60 degrees. It doesn't make any sense, even with horrible insulation, that the bill should jump from $195 (in the Summer with the air conditioner constantly running) to $840.00 for heating when we keep the temp so low that we have to wear socks and sweaters! Also, there is no way that American Beauty Mill could not have known that certain units in the building were heating nightmares! We should have been informed! We would have NEVER moved here had we known about this situation. RENTERS BEWARE!