Having a central air conditioning system or window unit helps keep your home cool in summer, but the cost of running these can be high, especially during heat waves. You can lower your energy use and utility bills by putting your ceiling fans to use. These fans can provide you with improved cooling efficiency, even on the hottest summer days.
Use fans in occupied rooms only. Ceilings fans will keep you and your family cool, but they don’t actually lower the temperature in a room. Save energy by only running these fans in rooms that are occupied. Shut them off when you leave the room.
Run fans in a counterclockwise direction in summer. When it’s hot out, make sure your ceiling fans are running in this direction, which will produce a draft that helps you stay cool. When it’s cold out, you can run your fans in a clockwise direction to help push warm air down into the room.
Turn your thermostat up. Ceiling fans provide enough cooling efficiency to allow you to increase the temperature on your thermostat while still feeling comfortable. In fact, you should be able to turn your thermostat about 4 degrees higher in summer when you have ceiling fans running.
Choose fans with larger blades. If you’re having new ceiling fans installed, consider choosing fans with larger blades. These blades are able to cool you off more when fans are on a slower setting, since they’re big enough to move a larger amount of air around.
Switch to energy-efficient ceiling fans. If you have older ceiling fans, save energy by installing ones that are certified by the federal Energy Star program instead. These fans typically move air about 20 percent more efficiently than regular ceiling fans.
At McCoy’s Heating & Air Conditioning, our goal is to help our customers in the West Tennessee area learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.