Can Your Ceiling Fan Really Impact Home Energy Efficiency?Just about anyplace you go these days, ceiling fans are spinning around above you, providing a cooling breeze. But they offer much more than a bit of cooling; they also can save energy in your home year round. So how does a ceiling fan improve home energy efficiency?

Most ceiling fans have a switch on the fan housing. Adjust it one way and the fan blades turn counterclockwise (as you look from below); adjust it the other way and they turn clockwise. For most ceiling fans, counterclockwise is the default setting, and the greater majority of people never adjust them again, even if they know about the switch. They may be unaware that a ceiling fan can help warm your house in the winter, when the blades are set for clockwise rotation.

Ceiling Fan Heating

Turning clockwise, the fan blades blow air upward in a room, forcing warm air that collects near the ceiling outward toward the walls and then down into the room. This warms up those lower areas where people congregate. The warmer air means the thermostat won’t trigger furnace operation as soon as it might have otherwise; hence, better energy efficiency and lower heating bills.

Ceiling Fan Cooling

Spinning counterclockwise, the fan blows air downward, creating a cooling wind-chill effect for anybody who feels the air movement. While this doesn’t actually lower the temperature, it does feel cooler, which amounts to the same thing. You can raise the A/C thermostat a few degrees without any loss of comfort. So here again, you get more energy and money savings.

If you leave ceiling fans operating in empty rooms, you nullify some of your energy savings. A ceiling fan’s cooling effect is instantaneous; leaving it on in an empty room doesn’t do anything but waste energy. Also, if you’re savvy enough to switch the fan operation for warming in the winter, don’t forget to switch it back to cooling in the spring.

For more information on how to save energy in your northwest Arkansas home, please contact us today at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ceiling fans and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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