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Using Ceiling Fans to Save Money and Energy
The New York Times published a piece entitled,"The Unchilled Life: Breezing Through the Recession Without Air-Conditioning" touting the benefits of life without air conditioning. The majority of those interviewed found their (often recent) conversion to the AC-free life at times difficult, but ultimately rewarding. The folks featured found that they lost weight, spent more time with their families, and saved a bunch of money (one family estimates $2,100 last summer alone) by making the switch.
Hey, we are not saying you should get rid of your air conditioner, leave that up to the folks who are tough enough to weather the heat. But the once wimpy ceiling fan, second class to the powerful A.C. is proving its been sorely underestimated. Direct Buy Lighting sells many low cost ceiling fans, in addition to high-end ceiling fans, that help cut energy bills while adding to the ambiance of a room. The use of a ceiling fan reduces the amount of energy consumed in a home by allowing the homeowner to increase the thermostat in the summer months, and lower it up to 10% during the winter months. This can lower your energy bill up to 40% in the summer!
Ceiling fans make a room feel cooler during Summer.
Although they don't actually change the temperature of a room, they make it feel cooler by moving the air. Blades of a ceiling fan run counter-clockwise causing a downward draft – think of the effects of a cool breeze. Air that's moving, even just a little bit, feels 4-8 degrees cooler than stagnant air. The air moving across your skin evaporates moisture on the skin, otherwise known as a wind chill effect. In essence, this wind chill effect makes us "feel" like the air is much cooler than it actually is by cooling off the body temperature.
During the hot and often sticky summer months, operate the ceiling fan blades to turn in the normal direction (counter-clockwise), and that usually will make you feel up to 8 degrees cooler. This means that in a room with a stifling temperature of 78 degrees which is not very comfortable, the use of a ceiling fan - such as the Monte Carlo ceiling fans on the left - could increase comfort levels by making the room feel like a cool 70 degrees.
However, make sure to turn your thermostat about 4 degrees higher! A recent study of 400 homes by the Florida Solar Energy Center found that ceiling fans actually increase energy bills if they aren't used properly; it took about 15% more energy to cool the house. By raising the A.C. thermostat, you won't experience a loss in comfort with a ceiling fan making the warm air seem cooler.
Portable fans save energy too.
In the spring and fall when the night is cool, use a portable fan in your window to blow cool air into your house either late at night or early in the morning. And if you add a fan to an opposite window and placed near the ceiling to push air out, you will have a nice cooling draft.
Ceiling Fans actually make a room feel warmer in the Winter.
Here's why:When operated in the clockwise direction, on a low speed, a ceiling fan creates a gentle upward draft. This circulates the hot air that often gets trapped at the ceiling from a space heater or heating stove. The upward flow of air from the ceiling fan pushes the warm air down from the ceiling toward the room's occupants making your feet feel as warm as your neck. In rooms with cathedral type ceilings or high ceilings, the use of a ceiling fan can provide even, comfortable heat throughout an otherwise uncomfortable room. Heat rises – so as the ceiling fan pushes it down into the living space, it will register on your thermostat and your furnace won't need to come on as often. Don't forget to lower the thermostat by 3-5 degrees. Without a ceiling fan pushing the warm trapped air down, the ceiling of a room would be 15 degrees warmer than on the floor. This can save the average American household an additional 10% on heating costs during the winter months.
Here's what Jaccquelin, a long time customer has to say:
"When it comes to running my energy costs, Ceiling Fans cost a a lot less to run compared to air conditioners (efficient, Energy Star approved, in Power Saver mode). The electricity consumed by operating a ceiling fan is pennies per month when compared to dollars a month for a modern efficient air conditioner. What this means in dollars and cents is that you can garner a savings of about 25% on your cooling costs. Translation: for every degree you raise the air conditioning thermostat, you can save anywhere from 7 percent to 10 percent on your cooling costs. But when it comes to running costs. My A.C. uses an average of 1000W during a typical summer night (more when it's cooling, less when it's just fanning, but about 1000W overall) -- my new ceiling fan uses 24W on high-speed. If we run the ceiling fan or A.C. for 8 hours at night, for 4 months a year - that's 960 hours. For the A.C., 1000W = 1kW, so we'll use 960 kWh. For the ceiling fan, we'll use 24W (0.024kW), so we'll use 23kWh. At our rate of $0.173/kWh, we'll spend: $167 for the A.C. but only $4 for the ceiling fan."
Make sure to turn off your ceiling fan when you leave the room to optimize energy savings. Assuming you don't have pets that wander throughout the house, you can do all that with a motion-sensor wall switch that automatically turns the ceiling fan on and off when you enter and leave a room.
Looks like its time for ceiling fans to get a new rep! After trying out your new ceiling fan, come back and post a review about it to let others know what you think.
Direct Buy Lighting - About the Author:
Direct Buy Lighting has over 25 years experience in lighting homes and businesses. We may be a little biased but we believe there is nothing that beats lighting's transformative powers in the decor of any room. It's all about the details.
What sets us apart from the rest is that we take our customer's needs personally. We know every customer has their own agenda in design, with different personal taste, functional requirements and budget when it comes to choosing a light fixture. Of course, no matter who you are, we know only the best will do. That's why we sell only high quality lighting brands like Hinkley Lighting, Murray Feiss, Quoizel, Maxim, Kichler Lighting and many more lighting companies that create lights that dazzle in both function and design.
Our goal is to help make the often overwhelming world of lighting simpler and easier for you, providing you with the information and resources you need. Above all, no matter your budget, to provide you with a lighting fixture that you will be happy with for years to come.