Monthly Archives: January 2016

Brilliantly Easy Ways to Shrink Your Electric Bill in Charlotte This Winter

The monthly electric bill is very expensiveAccording to a 2013 survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the average monthly electric bill in the U.S. was $110. 21, however this figure can sharply increase during the winter. Luckily there are simple and easy ways to stay warm while reducing your home’s electrical usage.

The range of electrical services we offer at Douthit Electrical are designed to address a number of electrical problems, including efficiency. If you’re concerned about your home’s electrical usage or feel your electrical system may be out of date, then it’s time to give us a call and take advantage of our electrical inspection and diagnostic services, which are designed to identify potential issues and ways we can save you money while keeping your home safe.

Here are a few easy ways you can save money on electricity in Charlotte this winter.

Program your thermostat

Keep your thermostat set to a money saving degree range, ideally between 68° and 70°F. The lower the better! Feeling chilly? It’s better to dress warmer than to waste energy on heating. Programming your thermostat to turn down 10° to 15° for eight hours while you’re at work or while you’re sleeping is another easy step that can save you up to 10% a year on heating costs, according to the DOE’s recommendations on how to save money on electricity and heating costs during winter.

Change your furnace filter

It may not seem like a big deal but a dirty furnace filter can cost you a lot by causing your system to run inefficiently. Simply changing your filter as recommended by the manufacturer can save you as much as 5% to 15% on energy costs!

Turn your water heater down

Dry and itchy skin are common problems during the winter that are only made worse by long, hot (and expensive) showers. Turning your water heater down by a few degrees can save you roughly 3% to 5% on water heating costs, which equates to about $6 to $20 per year. To increase the savings, consider installing a low flow showerhead, which reduces the amount of gallons per minute (gpm) without sacrificing water pressure.

Be smart about chores

Dishwashers are more energy and water efficient when they’re run with a full load of dishes. You can apply this same principle to drying your clothes. Wait until you have enough for a full dryer load. Take advantage of an already warm dryer by doing two loads of laundry at a time. Be careful of how long you’re drying clothes so you’re not wasting energy. Don’t forget to regularly change the lint filter because a clogged one can increase your dryer’s energy use by up to 30%!

Your safety and satisfaction are our top priorities, but we’re also here to help you save money! Call Douthit Electrical today to learn how we can make your home safer and more energy efficient!

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3 Common Generator Issues and How to Avoid Them in Charlotte This Winter

Portable Electric  Generator IsolatedHaving a generator can be a real asset during the winter, when snowfall, frigid temperatures, and icy conditions increase the likelihood of electrical emergencies such as power outages. Generators can help you weather the storm until a power outage is resolved, but it’s important to know how to operate one safely in order to avoid generator problems. Generator safety is critical for protecting your home and family!

At Douthit Electrical, our experienced electricians understand just how intimidating the idea of a power outage caused by a winter storm can be. If you have questions or concerns about your generator or are considering getting one, don’t hesitate to call us! Our top notch electrical emergency and safety services includes generator maintenance, so you can rely on us to fix any generator problems and help you become more knowledgeable about generator safety.

Here are three common winter generator issues and what you can do to avoid them.

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning is an odorless, tasteless and highly poisonous gas produced by burning certain kinds of fuel, such as propane and natural gas, which are two of the most common fuels used to power generators. Therefore, it is critical to make sure you always use your generator safely. Never use a generator indoors, even in the basement or garage. When placing it outside, make sure it’s a minimum of 10 feet away from any doors or windows, including your neighbors! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accidental carbon monoxide poisoning accounts for at least 430 deaths each year, so be sure your home is equipped with carbon monoxide monitors and detectors.

Electrical shock hazards

Home generators are often used in icy and wet conditions, such as rain and snow, so it’s important to be especially careful as the risk of electrical shocks dramatically increases in these conditions. Be sure to take extra safety precautions! Always store your generator under a flat, dry and covered area when not in use, such as in the garage. Never store your generator in a depression where water can collect over time. Be sure your generator is properly grounded and always wear boots or shoes with rubber soles when operating it.

Power cord issues

Many people use extension cords to run power to their generators, but this can pose additional hazards. Aside from tripping on icy ground, extension cords run through windows provide opportunities for toxic CO gas to seep into your home. If you must do this, seal the space with duct tape to prevent fumes from entering. Never use a damaged or frayed extension cord! You may even want to consider having a transfer switch installed to avoid power cord problems with generator altogether.

Your safety and satisfaction are our top priorities, so let Douthit Electrical help you with any and all your generator problems in Charlotte!

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