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How Ceiling Fans Can Save You Summer Energy Dollars

With summer officially here, Texas residents are scrambling to find ways to stay cool while saving some cash. Believe it or not, a simple ceiling fan can make a big difference.

Why Ceiling Fans?

Ceiling fans spin in a circular motion, creating a wind chill effect that makes you feel cooler even though they don't actually change the temperature. The fan's draft helps the moisture on your skin evaporate quicker. Although pole-mounted fans, tables fans and floor fans can help cool you down, the U.S. Department of Energy says that ceiling fans are considered the most effective because the breeze can be felt throughout an entire room.

The benefits a ceiling fan has to offer also comes with less energy requirements. A typical central air conditioner uses up to 3,500 watts of energy and an average room unit uses up to 900 watts of energy. Ceiling fans use far less energy, with energy-efficient models stealing the show at an impressive 100 watts of energy. The wind chill effect produced from a ceiling fan will allow you to turn up the temperature on your thermostat about four degrees without causing you to feel any less comfortable.

In addition to their amazing cooling prowess, ceiling fans can help keep you comfortable in the winter, as well. When a ceiling fan is installed, it is usually automatically set to operate counter-clockwise, in cooling mode. But if you switch the button found on the base of the fan, it will rotate in a clockwise direction. When circulating at a low speed in the reversed direction, your ceiling fan will create a soft updraft that helps move warm, heated air down into your living space.

Choosing a Ceiling Fan

If you don't already have ceiling fans in your home, or if you're thinking about upgrading the ones you already have, you have the opportunity to install fans that are as energy efficient as possible. Fans that have earned the Energy Star designation are 20 percent more effective at circulating air than most traditional models are. In addition to energy efficiency, you should take the following into consideration when choosing and installing ceiling fans:

  • A ceiling fan that has a 36- or 44-inch diameter will work in a room that is up to 225 square feet, but a fan that is at least 52 inches should be used in larger rooms.
  • More expensive fans tend to be quieter, but you should pay attention to a fan's noise ratings and listen to it while it’s running, when possible.
  • Only install a ceiling fan in rooms that have at least 8-foot high ceilings. The fan's blades should be a minimum of 8-inches from the ceiling and 18-inches from the walls.

If it’s time to find other ways to stay cool while enjoying some hot savings, be sure to contact one of our Texas Air Comfort contractors. Just use the convenient tool at the top of this page to find pros in your ZIP code area.

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