Do ceiling fans save you energy?
A typical central air conditioning unit uses 3,500 watts of energy when running. A typical ceiling fan uses 60 watts of energy, even when running on high. Thus, if you ran your ceiling fan all day and it managed to decrease your home air conditioner use by just thirty minutes in a twenty four hour period, you’ll end up saving significant money over the long run with a ceiling fan.
Of course, you can save a lot more energy if you do some careful planning and tinkering when it comes to ceiling fan use. Here are some tactics to try. Set your home’s temperature higher in the summer. If you’re going to run ceiling fans constantly in your home on a hot day, raise the temperature on your thermostat by a few degrees.
Your ceiling fan doesn't directly cool the air by itself, but what it does do is circulate air, creating a breeze effect that makes the room feel cooler than it actually is. Thus, accompany ceiling fan use with a rise in thermostat temperature and your central air conditioning unit will run less, but you’ll feel just as cool. I recommend trying a four degree increase if fans run on high as compared to the fans not running at all. Run the fan on high in one direction (usually counterclockwise) in the summer. Most fans have a “clockwise” setting and a “counterclockwise” setting, each appropriate for a different season. Stand beneath the fan and turn it on. If you immediately feel a breeze from the fan, then it’s set on the “summer” setting, usually counterclockwise. Otherwise, turn off the fan, climb up near the base of the fan, and look for a little button or switch that sets the fan to run in the opposite direction.
During the summer, you should have your ceiling fans running on high with the air blowing down directly below the fan. This creates the most air movement in the center of the room, which is where you need it most for the “breeze” effect, which will feel cool on your skin.
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