One of the most beneficial home energy savers throughout the year is a ceiling fan, which can circulate large amounts of air using the same amount of electricity as a single 100-watt light bulb.
The secret of a ceiling fan’s effectiveness is the wind chill it produces, which can cause a room to feel 4 or more degrees cooler than its actual temperature. This makes a ceiling fan a highly practical alternative to an air conditioner in warm weather, and an energy-saving complement to an air conditioner in hot weather. A ceiling fan’s wind chill effect can allow air conditioners to be set 4 to 6 degrees higher, for significant electrical savings. The wind chill effect only works when there are people to experience it, so power down the ceiling fan when no one is in the room.
Most contemporary ceiling fans come with a reverse switch for use during colder months. By reversing the direction of the blades, cold air is forced upward, while warm air, which has a tendency to gather at the ceiling, is forced back down into the room, placing less stress on the furnace.
When purchasing a ceiling fan, remember:
- The larger the blades of the ceiling fan, the more air it will circulate.
- The latest, aerodynamically designed fans feature curved blades, which circulate more air more efficiently, making operation at lower speeds more feasible.
- Before saying, "I'll take it," have someone at the store turn the fan on and listen for a while. Quieter fans usually are indicative of higher efficiency.
- The ENERGY STAR® label guarantees excellent air flow compared to the amount of electricity that will be used.