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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How ceiling fans help save money on summer electric bills

The fiscal benefits of ceiling fans are greatest when they are used correctly, and shaped correctly. Using fans in tandem with air conditioners can reduce the amount of electricity needed to cool house and/or make the house comfortable to dwell in. While fans with a reverse function are common, they are only more useful in cooler climates because they push warm air down. In hot weather the reverse function is not really necessary.
Spining ceiling fans clockwise in winter helps keep warm air where it is needed
Spin ceiling fans counter-clockwise in summer for optimum cooling

While ceiling fans appear to be simple devices they actually are quite unique with their contoured blades, different materials, sizes, speeds and functions. All these factors influence how well a fan works and for what purpose. Also, the way a fan is used can impact cooling bills in conjunction with night time cooling techniques and lower air conditioning settings. For example, according to Ceilingfan.org, ceiling fans should spin counterclockwise in the summer to have optimum cooling effect. This is because a downward pushing of air takes place using this setting.


Some additional points on how ceiling fans save money are the following: 

• Pod shaped fan blades spun at 70-130 rpms can use less energy 
• A fan only uses a tenth of the power of an air conditioner.
• Ceiling fans spun clockwise pull hot air up cooling air below.
• The breeze from a ceiling fan helps one's cool off via sweat evaporation.
• The faster the setting of the fan, the greater the affect it exerts will be.
• Using only a fan saves electricity and money.
• At night cool the fanned air by opening windows if it is below 70 degrees Fh.

A ceiling fan can be a very useful amenity in a home and if your home has one it can help save money on the summer cooling bills. The above tips and following references, while not a guarantee of money saving and home cooling success, offer guidance as to some ideas to follow and practice when trying to save money while cooling a home. There is a good chance the above methods if followed consistently and correctly can help lower electricity expenses associated with cooling a house or room.

References:

1. http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/highly-efficient/radical-ceiling-fan-blade-mocks-nature-270103.php
2. http://www.advancedenergy.org/buildings/knowledge_library/heating_and_cooling/ceiling_fans.html
3. http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2007/06/save_money_with.html
4. http://www.allthingsfrugal.com/s.ceilingfan.htm

Image source: US-PDGov