19 Apr How to Use a Ceiling Fan to Reduce Energy Costs
Ceiling fans, when used properly, can reduce energy costs. Even if the fan only allows you to make small adjustments to your thermostat, the energy savings can still be significant. The energy consumption of an average ceiling fan at high speed is about 75 watts; compared to an air conditioner which may consume 2,000 watts and a small electric heater consumes 750 watts.
The amount of money you can save with a ceiling fan depends on numerous factors, including the size of your home, your climate, your primary heating and cooling systems and the cost of electricity in your area. Various organizations have published reports that you can use as guidelines. For example, The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities reports that a ceiling fan uses about 90% less energy than an air conditioner. Read the report.
Ceiling Fans in Summer
Most people are aware that a ceiling fan can make a room comfortable in warm weather but a ceiling fan does not actually reduce the temperature of a room. The fan creates gentle air movement that allows people in the room to feel cooler and more comfortable. This means that a ceiling fan provides little or no benefit when the room is unoccupied. Also, you should locate the fan so that you regularly feel its breeze. The fan will be less effective if it is installed in an unused part of a room or is attached to a very high ceiling.
Ceiling Fans in Winter
Experts disagree about the benefits of operating ceiling fans during colder months. Some fans are designed for both counterclockwise rotation (“forward mode”) and clockwise rotation (“reverse mode”). In reverse mode, air is forced up toward the ceiling. In theory, this warms the room by circulating warm air near the ceiling down toward the floor, and if the fan is on low speed, it will not create an uncomfortable breeze. This technique should be helpful in certain situations, such as when a room with a very high ceiling is heated by a wood stove. In other circumstances, the energy savings may be insignificant.
Selecting a Ceiling Fan
You need to choose a ceiling fan according to the size and purpose of a room. The cooling effect of a typical 36-inch fan extends about 6 feet from the center of the fan, and the range of a 48-inch fan is closer to 8 feet. A high-end 56-inch model can reach out to 10 feet. If you want your fan to cool an entire room, you need to match the fan size to the room size. A smaller fan may be perfectly adequate in a large room, however, if your normal activity takes place directly under the fan — for example, you could locate a fan over the table in a dining room or over the bed in a bedroom.
The average replacement cost of a ceiling fan is $175.00
The average cost of a newly installed ceiling fan is $295.00
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