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How to Offset AC Costs with Fans

May 17th, 2019

Ceiling fans do not actually lower the temperature of a room. The average temperature of a room with moving air is about the same as one with still air. In fact, the temperature may rise a weensy bit due to the heat produced by the fan motor. What a fan does is cool you down via convection. As air moves around your skin, the liquid (sweat) on your skin vaporizes at a faster rate, which absorbs heat from your body. This heat transfer is what makes you feel cooler even though the temperature of the room remains the same.

What to Consider Before Installing a Ceiling Fan

If you don’t already have a fan, here are a few things to keep in mind before installing one:

  • Number of Blades — The more blades you have, the quieter your fan will be but it will move air at a slower rate. Using a lower blade count will increase the amount of airflow per blade at lower speeds.
  • Fan Size — Larger rooms will need a larger sized fan. For reference, a standard 144-225 square foot living room needs a 44” fan.
  • Lighting and Wattage — If your fan uses a light kit, be aware of the maximum wattage rating for the fan, and that using high-wattage incandescent lamps increases the heat within the room. Use LEDs instead.
  • Reversible Fans — Fans don’t just circulate cool air around rooms in the summer. During the winter, reversing a fan pulls air up, pushing the warm air that’s gathered at the ceiling down the sides of the room to keep the entire room the same toasty-warm temperature. Simply flip the small black switch at the base of your fan to reverse the direction of the blades.

Offset AC Costs with Fans

It costs quite a bit to cool down an entire room. Every single degree of change in temperature is a higher cost in energy spending. Adding ceiling fans to your more heavily trafficked rooms can decrease the amount of energy you spend on cooling costs.

Using a ceiling fan in the room you’re in allows you to adjust your thermostat by roughly 2-5 degrees with no change in comfort, cutting cooling costs by up to 10%. The circulating air keeps all of the cooler air from pooling on the floor in the summer, equalizing the temperature of the room. Likewise, in the winter you can set the thermostat to a lower temperature and circulate the warm air around the room, decreasing heating costs.

Ultimately, your goal is to create indoor comfort. If that means blasting the AC and running fans at max, then do so, but you should be able to get away with a slightly warmer room so long as a fan is still running.

For more ways to save on air conditioning costs, don’t hesitate to Ask a Champion.

Service Champions is known for trustworthy, on-time heating and air conditioning service throughout the East Bay, South Bay, and Sacramento areas.

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