Use Your Ceiling Fans This Summer for Energy Savings
Many homeowners run into a serious conflict in the summer. They have to make a choice between comfort and energy savings. When it’s sweltering outside it takes self-control to keep yourself from lowering the thermostat when you get home.
No one should suffer through the summer, and if you have ceiling fans you don’t have to forgo comfort in exchange for a lower utility bill. The Department of Energy estimates that using ceiling fans properly can make it feel up to four degrees cooler inside. That’s a huge difference when the AC is constantly running. In some homes, using fans instead of lowering the temperature reduces energy use by 30%.
Let’s go over how and why your ceiling fans help you feel cooler when it gets hotter outside.
The Wind Chill Effect Explained
Most people know that a fan is used to help it feel cooler both inside and outside, but a lot of people don’t know what causes that reaction. It’s something called the wind chill effect, and it’s possible because of how our bodies work.
The wind chill effect doesn’t just happen with fans. It’s actually a natural weather phenomenon produced by the wind. You’ve probably heard your local meteorologist mention the wind chill while reporting the weather. That’s because wind chill affects how cool it feels outside in addition to the temperature.
When the wind is blowing or a fan is going it feels cooler due to the air moving across your skin, which may be covered by minuscule beads of sweat. It causes the exposed skin to lose heat. The faster the air is moving the quicker the skin is cooled down below the air temperature. Once that happens your body will feel cooler without the temperature dropping,
That’s why you should turn on the ceiling fans and get the air moving rather than bumping the thermostat down a few degrees and using more energy.
Optimal Ceiling Fan Use in the Summer
Now that you know how fans work to cool you down let’s go over the optimal settings for the best use during the summer. That starts by making sure the fan blades are spinning in the right direction.
Fan Blade Direction
Fan blades can spin both clockwise and counterclockwise. The direction makes a huge difference in how the fan moves air. Remember, the wind chill effect is all about cool air moving across your skin.
Cool air is heavier than warm air. If you were to do a temperature reading at the ceiling it should be slightly higher than a temperature reading done at the floor level.
When a fan is spinning counterclockwise it pushes air downward and creates a downdraft that circulates the cool air below. But if the fan is spinning clockwise it will push upward and circulate warm air around the ceiling making it feel warmer.
Ceiling fans have a switch on the motor housing base that allows you to select the direction. Typically, putting the direction switch in the down position makes the blades spin counterclockwise. When in doubt, consult the owner’s manual for your ceiling fan model.
Here’s the thing about saving energy by using fans. If you leave fans on 24/7 you’ll waste energy and won’t see the expected savings.
Fans only move the air around in a limited space – basically the room they’re in. The wind chill effect only happens when people are in the room to feel the moving air. If a fan is going with no one in the room it’s wasting electricity. You have to get in the habit of turning fans off when no one is in the room, just like the lights.
Keep your fans going all summer long with reliable power from Major Energy. Our fixed-rate energy plans give you price stability during the hottest months so you don’t have to worry about skyrocketing utility bills. Check to see if Major Energy plans are available in your neighborhood.