Air Conditioning Energy Efficiency: Thermostat Up, Ceiling Fans On
Home air conditioners can use a lot of electricity, driving up your electric bills during the summer months. Though there are many things you can do to improve energy efficiency, one of the most effective is also among the simplest: turning on a ceiling fan.
Ceiling fans save energy by reducing your need for air conditioning. Though fans do use electricity themselves, they require very little of it, especially compared to whole-house air conditioning.
How ceiling fans work
One reason ceiling fans are more energy efficient is because they do not expend energy to change the temperature of the air the way air conditioning does. Instead of cooling the air, they cool you, by creating a breeze that allows your body heat to dissipate faster. It is really the same thing as a winter wind chill: the air feels several degrees colder than it actually is. And that means you can raise the thermostat by a few degrees – reducing your air conditioner’s workload – and yet still feel just as comfortable. Ceiling fans can also be helpful in cold weather, if you run them in reverse (clockwise). The fan then keeps warm air from collecting near the ceiling – and cold air from settling to the floor – by redistributing air throughout the room.
Tips for using ceiling fans
It’s important that you only turn on a ceiling fan when you are in the room. Since fans don’t change the temperature, leaving them on in an empty room does nothing but waste electricity. By only using them when and where they are needed, you gain the energy-saving and comfort benefits of a zoning system. And by setting back the thermostat and only using fans when you’re at home, you also gain the efficiency provided by a programmable thermostat. Choosing an Energy Star-certified ceiling fan will also help cut your electricity expenses.
For more ways to save energy while keeping your home comfortable, contact us at Sobieski Services. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: Alex Mahan