If you’re looking for a good way to lower home cooling costs this summer, the best place to look is right overhead. A ceiling fan is an economical way to reduce your reliance on your A/C, because it keeps the air in your home moving.
How does a ceiling fan do that? It creates a wind chill effect. Although a fan doesn’t actually make a room cooler, the increased airflow makes you feel more comfortable. So you can turn your air conditioner up 4 degrees or so, and lower your energy costs. If you live in a climate where the temperature drops dramatically at night, you can rely exclusively on the fan in your bedroom after the sun goes down. For even more airflow, open the windows and keep the fan on.
For optimal efficiency, look for a fan with an Energy Star logo and check the EnergyGuide label. An Energy Star fan is typically 20 percent more efficient than a fan that doesn’t have the star. Reading the EnergyGuide label, meanwhile, allows you to calculate your savings over time. Also pay attention to:
- The noise the fan produces: Check the noise rating, and listen to various models in the store. Opt for one that’s quiet.
- Size: The larger the fan, the more air it will move. A 35- to 44-inch fan is sufficient for a 225-square-foot room. A larger room may need a 52-inch fan.
In addition to using a ceiling fan, consider these energy-saving measures:
- Draw your drapes during the daytime to block heat from the sun.
- Turn up the setting on your air conditioner when you’re gone. Better yet, invest in a programmable thermostat, which will automatically turn up the temperature when you’re away and lower it again before you arrive home.
- Use your stove and oven as little as possible during the summer. Your microwave produces much less heat.
- Use the dishwasher instead of washing your dishes by hand.
Have questions about using your air conditioner or ceiling fans? Give the experts at All Year Heating, Air and Solar in Sacramento a call. Our expert staff is happy to help you with all of your home-comfort needs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.