If you are like most Americans, you have at least one ceiling fan in your home. Ceiling fans help us feel more comfortable and are a decorative addition to our homes. If used correctly, they can help lower energy costs.
Make the most of ceiling fans with the following tips.
Flip the Switch
Most ceiling fans have a switch near the blades. In summer months, flip the switch so the blades operate in a counterclockwise direction, effectively producing a wind-chill effect. As a result, ceiling fans make the air near them feel cooler than it really is.
Move the switch so the fan blades rotate clockwise in the winter, creating a gentle updraft. The fan pushes warm air from the ceiling into occupied areas of the room.
Regardless of the season, operate the fan on the lowest speed that maintains your comfort level.
Adjust Your Thermostat
In summer, when using a fan in conjunction with an air conditioner—or instead of it— you can turn your thermostat up 3º to 5º without any reduction in comfort. Doing this saves money because a fan is less costly to run than an air conditioner.
In winter, lower your thermostat’s set point by the same amount. As the fan pushes warm air down from the ceiling, the heat won’t run as often.
Choose the Right Size
Make sure your ceiling fan is the right size for the room. For example, a fan that is 36 to 44 inches in diameter will cool rooms up to 225 square feet. To cool a larger space, use a fan that is 52 inches or more.
Turn it Off
Turn off the fan when the room is unoccupied. Ceiling fans only cool people. They do not cool rooms.
Some of the hottest weather is in late summer. Use ceiling fans more and the air conditioner less to soften the increase in your electric bill.