Category Archives: Saving Money on Energy

Should I use a ceiling fan in cooler months?

Ceilings fans can be an integral part of air circulation in your home, and can help reduce your heating and cooling costs at the same time.

Using a ceiling fan in the winter might not be the obvious choice to everyone, but it should!

Most of us know “heat rises”, but by changing the rotation to clockwise, the blades will help pull the warm trapped air into the room where it can provide the most comfort.

This clockwise setting should not create noticeable air movement, but merely push the warm air down the sides of the room. None of us in Charlotte really want to feel a breeze in their homes in the winter.

Ceiling fans are one of the more affordable options to increase the comfort of our homes. As an added bonus, it can also add a creative choice to the decorating style of your home.

We can discuss with you the many varieties available, and provide expert installation.

Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you need electrical service, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!


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How to Increase the Efficiency of Your Electric Clothes Dryer in Charlotte

The laundry room presents several energy and money saving opportunities, especially when it comes to your clothes dryer. And the best part is that learning how to save money on electricity and energy costs can be as simple as pressing a button or flipping a switch on your clothes dryer!

At Douthit Electrical, we pride ourselves on two things; keeping our customers safe and saving them money while doing so. And as an environmentally conscious professional electrician, we’re here to help our customers safely install and hookup their Charlotte electrical appliances, including clothes dryers. So whether you want to improve the efficiency of your current dryer or aren’t sure your electrical system can handle a new model, we’re here to help!

Here’s what our experienced electricians recommended to increase the efficiency of your clothes dryer.

  • Keep the lint screen clean Cleaning the lint screen between uses, regardless of how little dust or lint is there, is a seemingly small way of improving the efficiency of your clothes dryer, but in reality it can lead to big savings. A clothes dryer has to work hard to pump heated air through its system when the lint screen is dirty, so it’s easy to see how keeping it clean can reduce energy costs.
  • Make sure the exhaust is connected properly Clothes dryers should be vented to the outdoors with a flexible hose and the proper connections or adapters needed to maintain a snug fit. But because of machine vibration, these connections can come loose and cause your clothes dryer to run inefficiently. Regularly check these connections to make sure they’re tight.
  • Clean the exterior vent An accumulation of lint on exterior vent of your clothes dryer not only makes it harder for it to do its job efficiently, but this buildup also increases the risk of fire. Taking a few quick moments to clean the exterior vent will make the dryer safer and more efficient.
  • …and the back of your clothes dryer too This is one area that often gets neglected until it’s time to remove or replace your clothes dryer, but keeping this area clean and free of dust allows air to flow through the air vents unobstructed.
  • Timing is everything Did you know that most people over-dry their clothes? Drying your clothes for too long is a big waste of time, energy, and money, and can reduce the quality of your clothes and linens. Read the manufacturer’s recommendations for drying times, and take the time to get to know your dryer’s setting so you can use them correctly.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), there are 89 million residential clothes dryers in the U.S., most of which are electric. Just imagine how much energy and money could be saved if every household improved their clothes dryer efficiency! For help making your Charlotte electrical appliances more efficient, call Douthit Electrical!


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5 Things That Affect the Airflow of Your Ceiling Fan in Charlotte

Wiring Ceiling FanAre you considering buying a new ceiling fan or are interested in improving the efficiency of the ones you already have? There’s a lot more to ceiling fans than just adding to the decor of a room, and understanding what affects ceiling fan airflow can help you choose the right one or get the most use out of the ones you have.

It’s easy to overlook ceiling fan airflow, but the amount of air a ceiling fan circulates each minute has a direct impact on its performance level and efficiency. At Douthit Electrical, we take great pride in helping our customers save money by improving their home’s electrical efficiency. Our highly recommended Charlotte ceiling fan installation and maintenance services can save you money while keeping your home comfortable!

Here are 5 things that affect ceiling fan airflow and efficiency in Charlotte.

  • Height from the ceiling Unless it’s a hugger ceiling fan, your ceiling fan’s blades should be between 10 to 12 inches away from the ceiling in order to create optimal airflow. A ceiling fan that’s too far away from or too close to the ceiling won’t be able to move air properly. For vaulted ceilings, a downrod is needed in order to keep the blades 8 to 9 feet above the floor.
  • The motor As one of the most important features on a ceiling fan, the motor is crucial to efficiency and performance. Powerful, quality motors are not only durable and long lasting, but they also provide excellent ceiling fan airflow and comfort during both heating and cooling season!
  • Blade size and shape In order to maximize ceiling fan airflow, blades shouldn’t be too wide or too long. Even if the ceiling fan has a larger motor, bigger blades aren’t necessarily better! Blades that are too large or even too small will not be able to move air. A ceiling fan’s motor and blades should compliment each other.
  • Rotations per minute (RPM) The faster a ceiling fan’s blades spin, the more air they can circulate. Ceiling fans have several different speed settings ranging from slow to fast. The blade pitch or angle of a ceiling fan’s blades have a direct effect on the RPM.
  • Blade pitch The aerodynamics of a ceiling fan’s blade, including their size, shape, and angle, are just as important as the RPMs. Blades that are flat and straight will not create much if any airflow, regardless of how fast the RPMs are. The pitch of the blade also impacts how hard the motor will work due to drag. The ideal blade pitch for most home ceiling fans is between 12 and 15 degrees.

