Fans have been used for centuries to create air-flow and comfort humanity during hot weather. Do you know that if used properly, fans may also comfort during cold weather? It’s true! Hot air rises. This is a fact and an attribute of nature, of which most people are already aware. Of course, during warm/hot weather, we want the hotter air to rise above us. When it’s cool/cold, we want that warmer air closer to the ground, which we habitually occupy. Ceiling fans can help us to maintain this “comfort zone”.
A good ceiling fan, when properly used and maintained, can also alleviate heating and cooling costs in one’s home. With the rising cost of fuel and energy, this is most desirable to many people. And for those concerned about our environment, sensible usage is an important factor in cutting down on the consumption of energy sources which may contribute to the pollution of our planet.
One can, realistically, save between $13 and $24 (USD) annually on utility bills, plus the savings on air conditioning and heating costs gained when a ceiling fan is properly installed, maintained, and used. A good quality ceiling fan will use up to 50% less energy that a conventional fan, thereby cutting back on overall energy usage.
It is important to use the right size and model of fan in a room to receive the maximum benefits with the minimum energy usage. There are many name-brand websites, as well as independent dealers, online to do comparison shopping. Having stated that, the Environmental Protection Agency promotes the “EnergyStar” program, which focuses on using products specifically manufactured for more efficient use of energy. For EnergyStar Qualified ceiling fans, visit http://www.energystar.gov and type in “ceiling fan” in the search browser located in the upper right-hand corner of the site. This will direct you to specifications and a link for the EnergyStar Qualified Ceiling Fans, along with other pertinent data for determining which ceiling fan(s) may be right for your home. You will also find, toward the bottom of the webpage, links for ceiling fan installation and tips for the do-it-yourselfers among us.
A quality installation is just as important as the quality of the ceiling fan(s) which you choose. If you have any doubts about your own ability to do a top-notch installation, seek out a certified electrician to do the job for you.
Now, how does one attain both comfort and cost efficiency with the use of ceiling fans? Once you have chosen, purchased, and installed your fan(s), use these guidelines:
Summertime – Set your fan(s) for counter-clockwise rotation to “pull” the warmer air toward the ceiling of the room. By drawing the warmer air up, and causing it to be replaced by cooler air, one’s thermostat will register a cooler temperature in the room, thus causing the air conditioning unit to operate less, thereby saving on energy consumption.
Wintertime – Set your fan(s) to a clockwise rotation to “push” warmer air down from the ceiling and “force” it to mingle with the cooler air closer to the floor, thereby warming the ambient temperature of the room. This, in turn, enables one to lower the thermostat and still ensure that the area which most of us occupy in a room is at a comfortable level.
In conclusion, by following the information in this article, one can see an appreciable difference in heating and cooling costs. And one can have more “control” over one’s indoor environment, with proper use of ceiling fans. Plus, one can be satisfied in knowing that we are helping to protect our environment by using less polluting energy sources.
One further footnote for DIYers: installing >ceiling fans does not necessarily include, nor preclude, the consumption of alcoholic beverages. However if one wishes to imbibe during the installation, it is most advisable to do so only while watching a qualified electrician do the job.
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