Do Ceiling Fans Really Save Energy (and Money?)

Our customers are always asking us, “do ceiling fans really save energy?” We certainly understand the desire to save energy and money!

The answer is that they do, but only if you choose them well and use them right. Let’s look at using them first.

Using Your Ceiling Fan

A ceiling fan’s magic is in your ability to stay cooler in summer without blasting your AC somewhere around the “Arctic” setting. Set your thermostat about 5 degrees higher than normal or 10 if you can stand it. Then, let the fans circulate air to cool you down instead. You shouldn’t feel much of a difference in your comfort level, but you should see a big difference in your bill.

If you run the AC at the same temperature you always did and run the fans you just won’t save any money. You’ll actually spend more money because now you’re just running two appliances instead of one.

Once you’ve turned up your thermostat, run the fan on high on its “counter clockwise” setting for a cooler (cheaper) home during the summer.

Believe it or not, fans help in winter, too.Without them, warm air from your furnace will rise to your ceiling instead of helping you feel comfortable. You wind up blasting the thermostat just to stay warm. The fan combats this by forcing the warm air back down. We know it’s counter-intuitive to run a fan to get warmer, but it does work.

Buying the Right Fan

First you need to make sure the fan is big enough to handle the room that you’re in. Otherwise, you won’t really reap the benefits of having it.

Find out by measuring the longest wall in your room. If the longest wall is 12 feet or less then you’ll need a 36 inch or smaller fan. If the longest wall is between 12 and 15 feet long you’ll need a 42 inch to a 48 inch fan. A wall that’s any larger than that will require a 52 inch fan.

Second, you need to make sure the light fixture on your fan will take CFL bulbs. Not all of them do.

And, of course, for maximum energy savings you’ll need to make sure that your fan is an Energy Star fan so you can get the most bang for your buck.

How Much Can You Save?

You can save up to 40% on your energy bill by using ceiling fans properly. This shouldn’t be too surprising. If your energy bills are high, heating and cooling are usually the culprits.

Do you live in Chapel Hill, Cary, Pittsboro, or anywhere else in the Triangle? We install ceiling fans all the time! If you’re ready to save 40% on your energy bills, just give us a call today.

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