When all of these variables work well together, you can enjoy optimal performance, comfort, and energy efficiency all year round. For more information on ceiling fan installation, or if you need help choosing the right ceiling fan for your home in Charlotte, don’t hesitate to call Douthit Electrical!


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Shockingly Simple Ways to Save Money on Electricity in Charlotte and Reduce Your Environmental Footprint

Smart EnergyAccording to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the use of fossil fuels to produce the electricity we use every day is the single largest source of CO2  emissions in the nation and accounts for roughly 37% of America’s total CO2 emissions. Like other greenhouse gases, CO2 can have a devastating effect on the environment by polluting the air we breathe and contributing to global climate change. The best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is through energy conservation and that starts at home!

Since 1985, our highly reviewed Charlotte electrical services have helped our community save money while saving energy and the environment. Our experienced electricians can show how to save money on electricity by making just a few small changes that will yield big results! You’ll be shocked at how simple energy conservation can be!

Here are just a few easy ways you can reduce your environmental footprint and save money on electricity in Charlotte and beyond!

 

  • Pull the plug As long as they’re plugged in, “vampire” electronics still eat up electricity even if you’re not using them — this includes phone and tablet chargers that aren’t connected to anything! Unplugging electronics is a great energy conservation measure that sucks “vampire” electronics dry.
  • Upgrade to energy efficient light bulbs Energy Star certified light bulbs last six times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs while using 70 to 90% less energy. They also produce less heat which helps to reduce home cooling costs.
  • Look out for sneaky leaks If your home isn’t insulated properly, you could be letting energy and money go right out the window! Make sure door and window leaks are sealed. Doing so saves energy and money while keeping you comfortable.
  • Get with the programmable thermostat About 42% of a home’s energy costs are for heating and cooling, so having a programmable thermostat is a must. For extra savings, set the thermostat to 68°F in the winter and 78°F during cooling season when you’re home.
  • Cleanliness means energy efficiency Clean your refrigerator coils with a vacuum cleaner or per the manufacturer’s instructions at least twice a year to keep it running efficiently. Similarly, be sure to replace your HVAC filter as needed. A dirty one can use up to 15% more electricity than a clean one!
  • Call Douthit Electrical to schedule an energy audit Having a professional electrician perform an energy audit is a great way to identify problem areas in your home that could be costing you and the environment.

The best way to approach energy conservation is to work together to create positive change, and learning how to save money on electricity is a great place to start. For Charlotte electrical services you can count on, call Douthit Electrical!

 


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Why Ceiling Fans in Charlotte Aren’t Just for Summer

living room with furnitureIf your home has ceiling fans, you’ve probably been enjoying the cool breeze that they provide all summer long. You’ve probably noticed that you can save money on air conditioning costs by using ceiling fans in Charlotte to help cool your home, but did you know that ceiling fans can be very beneficial in the fall and winter as well? When used properly, you can continue to enjoy your ceiling fans and save money on energy throughout the cooler months.

3 Benefits to Ceiling Fans in the Fall & Winter

  • Your ceiling fan can help deter pesky flies in the fall. Flies, mosquitoes, and other insects don’t care for the breeze created by ceiling fans, so they’ll be more likely to vacate the area if your ceiling fan is on.
  • Setting your ceiling fan to run clockwise can help you to stay warm in the winter. Some of the heat you pay for rises right up to the ceiling where it isn’t doing much to warm your family. By setting your ceiling fan to run in reverse, the blades will push that warm air back down, helping your home to feel warmer and more comfortable.
  • Ceiling fans can help even out unbalanced heating zones in two-story homes that have open stairways. If you notice that upstairs rooms are always too warm, while downstairs rooms are too cold, a ceiling fan mounted at the top of an open staircase can help to solve this problem. The ceiling fan will move your heated air around more evenly and can even keep your furnace from working as hard, saving you some money on your heating bills.

If you thought ceiling fans were just for summer, think again! Ceiling fan installation  is a great investment because you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits and savings year round! For help choosing and installing the ceiling fan that’s right for your home, give our Charlotte electricians a call at Douthit Electrical today!


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How to Make Your Refrigerator Use Less Electricity in Charlotte

Two door INOX refrigerator isolated on whiteEvery little bit of electricity that you can save around your home will result in savings on your electricity bill. So why not try to make your appliances operate more efficiently? Typically, refrigerators account for about 13.7% of a home’s electricity usage (second only to air conditioners). Refrigerators are one of few appliances that operate 24/7, so taking a few steps to make them more efficient is sure to save some money.

