MAKE THE MOST OF CEILING FANS
by Keith Buchhalter, Public Affairs Specialist at Overton Power District No. 5
If you are like most Americans, you have at least one ceiling fan in your home. Ceiling fans help our indoor life feel more comfortable. They are a decorative addition to our homes and, if used properly, can help lower energy costs. By turning on the fan, you can turn up the energy savings!
Here are a few tips for making the most of your ceiling fans:
- FLIP THE SWITCH. Most ceiling fans have a switch near the blades. In warm months, flip the switch so that the blades operate in a counterclockwise direction, effectively producing a wind-chill effect. Fans make the air near them feel cooler than it actually is. In cooler months, move the switch so the fan blades rotate clockwise, creating a gentle updraft. This pushes warm air down from the ceiling into occupied areas of the room. Regardless of the season, try operating the fan on it’s lowest setting.
- ADJUST YOUR THERMOSTAT. In the summer, when using a fan in conjunction with, or instead of an air conditioner, you can turn your thermostat up three to five degrees without any reduction in comfort. This saves money since a fan is less costly to run than an air conditioner. In the winter, lower your thermostat’s set-point by the same number of degrees. Ceiling fans push the warm air from the ceiling back down toward the living space, which means the furnace will not turn on as frequently.
- CHOOSE THE RIGHT SIZE. Make sure your ceiling fan is the right size for the room. A fan that is thirty-six to forty-four inches in diameter will cool rooms up to 225 square feet. A fan that is fifty-two inches or more should be used to cool a larger space.
- TURN IT OFF. When the room is unoccupied, turn the fan off. Fans are intended to cool people—not rooms.