It’s no secret that high summer temperatures lead to high cooling costs. Running an air conditioner around the clock can drive up your energy bills and drain your bank account in no time. If you find yourself paying too much to stay cool, ceiling fans could be the answer. This might not come as a huge surprise, but many homeowners are shocked to learn that they can save energy with ceiling fans and lower their heating bills in winter as well.
Ceiling fans create a cooling breeze that makes the room you’re in feel cooler than it actually is. This allows you to set your thermostat a few degrees higher in summer without sacrificing comfort. During the warmer months, every degree you raise your thermostat above 78 degrees can lower cooling costs by 3 to 8 percent. On mild days, you might not need the A/C at all. And because fans are highly efficient—the average ceiling fan uses barely more energy than a 100-watt light bulb—this can add up to significant savings.
The key to using a ceiling fan in winter lies in changing its rotation. In summer, ceiling fans rotate in a counterclockwise direction, which creates the gentle wind-chill effect that helps you cool off. In winter, you can reverse this rotation to boost heating efficiency. This works because a clockwise spin allows a fan to redistribute warm air that gathers near the ceiling, moving it down into the inhabited portion of your house. Running a fan clockwise in winter lets you run your furnace less without feeling any cooler.
Tips for Efficiency to Save Energy with Ceiling Fans
It’s important to remember that, regardless of the season, fans don’t actually change the temperature in your home; they just make it feel more comfortable. So there’s no need to leave ceiling fans running around the clock. Simply turn on a fan when you enter a room, then turn it off when you leave (you can also hook ceiling fans up to a motion sensor so they turn on and off automatically). Most ceiling fans pay for themselves in the form of energy savings during their lifespan.
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