How You Can Start Cutting Your Home's Energy Consumption this Earth Day
And save money while you're at it!
SUMMER ENERGY SAVINGS
Simply put, a ceiling fan helps your air conditioning work more efficiently to cool you down.
Chances are when the temperature begins rising each spring, you turn on your ceiling fan before your air conditioner. But when the real heat arrives, you turn off your ceiling fan and switch to AC.
And you probably give yourself a little pat on the back for not wasting energy running your fan when it's not necessary. Not so fast!
Though it may seem unintuitive at first, running your ceiling fan and air conditioning simultaneously can be more energy-efficient and help save you money in the long run.
Here's how it works:
A ceiling fan doesn't actually lower the temperature in a room. Rather, it helps circulate the air around your room. This creates a "wind chill effect" that cools you down. Just as the wind makes you feel cooler, the breeze caused by your ceiling fan brushing against your skin makes you feel cooler.
To get slightly technical, the breeze from the fan accelerates the evaporation of sweat from your skin, which is how you eliminate body heat. The faster the evaporation, the cooler you feel.
The energy net result. Less electrical power is needed to keep you feeling comfortable in your home during summer, and you save money on your AC bill.
WINTER ENERGY SAVINGS
Your ceiling fan should spin counterclockwise to keep you cool on a warm day. This is because a counterclockwise spin combined with the fan's blade pitch generates a welcome downdraft breeze.
In the winter, however, ceiling fans should be set to spin clockwise to create an updraft. Why? Remember, warm air rises, so you'll generally get a pool of warm air collecting near your ceiling, particularly if you have a high or vaulted ceiling.
You've paid good money to warm this air, and now it's gathered high up above, contributing little to your comfort and well being. But an updraft will help move it around the room, putting it to better use.
As this warm air circulates, it will come into contact not only with you but also with your thermostat, thereby reducing the amount of time your heating unit runs.
The energy net result. Less energy, whether gas, oil or electricity, is needed to keep you feeling comfortable in your home during winter, and you'll save money on your heating bill.
When not to use your ceiling fan to cool your room
Since fans are designed to cool people, not rooms, there's no upside in running your ceiling fan when you're not in the room. An air conditioner is different because it actually cools down the air in the room.
So don't waste your money, or place an extra burden on the environment, by running your ceiling fans unnecessarily. Instead, turn them off when you leave the room and back on when you reenter.
How much do ceiling fans help cut cooling costs?
According to Natural Resources Canada, when you combine ceiling fans with air conditioning in your home, you can set your thermostat two degrees higher and get the same cooling effect. Plus, you reduce your air conditioning costs by about 14%.
If you have a smart ceiling fan, you can use your phone or tablet to turn your fan on or off even when you're away from home. Better yet, you can combine smart ceiling fans with a smart thermostat to program your fan speed and air conditioning temperature based on daily schedule – when you are home, away or asleep.
How much can you save by using a ceiling fan in your home?
Electricity rates vary in different parts of the country. Depending on how high you set your thermostat and how you use your ceiling fan in the room you're in, you could save approximately 12% on cooling costs.
Learn more by talking to a ceiling fan expert. Contact us today!