- Ceiling Fans
- Central HVAC
- Dual Fuel Heating System
- Fireplaces & Woodburning Stove
- Geothermal Heat Pumps
- Whole-house Fans
- Window Air Conditioner
How They Work
When it's warm, the blades of a turning ceiling fan normally push air downward, causing cool air near the floor to travel outward and mix with air at the edges of the room. The process makes for more even cooling, and just the air movement in the room alone can make it feel cooler by four degrees or more! That means if you're using air conditioning along with your fan, you can set the thermostat at a higher than normal setting to save on energy.
If you use it in the summer, however, keep in mind that it does little good to run it when you're not around. The fan really isn't cooling the room. Like a breeze on a hot summer day, it's the blowing air moving across your body that makes you feel cooler.
The same cooling effect caused by blowing air currents keeps many people from using their ceiling fans in winter. But most fans have a switch on the motor housing that changes the direction in which the blades turn. Instead of forcing air downward, the blades will push air up toward the ceiling, where hot air normally rises, and drive it back down around the edges of the room. That can result in more even heating. And better heat circulation will help to combat the problem of sweating windows that some homes experience in the wintertime because of condensation on the glass.
It's Your Money
Ceiling fans can help solve other cold weather problems as well. For example, some two-story houses have open stairways. Since heat rises, the upstairs can get hot, while the downstairs -- where the thermostat normally is -- can stay cold. As a result, the furnace can run more often and heating is uneven. But mounting a ceiling fan at the top of the stairway will mix the air more evenly, making the house much more comfortable and cutting down on heating costs.
It's another example of how -- in summer and in winter -- fans can help you increase the comfort of your home while you decrease your monthly energy bills. So, remember in the summertime make sure your ceiling fan is operating counter-clockwise and in the winter make sure it is operating clockwise to maximize your energy dollar.