Many people use their ceiling fans in their home until it just gets too hot. Then they turn the fan off and rely on their air conditioner.
That’s a mistake.
Using your air conditioner and ceiling fan together can save you some serious money.
But to do that, you have to use them properly.
First, make sure your fan is spinning the right direction
The fan needs to turn in the right direction to actually cool you off. Don’t worry about clockwise or counterclockwise.
The fan should be pushing air down. You should be able to feel a breeze when standing directly under it. If you can’t feel the breeze, turn off the fan and flip the switch that changes the direction of the blades. The switch is usually located on the base of the fan.
Next, turn up the thermostat
This step is vital because if you only turn on your fan, you’ll actually be using more energy than you were without it (although not much since fans don’t use much energy). Turn up your thermostat 2-3 degrees.
Don’t worry about feeling too warm. The breeze created by your fan should keep you comfortable. According to the U.S Department of Energy, “If you use air-conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.“
Lastly, turn off fans in unoccupied rooms
It’s important to note that fans do NOT lower the temperature in your home. They simply make the air feel cooler. This is the same reason windy days feel colder than normal days even if the temperature is the same (wind chill). So leaving fans on in rooms that have no one in them wastes money.
So it’s not really the ceiling fan…
As you can see, the ceiling fan itself doesn’t save you the money on air conditioning costs—the savings come from turning up your thermostat. (And every degree you can raise your thermostat saves you more money).
But the ceiling fan enables you to remain comfortable while raising the thermostat. So the 2 work together.
Need more ways to save energy?
Looking for other ways to avoid a large energy bill this summer? Check out our guide to reducing summer electric bills.
Or, if you’d like some individualized recommendations on how you can reduce your home’s energy use, contact one of our experts at Service Champions.
Service Champions serves the Sacramento, San Jose and the East Bay areas.