Are Ceiling Fans Energy Efficent

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ARE CEILING FANS GOOD FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY?

Oh, sure, a ceiling fan is attractive. Walking into a room with a big fan slowly turning majestic blades—well, it can feel a bit like stepping into an old movie. The fan turns, a few distorted shadows are cast by the rotation, and a breeze moves ever so softly.

It seems that Humphrey Bogart can’t help but casually stroll out with his hand in the pocket of his white suit. 

Yes, attractive is nice, but installing a fan is a big project. We want to know it’s going to be worth it. 

THE FAN THAT’S WORTH IT

We can’t just go out and grab any old fan, hammer it to the ceiling, and expect it to reduce our energy bill. There are a few things we need to be aware of while purchasing our fan, in order to get the most out of it.

The fan should—

Have blades that are appropriate for the room. Some of this will be a matter of taste, of course. If you want a fan in your bedroom and you’re having hot flashes at night, you might want five long blades, no matter what size the room is. Normally, however, a small room is fine with three foot blades. A large room would do better with five-foot blades.

Turn clockwise or counter-clockwise, with an easy-to-access switch

Hang at least a foot from the ceiling, to ensure full circulation of air all around the fan

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HOW CAN THE CHOICE OF CEILING FAN SAVE ENERGY?

Good-sized blades are sure to move the air around sufficiently in a room. 

Being able to reverse the direction of the blades means the fan is useful in all seasons. In the summer, there can be a soft breeze moving, helping people take advantage of their natural ability to cool. In the Fall and wintertime, when the fan is switched so it moves the air upward, people feel heat circulating. 

Having the fan hang a foot down and be as far as possible from the ground helps with the stirring up of the air. 

To close either way, and the air won’t circulate quite as well.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN DOLLARS AND CENTS?

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.  Is a ceiling fan going to save a person any money? Say they used a fan instead of air conditioning. Is there any difference in cost? 

The average cost of an air conditioner for a month is about $100. Of course, that is give or take, depending on the size of your dwelling, and how well insulated it is.

The average cost to run a ceiling fan is around $1.00 a month.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Will a fan keep you as cool as AC in places that get extremely warm?

No.

Will a fan be a good supplement, so you don’t have to run AC “full blast” like you ordinarily would?

Yes.

So, are ceiling fans good for energy efficiency?

Yes, because you can turn down the air conditioner, and also use the fan during the winter.

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