If your goal is to keep cool without racking up your energy bills, you’ll probably rely on your ceiling fan a lot this summer. A common approach is to run a fan without AC until it gets too hot, then switch the fan off and run the air conditioner in its place. This is a mistake! Running the ceiling fan and air conditioner together is the best way to maximize comfort and energy savings.
It may seem redundant to pursue two cooling methods at once, but fans make your air conditioner more efficient. Follow these five tips to help you get the most from your cooling system this summer.
First things first—if you don’t already have ceiling fans throughout your home, look into installing some. You should be able to swap out any light fixture in the center of the room for a quiet, efficient and stylish ceiling fan.
Keep in mind that ceiling fans work best when the blades are seven to nine feet above the floor, 10 to 12 inches from the ceiling, and at least 18 inches from the walls. This means your ceilings must be at least eight-feet high, and rooms with vaulted ceilings may not benefit as much.
As you might imagine, larger fans can move more air than smaller ones. Opt for a 36- to 44-inch diameter fan for rooms up to 225 square feet and 52-inch fans for larger rooms. You can also install multiple fans in a row to cool rooms longer than 18 feet.
Ceiling fans can operate in both directions. Make sure yours is set to spin counterclockwise in the summertime. This pushes air downward to make the breeze feel more prominent.
If you’re not sure whether your fan is spinning the right way, turn it on and stand directly beneath it. If the breeze feels weak for how fast the blades are spinning, you probably need to reverse the direction.
Some fans have a remote control, especially if they’re installed on a vaulted ceiling. Check for a button on the remote to reverse the direction. If your fan doesn’t have a remote, feel around the motor housing for a reversing switch.
Ceiling fans can spin both ways because pushing the air upward is useful for lowering heating bills in the winter. So when the seasons change, set your fan to turn clockwise and run it on low to circulate warm air near the ceiling back toward the living space without creating a breeze. This technique is particularly beneficial in stairwells and rooms with vaulted ceilings.
You must adjust the thermostat to enjoy energy savings from running a ceiling fan in the summer. Don’t worry about feeling uncomfortable—the “wind chill” effect created by running a ceiling fan makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This concept, which can make winter weather miserable, is the key to home comfort and energy savings in the summer.
If you normally keep your house at 75 degrees, try adjusting the thermostat to 77 or 78 degrees to compensate for the wind chill effect created by running a ceiling fan. Then, adjust your outfit to increase your comfort level even more. Dressing for the season allows you to maximize comfort while minimizing cooling costs.
It’s a common misconception that ceiling fans lower the temperature in the room. Sure, they make you feel cooler, but all they do is move air around. As a result, there’s no reason to keep a ceiling fan running in an unoccupied room. Fans may cost pennies on the dollar to operate compared to air conditioners, but every little bit counts, so turn off the fan if you’re the last person to leave the room.
If you follow the tips outlined above, you should notice a decrease in your air conditioning bills all summer long. After all, you can save up to 3 percent on your cooling costs for every degree you raise the thermostat. And by enjoying the wind chill effect created by the ceiling fan, you can experience savings without sacrificing comfort.
Clearly, you shouldn’t underestimate the impact ceiling fans can have on your home comfort this summer! If you need air conditioning services at any point, turn to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to resolve your problem quickly. Our technicians can help your air conditioner run as efficiently as possible, ensuring it works in tandem with your ceiling fans to keep your home and family comfortable for less. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with the HVAC pros at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.
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