Ceiling Fans Cool Air? Fact or Fiction?
There is a common myth that ceiling fans really can help cool your home. In West Michigan, the summers can be brutal, especially compared to the cooler temps we experience the rest of the year. Air conditioning is a great way to maximize total home comfort, but not every family can afford a central air conditioning unit. And even homes that have them can still feel the wrath of summer heat. There are many ways to combat the high temps, and our frugal friends often ask for ways to cool their homes while saving money.
This diagram shows what direction to have your ceiling fans pointed in depending on the season.
The Bottom Line: This myth is busted!
Ceiling fans cool people, but are not capable of cooling down the temperature of a room. While blasting a fan can make your skin feel some relief, it’s not changing the room temperature, rather it’s simply circulating the air.
Even though the overall temperature of a room isn’t changing, a fan is still a great way to redistribute the cooler and warmer air to make the “feels-like” temperature drop a few degrees. So it will help you feel more comfortable on those 80+ degree days.
How do ceiling fans achieve this?
This is twofold, first, since hot air typically rises, we often have the cool air near our feet and feel the warm air on our upper bodies. When you turn on your ceiling fan, the air shifts, pulling the cooler air up closer to your face and giving you some relief from the heat.
Secondly, the air movement also helps your sweat evaporate quicker, naturally cooling you.
Will using fans help save me money on those hot days?
Not necessarily. If you are trying to use ceiling fans in every room to avoid running your air conditioner and save on your electric bill, you might actually end up using more power. The trick to energy savings can come when you raise the max temperature on your thermostat (Smart Thermostats are great for scheduling different temperatures during the day) and turn on fans in rooms when they are being used to drop that “feels like” temperature. Just remember to turn off your fans when you leave the room.
How do I pick the best ceiling fan?
Make sure your ceiling fan has a high energy efficiency rating. If you’re looking to put in a new fan, look for one that can give you more air flow. Fans’ efficiency is measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm) of air flow per watt (W) of electric power. Look out for fans that can give you 100 cfm or more. Saving money on a cheaper fan could cost you more in electricity over the years. Especially with the cost of power on the rise, efficiency can be a key to saving money.
We hope you stay cool this summer, and we’re always here to answer questions or provide a quote for new air conditioners if you need one. For more information check out our Blog or Facebook page.
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