Category Archives: Ways to Save Money on Electricity

How to Understand Light Bulb Wattage

Most of us grew up when shopping for light bulbs was simple and straight forward. If we wanted a brighter bulb, we bought one with more watts. That time passed several years ago when more energy efficient ways came upon the scene and were quickly adopted as the future.

Watts = power. For example, a 40W incandescent bulb uses 40 watts of power per hour. That is 40 watts of power that will be charged on your electric bill.

Lumens = light emitted. This measures the light that is actually produced by different types of bulbs.

Consider this….

An incandescent bulb uses 40W to produce 400 lumens of light. It will last about 1000 hours.

A CFL bulb (compact fluorescent) uses 9W to produce 320 lumens of light. It will last about 6000 hours.

An LED bulb uses 6W to produce 300 lumens of light, and will last a whopping 50,000 hours.

It is easy to see why incandescent bulbs have become phased out in our homes, and why LED lights are now competing with the CFL sales.

The important thing to remember is that the more watts you use, the higher the electric bill.

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

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Indoor Energy Saving Tips

Saving our hard-earned money on energy costs is a constant battle for most of us. Allowing even small amounts of our cash to be wasted is something that none of us should want to accept.

Here’s a few energy saving tips to help win the battle.

1. Warmer weather is upon us, and as A/C units get turned on, be sure to keep windows and shades closed to keep that cool air indoors.

2. “Shut that door!” Your parents were always warning you to stop heating or cooling the outdoors. Now that you are responsible for the utility bills, you understand why they yelled that so much.

3. Ceiling fans use less energy and that breeze they create will allow you to raise your thermostat in the summer by up to 4 degrees, without losing your home’s comfort. Douthit Electrical provides ceiling fan installation all year long. Give us a call!

4. How often have you forgotten to change the thermostat when going to bed or leaving for the day? A programmable thermostat is not only convenient, it also will save you money caused by those forgetful moments.

5. Wash your clothes in cold water as much as possible. Up to 90% of the energy used on that task is in heating the hot water.

6. Most home owners now understand the energy saving capability of CFLs (compact fluorescent light). Those curly bulbs are now saving families energy dollars all over Charlotte. If you still have a few of the halogen incandescent bulbs left in your home, consider changing them.

7. “Turn off that light!” I’m sure you also heard that growing up as a child. Did you know that our home’s lighting accounts for up to 15% of our electric bill?

8. Low on supplies? Keeping your refrigerator and freezer full will not only give you more choices for dinner, it will also help those appliances run more efficiently.

Douthit Electrical has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you need help with your electrical service or installation, 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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8 Cool Ways You Can Improve Your Refrigerator’s Efficiency in Charlotte

Refrigerator EfficiencyAs one of the most important electrical appliances in your home, refrigerators account for roughly 14% of your home’s total energy usage. Because of this, and the fact that they operate continuously, it’s critical that your refrigerator is running efficiently. Energy conservation is easy on the environment and your wallet!

Energy conservation is especially important to us here at Douthit Electrical. Our Charlotte electrical services are designed to keep your home powered safely and efficiently. Our friendly and experienced electricians can help you save money by showing you how to use less electricity in Charlotte with simple energy conservation tips!

Here are eight easy ways to improve refrigerator efficiency in Charlotte!

Open the door less

Every time the door opens warm air flows into the refrigerator and makes it harder for the appliance to stay at a consistently cold temperature.

Pack it right and tight

It’s harder for a refrigerator to keep empty space cold, so keep yours packed tightly with food and drinks. If you don’t like to keep your refrigerator full, use gallon jugs of water to fill the space.

Put the ice maker on ice

An ice maker can not only increase a refrigerator’s purchase price by as much as $250 but it can also increase its energy usage by 14% to 20%! Instead, make ice the old fashioned way.

Location is key

Your refrigerator should always be placed in a cool location and away from heat generating appliances such as microwaves, ovens, and stoves.

The right temperature

Refrigerators should be kept at a temperature between 33 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Any colder than this is a waste of electricity that can freeze your food. The same applies for a higher temperature, except food will spoil and not freeze.

Clean those coils

Grime and dust can build up on refrigerator coils, acting as a heat insulation that causes your refrigerator to use more electricity than needed. Use a vacuum with a crevice attachment to keep coils clean.

Wait for hot food to cool down

Putting hot food in your refrigerator forces it to work hard — and use more electricity — to cool the food down and maintain its temperature. Allow food to cool before putting it in the refrigerator.

Use aluminum foil or plastic wrap

How you put your food away is just as important as when you put it away. After food cools down properly, cover it with aluminum foil or plastic wrap before putting it in the refrigerator so that it doesn’t have to work harder than necessary to cool an uneven surface.

At Douthit Electrical, nothing makes us happier than saving the environment and saving our customers money, and improving refrigerator efficiency is great place to start. Maybe it’s time to upgrade? An Energy Star certified refrigerator can be up to 9% to 10% more efficient! Whether you need a new energy efficient refrigerator installed or an electrical remodel, Douthit Electrical has you covered!

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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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Different Types of Lightbulbs for Indoor & Outdoor Lighting in Charlotte

Incandescent, Compact Fluorescent, Halogen LampsIn the past, choosing a lightbulb at the store was easy because there weren’t all that many options. Nowadays, there are a plethora of options to choose from, so it helps if you go to the store knowing what you’re looking for. Use this rundown of the various types of lightbulbs to help you determine which bulbs will work best for your indoor and outdoor light fixtures in Charlotte. 

