How To Use Ceiling Fans To Boost Heating Efficiency
With winter on the horizon, the question once again presents itself: how do you heat your home comfortably without running up a fortune in energy costs? There are a number of ways to save energy, from annual furnace tune-ups to investing in a more efficient unit. But one of the simplest, most cost-effective energy-saving techniques may surprise you: use ceiling fans to warm your house more efficiently.
Ceiling fans use very little energy and are great for keeping cool during the summer. Though it may seem counterintuitive for colder weather, these fans can actually help warm you up. Ceiling fans don’t actually blow cold air; they merely recirculate the air that’s already in the room. In the summer, fans blow air down, creating a windchill factor, but in the wintertime, reversing the blades’ direction pushes warm air instead.
Most ceiling fans today are made with toggle switches to control the direction your fan turns. In colder months, set your fan to run clockwise, and put it on the lowest speed. The fan will then create an updraft, sending cool air up, which displaces the warm air and forces it down to the lower levels of your home. To make sure it’s running correctly, stand underneath the fan. Since air is flowing up, not down, you shouldn’t feel any breeze.
As the warm air is forced downwards, your house will heat more evenly and become comfortable more quickly. You’ll use less heat overall and reduce your home’s energy consumption by up to 10 percent.
Keep this in mind too if you have a two-story home. When you turn your furnace on, heat can build up on the upper floors for quite a while before the ground floor begins to feel the effects. And since most houses are regulated by a single thermostat (generally on the lower level), the top floor of your home can end up much too hot before the ground floor is comfortable. In addition to being inconvenient, this is also a tremendous waste of energy. But a ceiling fan mounted just above your staircase can help.
For more energy-saving tips and advice regarding ceiling fans, contact the experts at Sobieski Services.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wilmington, Delaware and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: Steve A Johnson