You might be one of those people who imagine dollars flying out of your wallet every time your A/C kicks on. Ceiling fans can help with energy savings so you can bump up your room temperature and have your air conditioner run less. A ceiling fan runs at about 60 watts while a typical air conditioner runs at about 3,500 watts. That’s a huge difference.
Ceiling fans create air flow; they don’t actually cool the air. The moving air passing over your warm body removes heat, causing a cooling feeling. It’s the same as the wind-chill effect on windy or breezy days and famous in cold climates for making a cold day frigid. But this effect, if fans are well placed, can enable you to set your air conditioner three or four degrees higher.
Ceiling fan know-how
If you’re replacing your ceiling fans or installing them for the first time, here are some tips:
- Look for fans that display the federal Energy Star logo.
- Blades should be angled between 12 and 16 degrees. Less than 12 degrees and the fan won’t have the desired cooling effect. More than 16 and the air movement will be noisy.
- Know your room size. Fans with blade diameter of 36-44 inches are effective in rooms up to 225 square feet. They’ll move air in about a 6-foot diameter beneath them. Fans of around 52 inches are best for larger rooms.
- Fans with more blades are more efficient, although they may initially cost more. They can also be operated at lower speeds for the same effect and tend to be quieter.
- Install ceiling fans 10 to 12 inches below the ceiling, 7-9 inches above the floor and at least 18 from walls.
- Rooms longer than 18 feet require more than one fan.
- Turn off the fan when the room is empty. The wind-chill effect is exactly that, an effect. If nobody’s in the room to feel it, the effect is useless.
Remember, too, that a ceiling fan can also aid heating your home in the winter. Switch the fan blade direction from counterclockwise to clockwise when the weather turns cold, and the fan will blow upwards and outwards, redistributing warm air that collects near the ceiling.
For advice about ways to more effectively cool your Orlando area, home, please contact us at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions. With more than 42 years of serving Central Florida, we’re experts at saving you energy dollars.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ceiling fans and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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