Can Ceiling Fans Really Improve Cooling Efficiency?

Can Ceiling Fans Really Improve Cooling Efficiency?A ceiling fan can give a much-needed cooling boost to your home during warm weather. Every air conditioner has finite cooling efficiency built into it. It is what it is — for better performance, extra help is required. Ceiling fans were the first home cooling device, dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. Now available with high-tech motors that sip electricity and efficient blades, ceiling fans play a role in 21st century cooling, too. Here’s how it can help your A/C do a better job.

Why it Works

We all know that a windy winter day feels more chilly than a calm day, even though the temperature’s actually the same. That’s a result of the chill factor: moving air feels cooler because it disperses heat from your body more effectively. A ceiling fan works the same way. By circulating air downward in an air conditioned room, the perception of coolness is enhanced even though the actual temperature is not lowered.

Ceiling fans allows you to bump the A/C thermostat up a few degrees without paying any penalty in comfort. You’ll pay less in cooling costs, though — for every degree you can move the thermostat up, you consume less electricity and lower monthly bills result.

Two Caveats

  • To get the benefit of ceiling fans in summer, rotation of the fan blades must be properly set. At the switch on the side of the fan motor — or on the remote control — set rotation to the counterclockwise direction or “summer” mode. When the fan is correctly set, you should feel a noticeable downdraft of air when standing directly underneath it.
  • Since ceiling fans only enhance the perception of coolness for humans and pets — without reducing the actual room temperature — leaving a ceiling fan running in an unoccupied room serves no purpose and simply wastes electricity.

For professional advice about installing a ceiling fan to increase comfort and lower cooling costs this summer, contact Powers Heating & Air.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “eak_kk/Pixabay”

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