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How Ceiling Fan Usage Can Help (Or Hurt) Your Energy Usage

ceiling fan What? A blog post about ceiling fans when it’s only 40 degrees out this week? Why would we be talking about ceiling fans?

We get it, this isn’t a normal topic of conversation this time of the year, but it could be. As a comprehensive HVAC and indoor air quality service company, we’re always happy to share efficiency and money saving tips with our clients year-round. And there’s one service our Deer Park, WA electricians can help you with, that will benefit your energy usage and HVAC efficiency—and that’s the installation of a ceiling fan.

Fans Help the Cooling Process

Most homeowners are well aware that fans help with cooling. There’s a fan within your air conditioning system that helps with this process. The fan alone doesn’t keep you cool, however. A ceiling fan can’t do this either. There are a number of components within your AC system that work together to bring you comfort during the warmer months, such as:

  • Refrigerant, which transfers heat form inside and releases it outdoors.
  • The indoor coil, which absorbs heat and cools down.
  • A compressor that adds pressure to the refrigerant to allow it to do it’s job.

Without these components all working together to do their job, all a fan can do on its own is recycle warm, stale air that’s already there in your living space. A fan isn’t capable of doing anything but move air around. So why are we discussing it? Because when used in combination with your HVAC systems, that’s all it needs to do.

How Ceiling Fans Help Supplement Cooling in the Summer

Ceiling fans allow your air conditioning system to do a better job of evenly distributing the conditioned air. They’re highly useful since they spread out the cool air you’re already getting from the cooling system, which in turn helps the system shut off sooner. As a result, it doesn’t have to work as hard as it would otherwise have to over the course of the summer season, and you’ll see a decline in your energy bills.

As we mentioned above, ceiling fans by themselves can’t cool down your home. They make you feel cooler, however, because they help sweat evaporate from your body with ease, which is how humans naturally cool off. This is why we feel cooler if we’re standing in front of or directly under a fan, not because it’s actually cooling the air.

Does a Ceiling Fan Have Any Impact on Heating Efforts?

Yes, and that’s why we felt it was worth mentioning this time of the year. Your ceiling fan has a switch, probably located near the center of it, where the light fixture is. This switch changes the direction of your fan blades, and rather than pushing down cool air from your AC system, pulls up warm air to more evenly distribute it. Therefore, your heating system doesn’t have to work as hard.

Do Ceiling Fans Waste Energy?

When used in combination with your HVAC systems, ceiling fans help you save energy, and subsequently, money. That’s because you won’t have to have the temperature as low in the summer, or as high in the winter.

However, using a ceiling fan in an unoccupied room is actually wasteful, since as we mentioned above, a ceiling fan cannot bring the temperature up or down on its own—it only helps you to feel more comfortable. This is something to keep in mind when considering how to best save energy in your home.

ACI Northwest is here to help with your home comfort needs or concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact us for helpful advice.

 

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