Saving Water

How to Use a Ceiling Fan to Reduce Heating Costs

Ceiling fans, when correctly employed, can reduce both heating and air-conditioning costs. Even if the fan only lets you make little alterations to your thermostat, the energy savings can continue to be significant: The energy intake of an average ceiling fan at high speed is about 75 watts. In contrast, an air conditioner may have 2,000 watts and a small electric heater requires 750 watts.

Energy Savings

The amount of money you can save using a ceiling fan is dependent upon numerous factors, including the size of your home, your climate, your primary heating and cooling systems and the cost of power in your town. However, various organizations have released estimates which you can use as guidelines. For instance, the University of Florida Cooperative Extension reports which a ceiling fan can reduce one room’s cooling costs by as much as 8 percent.

Ceiling Fans in Summer

Most individuals understand that a ceiling fan can make a room more comfortable in warm weather, but a couple of details are often overlooked. A ceiling fan does not actually reduce the temperature of a space. Instead, the fan creates gentle air movement which allows people in the space to feel cooler and more comfortable. This usually means that a ceiling fan offers little or no benefit once the room is unoccupied. Also, you should locate the fan so that you regularly believe its breeze. The fan will not be as successful if it’s installed in an unused portion of a room or is attached to a very high ceiling.

Ceiling Fans in Winter

Experts disagree about the benefits of running ceiling fans during the colder months. Some fans are developed for both counterclockwise rotation (“forward mode”) along with clockwise rotation (“reverse mode”). In reverse mode, air is forced up toward the ceiling. In theory, this warms the space by circulating warm air near the ceiling down toward the floor, and if the fan is on low speed, it won’t make an uncomfortable breeze. This technique should be helpful in certain situations, such as if a room with a very high ceiling is heated by a wood stove. In different circumstances, the energy savings may be insignificant. The Kansas State University Extension discourages any usage of ceiling fans during winter, but the University of Arkansas reports that a ceiling fan might reduce heating costs by 20 percent to 30 percent.

Selecting a Ceiling Fan

You want to settle on a ceiling fan according to the size and purpose of a space. The cooling effect of a normal 36-inch fan extends around 6 feet from the middle of the fan, and the assortment of a 48-inch fan is nearer to 8 feet. A high-end 56-inch model can reach out to ten feet. If you would like your fan to cool an whole room, then you want to coordinate with the fan size to the room size. A smaller fan might be perfectly acceptable in a large room, but in case your normal activity takes place directly under the fan — for instance, you could locate a fan over the table in a dining room or over the bed in a bedroom.

See related