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Use Your Ceiling Fan To Boost Your HVAC Efficiency

Use Your Ceiling Fan To Boost Your HVAC Efficiency

You may be ignoring a money-saving tool that already exists in your home - one that could save you ten, twenty, even thirty percent over the course of a summer! Reports vary as to results and savings, but they all agree that a you’ll save money by using your ceiling fan.

There are several factors which will determine how much you can save. Here are some tips you can try to decrease your energy usage and increase savings.

  • The location of your fanThe location and width of your fans will have a huge impact. You should install your fans directly over areas where you and your family will be active. For instance, in the family room, arrange seating under the fan. The table should be under the dining room fan, and the bed under the bedroom fan. The reason is this: The way a fan works is by changing the perceived comfort level rather than influencing the actual room temperature. The body perceives a temperature drop when the air is circulating, and a change of even a few degrees will make you feel cooler.

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  • The size of your fan.When you install a fan, remember to get the right size. For instance, if you double the width of the fan blades, you will get the area in the room which will feel the cooling effects. A 36” fan will move air in a 6-foot circle below, and a 60” fan will cover ten feet. Be sure to keep the fan low enough as well, since installing in the top of a high ceiling won’t allow it to operate as efficiently.
  • Turn if off when you’re not there!If you aren’t in a room, turn off the fan. Since the effectiveness is based on airflow, if you aren’t in the room it isn’t going to help. Save the money while you are gone. An average ceiling fan uses 75 to 100 watts of power. Your AC unit is likely consuming about 2000 watts. If you can turn the AC up and use the fan for comfort, that is an efficient trade-off which will save you money over the summer.
  • Be sure that the rotation of the blades is correct.In the summer, the blades should move counterclockwise. This moves the air downward, which circulates the hot air at floor level out toward the walls, up, and then back down through the fan. When winter comes, reversing the blades will pull the cool air from the floor, which forces the hot air down the walls to the floor area. Set it to the lowest power, since you won’t want a strong breeze in the winter, just gentle movement.

Another helpful tip: Each time you change the fan’s direction, clean it. This is a great time to dust and wipe the blades, check the balance, and clean the motor housing with your duster or a vacuum.

Fans are a great investment, and a quality fan will last a lifetime, run quietly, and be an asset to the value of your home.