Incandescent – This lightbulb is the cheapest and the most common, but it won’t be for long because it is being phased out! Incandescent bulbs typically last for about a year, but won’t be able to meet new energy-efficiency standards.

Fluorescent – These bulbs work great for lighting large areas like basements, attics, and garages. They provide a flat, cold light, and last longer than incandescent bulbs.

Halogen – These bulbs are often used in under-cabinet lighting and tend to last about a year. Though similar to incandescent bulbs, halogen bulbs use less energy.

Compact Fluorescent (CFL) – Not only do CFLs consume less energy than incandescent bulbs, they also can last up to nine years! You can use these bulbs in the same places where you would use incandescent bulbs, and they won’t make the noise that florescent bulbs can make.

Light Emitting Diode (LED) – These bulbs are cool to the touch, and because they’re not allowing out excess heat, they can help save on air conditioning costs. These bulbs can last 20+ years and are very energy-efficient, but they will cost more upfront than CFLs.

Generally, you’ll want to equip your home with the more energy-efficient lightbulbs, but it’s up to you to determine which bulbs give you the type of lighting that feels right in your space! And remember, to avoid an electrical safety hazard, always choose the appropriate wattage bulb for each of your light fixtures. For help with outdoor and indoor lighting design in Charlotte, give Douthit Electrical a call today!

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How to Combat Climate Change & Save Money on Electricity in Charlotte

Green Energy Solutions With Light BulbIn the last decade, climate change has become a major concern in the United States and around the world. We’ve seen intense heat waves, shrinking glaciers, and overall more unpredictable weather. Many scientists agree that temperatures will continue to rise as greenhouse gasses produced by human activities continue to impact our environment. While decreasing the effect that humans have on the world’s climate is both a complicated and daunting task, it has been found that improving energy efficiency is one the simplest, cheapest, and most realistic ways of making a positive change. So today, our electricians would like to share some of the many ways that you can save on electricity. You’ll not only help the environment by conserving energy, but you’ll save money on electricity in Charlotte as well!

Ways to Save on Electricity in Charlotte

  • Keep your thermostat set to 78°F when you’re home and 85°F when you’re away.
  • Replace air conditioner filters monthly. Your air conditioning system may run longer if the air filters are dirty.
  • Seal leaks in doors and windows.
  • Insulate your attic.
  • Use ceiling fans to help keep you cool.
  • Line dry clothes instead of using the dryer.
  • Clean your dryer’s lint trap after every use.
  • Take steps to make your refrigerator more efficient.
  • If you have an old, spare refrigerator in a garage or basement that you don’t use much, unplug it and recycle it. Many older refrigerators are extremely inefficient.
  • Unplug electronics and chargers when you’re not using them. Many of these items will consume electricity even when they are not in use.
  • Turn off lights and appliances when you’re not using them.
  • Choose ENERGY STAR windows, appliances, and light bulbs.
  • Install dimmer switches, so you don’t have to pay for more light than you need.
  • Contact a local electrician to perform an energy audit at your home to find opportunities to save on electricity.

These may seem like small steps toward combatting climate change, but the truth is that these small steps add up when a lot of people make the effort. At Douthit Electrical, we strive to help people save on electricity; if you have concerns about the efficiency of your home’s electrical system in Charlotte, give us a call today!

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How to Save Money on Electricity in Charlotte NC and Beyond

Saving ConceptIf you DON’T want to save money on electricity, stop reading, go outside, open your wallet, and let the rest of your presidents flutter away in the breeze. If you DO want to save money on electricity, read on, and find out how to save money on electricity in Charlotte!

Ways to Save Money on Electricity in Charlotte

  1. Clean out dryer lint. Each time you use your dryer, you should clean off the lint screen. Once a year, you should clean lint out of the exhaust duct as well. A lint-free dryer will not only be more efficient but safer as well. Bonus savings: Dry your loads of laundry one right after the other so that the dryer doesn’t have a chance to cool down.
  2. Use motion detector outdoor lights. You don’t need outdoor lights on all through the night, so save money on electricity by opting for lights that only come on when needed. Motion detector lights are great at deterring burglars too!
  3. Unplug chargers when electronics are finished charging. When your cell phone, camera, tablet or other electronic device is done charging, unplug the charger from the outlet. Try charging your devices before you go to bed so that you can unplug the chargers before you drift off into dreamland.
  4. Fill empty spaces in your refrigerator. Can you count the number of items in your fridge on two hands? Are three of those items condiments? Fill extra space in your fridge with containers of water and extra space in the freezer with bags of ice. This will help your refrigerator to operate more efficiently.
  5. If an electronic device uses a remote control, unplug it at night. These electronic devices gobble up electricity even when they are not in use. Unplug them when you’re not using them or plug several into a power strip so that they can easily be switched off all at once.
  6. Purchase compact fluorescent light (LED) bulbs. These bulbs give out the same amount of light, but are far more energy-efficient than your standard light bulbs.

If your home is struggling with electrical efficiency, and these pointers just aren’t enough to help cut your utility bill, it may be time to get electrical upgrades from the Charlotte electricians at Douthit Electrical. We’re here to provide you with the friendly advice and electrical service you need!

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