Are you considering a ceiling fan purchase or installation? Or, do you wonder if your existing ceiling fan is providing an added benefit to your home? When most homeowners decide to purchase or install a ceiling fan, they mainly consider the benefits of keeping cool in the summer when, in fact, ceiling fans can serve a variety of functions. From keeping you warm to saving money on utility bills, your ceiling fan may just surprise you.
Tips for Running Your Ceiling Fan
- Run your fan counterclockwise in the summer. Most fans have a clockwise and a counterclockwise setting, each to be utilized for a different season. You will typically find a small button or switch near the base of the fan which can be changed with one click. Keep your fan on high, running counterclockwise, during the summer so that air blows down directly below the fan and creates air movement in the center of the room.
Energy savings note: A fan’s counterclockwise movement pushes air down, making people feel cooler (wind chill effect). This also means you can keep your thermostat at a higher temperature throughout summer.
- Run your fan clockwise (on low) in the winter. Perhaps a time you may not consider using your ceiling fan, during the winter you can utilize the fan to take the pressure off your furnace. Blades running clockwise will pull air up in the center of the room and push it down again near the edges. This forces warm and cool air to mix, keeping the room at a steady temperature.
Energy savings note: Running your ceiling fans during colder months can save up to 10 percent on heating costs. During winter, warm air from your heating system rises. By utilizing your ceiling fan, you force the warmer air down towards your living space keeping you warm and tricking your thermostat into running at a minimum.
- Turn your ceiling fan off when you leave a room or are away from home. Since ceiling fans don’t actually cool the air, if you choose to utilize them, it is important to ensure you are being economical. Remember to treat ceiling fans the same way you treat lights – if you go into a room, turn it on – and when you leave, turn it off. If there are no people or pets in the room, you can save energy my keeping them turned off.
Energy savings note: Compared to the 3,500 watts of energy a typical air conditioning unit uses, a ceiling fan’s 60 watt usage can provide significant savings. Not only do ceiling fans use significantly less energy, they can be used to isolate specific areas and cool only those that are occupied.
- Ensure your fan’s blade angle is greater than twelve degrees.As mentioned, in order for your ceiling fan to be effective, you need it to push air upwards or downwards. If your fan blade does not have the proper angle or is nearly flat, it will not provide the results you want. When purchasing a fan, make sure the angle is at 12 degrees minimum. Note, you will not want to go over 14 degrees if the fan will be in a home office or room that has papers lying around.
Energy savings note: By making sure your fan’s blade angles are at a minimum of 12 degrees, you will ensure it is operating at maximum efficiency – in turn, cutting down on your electric bill.
- Add a light.If you’re installing a ceiling fan in a room without perfect lighting or are replacing a light fixture with a ceiling fan, it would be a good time to enhance the room’s lighting. Your ceiling fan can easily serve a dual purpose.
Energy savings note: Adding a light to your ceiling fan can be an inexpensive way to include extra light and add heat to a room.
- Adjust your thermostat. The key to saving money on your energy bills is keeping your thermostat down. Your ceiling fan doesn’t directly cool the air by itself, but what it does do is circulate air, creating a breeze that makes the room feel cooler than it actually is.
Energy savings note: If a ceiling fan allows you to keep your thermostat down, you could save a significant amount of money on your heating and cooling bills (up to 15 percent).
There are many ways you can make your ceiling fan work for you year-round. Simply remember our helpful hints and utilize them to keep your thermostat in-line. Remember – there are plenty of options and ways to save energy in your home this summer. For more information, contact us or call (800) 246-0273.