We’ve all heard that <a href="http://www.atgstores.com/ceiling-fans_83.html?linkLoc=topnav" target="_blank">ceiling fans</a> can help us lower our energy bills, but is it really true that something so small could have such a big impact? Well … yep.
It’s especially true if you use central air to cool your home in summer, but ceiling fans can also help save money in the winter, too. It’s all about physics, thermodynamics and a lot of other boring stuff that sounds way more interesting in list form. So …
Ceiling fans don’t really cool the air like A/C units do; they push air around to increase circulation. Even so, circulation can have a significant impact on a room’s temperature, which can in turn have an effect on how much money you spend to cool it down or heat it up.
To push (or pull) air effectively, though, ceiling fan blades must have a blade tilt of at least 12 degrees. Otherwise, your fan will behave more like a politician – by going around in circles without really getting anything done.
<strong>Blade Number </strong>
The optimum number of blades for an energy-saving fan is <a href="http://www.atgstores.com/4-blades-ceiling-fans_83.html?&option0=optionA=319012|31814~Valu" target="_blank">four</a> or <a href="http://www.atgstores.com/5-blades-ceiling-fans_83.html?&option0=optionA=319013|31814~Valu" target="_blank">five</a>, and there’s really not much difference in effectiveness between these two types beyond how they look. There are also <a href="http://www.atgstores.com/2-blades-ceiling-fans_83.html?&option0=optionA=319010|31814~Valu" target="_blank">two-</a> and <a href="http://www.atgstores.com/3-blades-ceiling-fans_83.html?&option0=optionA=319011|31814~Valu" target="_blank">three-bladed</a> fans on the market and they will definitely push air, but it’s arguable whether they will do it as well as a fan with more blades.
There is a limit, though. A <a href="http://www.atgstores.com/6-blades-ceiling-fans_83.html?&option0=optionA=319014|31814~Valu" target="_blank">six-bladed fan</a> is still going to work, but a seven-bladed fan is the fan world’s equivalent of a five-bladed razor. It’s something to talk about, but you don’t need it in your home.
Most ceiling fans spin in both directions with the flip of a small switch found on the base. One direction (usually counterclockwise) pushes air down into the room, while the other direction draws air up toward the ceiling. This is called downdraft and updraft, respectively.
Pushing air down is the most effective way to help cool a room in summer, and higher fan speeds will circulate more air. This means you’ll be able to turn down your A/C without a noticeable increase in room temperature, which will save you money.
A similar effect can be created in winter by turning the fan in the opposite direction at low speeds. Since warm air rises and cool air settles lower, the fan will help draw cool air up that will then push warm air down along the walls of the room, essentially putting it in a place where it can be enjoyed.
<strong>Energy (Money) Savings</strong>
So, how much can you <em>really</em> save? That depends on a lot of factors, but you can look at it this way:
The average central A/C unit uses 3,500 watts of juice when it’s on compared to a ceiling fan’s 60-watt output. So, if you can use your fan all day to cut back on just 30 minutes of run time on the A/C you will have saved money.
To put actual dollar signs on it, it costs an average of $0.36 an hour to run central air, and it costs $0.01 to run a ceiling fan for <em>three hours</em>. So, you can run your fan all day for less than a dime, which can easily help you save a dollar a day if it allows you to turn off your A/C for the four coolest hours of the day.
<a href="http://www.atgstores.com/" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> has thousands of ceiling fans that can help you save more money on your energy bill, and you’re invited to come and take one for a spin anytime.