Ways to Make Your Refrigerator More Efficient

  • Keep your refrigerator nice and full of food and drinks. Your fridge works harder to keep empty spaces cool. If you’re not someone who keeps a stocked fridge all the time, place some jugs of water on the shelves to fill the space.
  • Don’t set your refrigerator for a temperature lower than necessary. Select the temperature that will keep your food cold, but don’t just turn it down all the way.
  • Maintain the coils located at the rear of your refrigerator by keeping them free of dirt and grime. Any gunk that develops on these coils will act as heating insulation, causing your fridge to use more electricity to keep cool.
  • Keep your refrigerator in a cool location—away from stoves, ovens, and microwaves.
  • Make sure food has cooled off before you place it into the refrigerator. Placing hot food in the fridge will force the appliance to work harder to cool down that food.
  • Inspect your refrigerator for faulty seals that let cold air escape.
  • Don’t open your fridge more often or for longer than necessary. If you let the cold out, more electricity will be needed to reestablish the set temperature.
  • Cover food items with plastic wrap or aluminum foil so that your refrigerator doesn’t have to work to cool uneven surfaces.

At Douthit Electrical, we love finding ways to conserve energy so that we can help the environment as well as help our customers save money. We hope these tips help you to save money on electricity in Charlotte.   If you’d like to conserve more energy with an electrical upgrade   or new appliance hookup, don’t hesitate to give our local electricians a call!

 


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Advantages of Dimmer Switches in Charlotte

DimmerMany people purchase lamps so that they can choose from a few different light sources in order to attain the amount of light they need at a particular time. With a dimmer switch, you decide how much light comes from a single light source at any given time. You can install dimmer switches in any room—your bathroom, kitchen, dining room, living room, bedroom—and have the ability to choose the amount of light you want in that room without switching on and off lamps. But there are many more advantages to dimmer switches than just pure convenience…

Benefits of Dimmer Switches

You could save money on your electricity bills in Charlotte!  Regular light switches are either all the way off or all the way on—there is no in between. With a dimmer switch, you may choose settings that provide lower levels of light and these settings will not require as much electricity as if your light was in full-on mode.

Your light bulbs will last longer. By opting for less light sometimes, your light bulb will not work as hard and will therefore have a longer lifespan. If, for instance, you choose to dim your light by 25% on average, your light bulb could actually last four times longer than it would if it were working at 100% all the time.

You can adjust your lighting for ambience. Maybe you’d like to dim the lights to help you calm down after a long day or to set a particular mood. You can choose the amount of light that will help to establish your desired ambience.

You can adjust your lighting based on what activity you are performing. Obviously, if you’re reading the newspaper or the kids are doing homework you may need more light. If you’re watching a movie, you may want the room to be only dimly lit, like a movie theater. With dimmer switches, it’s totally up to you.

For fast dimmer switch installation  at a time that works for you, give our Charlotte electricians a call today! At Douthit Electrical, our focus is always on electrical safety and our customers’ satisfaction!

 


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Ceiling Fans Can Help Save You Money on Cooling Your Home in Charlotte

Ceiling FanMany people enjoy the comforting breeze and coolness created by a ceiling fan. Ceiling fan installation is also a great way to improve the lighting in your home. But did you know utilizing a ceiling fan can also help to save you money on your home cooling costs? Our Charlotte electricians who install ceiling fans  know that home efficiency is extremely important to our valued customers, and that’s why we’d like to share with you these three ways you can save money on air conditioning with ceiling fans.

3 Ways Ceiling Fans Can Help You Save Money on Home Cooling Costs:

  1. You can leave your windows open and the AC off more days of the year.       The fresh outdoor air can make your home feel cooler and less stuffy, but only if it actually gets circulated throughout. Ceiling fans keep the air moving, so if it’s not a super hot day or night, sometimes they’re enough to keep you feeling cool and comfortable.
  2. When you come in the house feeling hot and sweaty, you can cool off fast with a ceiling fan instead of by turning your AC’s thermostat way down.       When you enter the house after riding your bike or doing yard work, it’s tempting to turn down your AC’s thermostat so you can quickly cool off. Unfortunately, working your air conditioner hard and fast never comes cheap, and if you forget to adjust it back up again later, you’ll really be sorry when the bill comes in the mail! You can cool down just as fast sitting near a ceiling fan on high.
  3. You can regularly keep your air conditioner’s thermostat set a little higher. A ceiling fan can’t really drop the temperature of the room, but the feel of the breeze it creates across your skin will make YOU cooler and that’s what’s important. When a ceiling fan helps your home’s occupants to feel cooler, you’ll be able to set your AC thermostat a littler higher, and every degree you set it higher will save you money on your utility bill!

If you decide that a ceiling fan is the right choice for your family, we recommend professional ceiling fan installation by a Charlotte certified electrician. The experienced electricians at Douthit Electrical will install your ceiling fan properly so that it is safe, wobble-free, and efficient. At Douthit Electrical, we provide all kinds of electrical services to Charlotte, Gastonia, Fort Mill, Davidson, and the surrounding areas!

 


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