When considering ways to improve your home’s energy-efficiency, ceiling fans should come to mind. Ceiling fans are a great way to cool your home during the hotter months and circulate warm air during the colder months. They are relatively inexpensive, generally quiet, and they come in a variety of materials and styles to suit any décor, including some with light fixtures.
A ceiling fan is a cost-effective investment because it can work efficiently all year-round. The continuous movement of air in the home can affect the indoor temperature by up to 10%, which translates into money saving features for the homeowner. Most ceiling fans use about as much power as a 100 watt light bulb. This low wattage can save you up to 10% in heating costs and up to 40% in air conditioning costs!
Most ceiling fans are equipped with reversible settings that allow you to make adjustments in the air flow depending on the season. During the summertime, rotate the ceiling fan in the counter-clockwise direction to produce a cool breeze. The airflow produces a wind-chill effect, making you feel cooler by evaporating moisture from your skin. Since ceiling fans use only one-tenth the energy of air conditioners, you can turn up the thermostat on your AC to make up the difference. This will save energy while maintaining the same temperature; thereby, remaining comfortable for less money.
Because warm air is lighter than cool air, there are layers of air with varying degrees of temperature, the warmest air being near the ceiling. In the winter, reverse the motor setting and operate the ceiling fan in the clockwise direction to produce a gentle updraft. This forces the warm air near the ceiling to circulate down throughout the living space. As with the energy savings of air conditioners in the summer, the same principle applies to adjusting your thermostat in the colder months. You can reduce the house temperature and still maintain warmth and comfort.
You can also gain additional benefits by using passive techniques when using ceiling fans, such as windows coverings and planting shade trees near the house. These inert accompaniments can help you to further reduce your energy consumption and save you extra money.
When shopping for ceiling fans, look beyond the price since cheaper models may warp over time and have overly thin blades that can vibrate with an annoyingly noisy motor. Look for ENERGY-STAR certified fans because they are 20% more efficient than other standard models, they come equipped with variable speed controls and a motor rated between 80 and 120 watts. This rating is considered the gold standard for efficacy.
The size of the ceiling fan is determined by the size of the room that it will occupy. Also, the size is defined by the diameter of the blades, which generally range from 60 to 135 cm. For the most effective benefit that you can experience from ceiling fans, they should be hung from ceilings that are higher than 2.5 meters (approximately 8 feet). When they are mounted, they should hang at least 30 cm (approximately 12 inches) from the surface of the ceiling. You should also choose a fan with blades set at a 15-degree angle for optimum air circulation. Here is a guideline for choosing the right ceiling fan for your room:
Room Size – Ceiling Fan Size
- 75 sq ft – 29-36 in
- 76-144 sq ft – 36-42 in
- 145-225 sq ft – 44 in
- 226-400 sq ft – 50-54 in
If you want to get the most out of your ceiling fan for its energy-efficiency, there are really only a few simple rules for you remember:
- Purchase a fan with an Energy Star Rating
- Choose the right size fan for the room
- Install it properly
- Set the correct blade rotation for the season
- Adjust your home thermostat accordingly