Some people may come to Orlando for the warm weather, but you can definitely have too much of a good thing. One way that Floridians can stay cool, while saving money on their energy bills, is to make use of ceiling fans.
Ceiling fans do not actually cool the air, in terms of changing the temperature. However, they do cool you, by making a room feel colder than it really is. Our 98.6-degree Fahrenheit bodies are constantly shedding heat, and a steady breeze allows us to shed more heat by bringing us into contact with more cool air. That’s why ceiling fans still make sense in the age of air conditioning: they move around the cooler air provided by the A/C, essentially becoming more effective than they were before air conditioning was invented.
In exchange, ceiling fans give your air conditioner a break, allowing you to save energy. Because a ceiling fan makes a room feel several degrees colder than it is, it enables you to turn up the thermostat by several degrees without affecting your comfort level. When an air conditioner does not have to cool the air as much, it becomes more efficient. By decreasing its load, you’re also reducing wear and tear and extending the life of your system. On mild days, having your thermostat set a few degrees higher might result in your air conditioner not having to work at all.
In order to get the most benefit from your ceiling fans, remember these tips:
- Ceiling fans cool the room’s occupants, not the room itself. So only turn a fan on when you are present in the room, and turn it off when you leave to save electricity.
- Use bigger fans, or multiple small fans, in a large room. A ceiling fan cools a space that’s roughly twice the diameter of the blades.
- Choose energy-efficient Energy Star fans.
- Install fans so that the blades are ten to 12 inches below the ceiling, seven to nine feet above the floor, and 18 inches (or more) from the walls.
- Reverse the fan’s direction during cold weather. This forces warm air near the ceiling back down to your level.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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