If your intent is to stay cool without racking up your energy bills, you’ll likely rely on your ceiling fan a lot this summer. A good technique is to operate a fan without AC until it gets too hot, then shut the fan off and use the air conditioner instead. This is a mistake! Operating the ceiling fan and air conditioner simultaneously is the optimal way to increase comfort and energy savings.
It may appear unnecessary to pursue two cooling methods at the same time, but fans make your air conditioner more productive. Follow these five tips to help you get the maximum benefit from your AC system this summer.
Install a Ceiling Fan
First—if you don’t already have ceiling fans in your home, look into installing a number of them. You should be able to switch out any light fixture in the middle of the room for a quiet, effective and fashionable ceiling fan.
Keep in mind that ceiling fans run best when the blades are seven to nine feet above the floor, 10 to 12 inches from the ceiling, and at least 18 inches from the walls. This means your ceilings must be at least eight-feet high, and rooms with vaulted ceilings will not benefit the way rooms with lower ceilings will.
As you may imagine, longer fans can move more air than smaller ones. Get a 36- to 44-inch diameter fan for rooms up to 225 square feet and 52-inch fans for bigger rooms. You can also install multiple fans in a row to cool rooms longer than 18 feet.
Check the Fan’s Direction
Ceiling fans can work in both directions. Ensure yours is set to spin counterclockwise during summer. This forces air back down to make the breeze appear more apparent.
If you’re not sure whether a fan is rotating the right way, turn it on and sit straight underneath it. If the breeze feels inadequate for how fast the blades are turning, you potentially need to switch the direction.
Some fans have a remote control, particularly if they’re installed on a vaulted ceiling. Look for a button on the remote to reverse the direction. If your fan doesn’t have a remote, feel around the motor housing for a reversing switch.
Ceiling fans can turn both ways because forcing the air upward is useful for reducing heating costs in the winter. So when the seasons change, set your fan to spin clockwise and keep it on low to distribute warm air around the ceiling back toward the living space without generating a breeze. This strategy is particularly helpful in stairwells and rooms with vaulted ceilings.
Adjust the Thermostat
You should change the thermostat to make the most of energy savings from using a ceiling fan in the summer. Don’t worry about feeling uncomfortable—the “wind chill” effect made by turning on a ceiling fan makes the room seem up to 4 degrees cooler. This principle, which can make winter weather unpleasant, is the trick to home comfort and energy savings during the summer.
If you typically keep your house at 75 degrees, think about adjusting the thermostat to 77 or 78 degrees to make up for the wind chill effect produced by running a ceiling fan. Then, modify your outfit to improve your comfort level even more. Dressing for the season permits you to improve comfort while minimizing cooling costs.
Switch Off the Fans in Unoccupied Areas
It’s a popular belief that ceiling fans reduce the temperature in the room. Yes, they make you feel cooler, but all they do is push air around. As a result, there’s never a reason to keep a ceiling fan running in an empty room. Fans might cost pennies on the dollar to use in contrast to air conditioners, but every little bit counts, so turn off the fan if you’re the last person to leave the room.
See Your Energy Savings Grow
If you use the tips laid out above, you should notice a drop in your air conditioning costs throughout the summer. After all, you can save up to 3 percent on your cooling costs for every degree you raise the thermostat. And by using the wind chill effect produced by the ceiling fan, you can receive savings without giving up comfort.
Keep Cool with Help from McKinley Heating Service Experts
Clearly, you shouldn’t underestimate the impact ceiling fans can have on your home comfort in summer! If you want air conditioning services at any point, choose McKinley Heating Service Experts to address your problem quickly. Our technicians can help your air conditioner perform as effectively as possible, ensuring it works in tandem with your ceiling fans to keep your home and family comfortable for less. Call us today to schedule an appointment with the HVAC pros at McKinley Heating Service Experts.