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How to Properly Use Ceiling Fans to Lower Your Heating and Cooling Bills

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for those cool, crisp, fall weather days to arrive! I am ready to snuggle down under a cozy blanket and have to wear a jacket at a football game. For now, however, I will turn the ceiling fan on high and sit under it and dream of cooler weather.

Since we have the promise of cooler weather ahead, here are some pointers for how to save some money on your heating and cooling with the use of your ceiling fans.

Did you know that a ceiling fan could help with both heating and cooling your home? The average ceiling fan set at high speed will consume about 75 watts of electricity compared to 2000 watts for an air conditioner or 750 for a small electric heater.

Many people are aware that turning a ceiling fan on while you are in the room will help make it feel cooler. This is referred to as the wind chill effect. The fan does not actually change the room temperature, but the moving air makes your skin feel cooler. So, it is important to remember to turn the fan off when you are not in the room to help keep energy costs lower. During the summer months, your fan should be moving counterclockwise to maximize the cost saving power. The fan will create a breeze allowing you to set the thermostat a couple of degrees higher and still be comfortable. In the warmer months of the year set your fan to a higher speed to increase the wind chill effect. Several studies by University Extension offices have found that ceiling fans can help save up to 8 percent in cooling costs.

A ceiling fan can help homeowners stay warmer during the colder months. Flipping a switch on the fan, allows it to move the opposite direction, clockwise, and now circulate air without creating a breeze. The fan will push the warm air that has risen to the ceiling down and help balance the room temperature. The fan should be set at a lower speed during the cooler months. Most people do not want a cool breeze blowing on them when it is cold outside. You might find it beneficial in a two story home to install a fan at the top of the stairs to help push warm air back down to the lower level of the house.

To maximize the effect of a ceiling fan in a room, you need to make sure you select the right fan for the job. When choosing a fan, keep the size and purpose of the room in mind. A 36-inch fan will have a 6 foot cooling radius. The larger 48-inch fan can cool up to 8 feet. If you are in need of even more cooling power, a 56-inch fan can reach 10 feet. It is recommended that a ceiling fan hang between 10 and 12 inches from the ceiling. With vaulted ceilings try to hang the fan 8 to 9 feet above the floor for the best results.

It is our goal at 1st AC and Heating Services to help keep Austin residents and their neighbors in surrounding areas comfortable in whatever weather we are experiencing. Please keep us in mind for all your air conditioning, heating, and HVAC needs.

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