Ceiling fans may not seem particularly powerful, but they’re powerful enough to hold down the high cooling bills Sarasota summers often bring. The wind chill effect they create lets you raise the air conditioner thermostat by about four degrees without feeling any less comfortable. Because a ceiling fan uses only as much energy as a 100 watt light bulb, you’ll see an overall reduction in your energy bills. As with any appliance, however, the amount of energy savings you get out of ceiling fans depends on the type you choose and how you use them.
Tips for Choosing and Using Ceiling Fans
- Get the right size – The larger the room, the larger the ceiling fan you’ll need. In a room of more than 225 square feet, you’ll need a 52-inch fan. For rooms of up to 144 square feet, a 44-inch fan will suffice. If a room is longer than 18 feet, install a fan on each end.
- Position them with care – For safety and optimal air circulation, install the fan so the blades are around 10 to 12 inches below the ceiling, 7 to 9 feet over the floor, and at least 18 inches away from any walls. If you have a high ceiling, look for a fan with an extended mount that brings the blades closer to the floor. For low ceilings, flush-mount or hugger ceiling fans can be found.
- Choose the right direction – The fan’s housing has a switch that changes the direction the blades spin. In summer, set the blades to spin counterclockwise when viewed from below. This blows air downward to create a cooling breeze. In winter, the blades should spin clockwise to help evenly circulate warm air.
- Use them when you need them – Fans cool you by blowing air across your skin, but they don’t cool the air itself. To save energy, turn fans off when you leave the room.
Need a little help choosing or installing a fan or finding other ways to lower your cooling bills? Contact the heating and cooling pros at Climatic Conditioning Co., Inc. in the Sarasota, Bradenton and Lakewood area.
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