Can having a ceiling fan cut down on electric bills? Many ceiling fan companies say that they can, but let’s take a look at the facts and see what they show us.
AC is the largest consumer of energy in your house, it can represent up to or more than 25% of your home’s energy usage, and costs an average of $0.36 per hour. A ceiling fan, costs about $0.01 per hour of usage and so if using the ceiling fan to cut down your AC usage works, it would save you quite a bit of money per year.
Ceiling Fans Can and Cannot
First of all, let’s examine what a ceiling fan cannot do: a fan will not cool your room, they will make your room feel cooler, but the temperature will remain the same. This only works if you are actually in the room, if you have a ceiling fan on in another room that you aren’t actually using, this will only cost you electricity and has no cooling benefits.
That said, if you are in a room, the US Department of Energy states that combining a ceiling fan with AC results in being about to raise the temperature 4 degrees without your comfort level changing.
Fans will work best when:
- They are larger fans, because they can move air more effectively.
- They have a great Energy Star rating, the box that the fan comes in will typically have this rating posted on it.
- They are installed on an eight foot or taller ceiling and are about 1 foot away from the ceiling.
- Your windows have curtains and blinds to cover them to allow less sun in during the summer months. During the winter, you can open the window coverings during the day to allow the warmth in and shut them at night to keep out the cold.
To wrap up, here are a few tips for cutting energy usage with the help of ceiling fans:
- Raise your AC thermostat by 4 degrees
- When you’re home, keep your fans on but only in rooms that you are currently using. Switch the fan off when you leave the room (if this is difficult for you, then you might consider home automation solutions)
- For winter, use the switch typically located on the side of the fan motor to reverse the ceiling fan rotation. This will move cooler air up and push warmer air down.