As a homeowner, you already have to cope with a seemingly endless list of expenses, from lawn maintenance to electrical repairs. Each month a large portion of your income goes toward keeping your house running as smoothly as possible.
Though you may already know a few techniques for saving money, the way you use your ceiling fan could take your efforts a few steps further. The following tips and tricks, in particular, can help you maximise your fan's efficiency and reduce your energy usage in record time.
1. Switch the Spin Direction Each Season
Although many people assume they should only use their fans during the summer, you can make the most of your heating and cooling systems when you use your fan year round. But before you flip that switch, make sure your fan spins in the right direction for the season.
During the summer, your fan should run counter-clockwise to create a cooling effect. When it spins in this direction, your fan will push the air down toward you, improving air circulation and helping to disperse heat.
During the winter, you should set your fan so it spins clockwise. When your fan spins in this direction, it will draw the colder air upward and force the warmer ceiling air down toward you and your family.
2. Use the Lowest Setting Whenever Possible
When you feel hot and sweaty, you may prefer to feel a strong breeze blowing directly on your skin. Naturally, you may feel tempted to turn your ceiling fan to its highest setting to enjoy the cooling effect as quickly as possible.
However, your fan doesn't need to work at top speed to effectively promote air circulation. A slow-moving fan uses less energy, and a slower fan creates less noise as it cuts through the air.
3. Rely on Your Fan More Than Your Air Conditioner
The average fan uses less energy than a 100-watt light bulb, even at high speeds. If you set your fan to its lowest setting, it may use even less than a 25-watt light bulb.
When you use your ceiling fan, you can leave your thermostat at a higher setting during the summer and still feel comfortable. And though estimates vary, many experts agree that for every degree you raise your thermostat you can save as much as 3% on your utility bill.
But keep in mind that ceiling fans don't necessarily change the temperature in a room. Rather, they improve air circulation, making the room feel cooler than it actually is. So you'll want to strike a balance between your air conditioner and your fan to make the most of your savings. Whenever you leave the room, don't forget to turn off the ceiling fan to save electricity, and adjust your thermostat accordingly.
4. Install the Appropriate Size Fan and Blade Angle for the Room
Your adorable, trendy ceiling fan perfectly complements your bedroom's décor. But unless the fan is the right size for the room and set at the right angle, you'll ultimately pay more for electricity and you won't feel a noticeable difference in temperature.
As a general rule, a 111-centimetre fan works well for an average bedroom. Living rooms or great rooms will need a bigger 127-centimetre to 137-centimetre fan to work effectively. If you have an especially large room, you may need an electrician to install multiple fans to adequately cool a room.
Furthermore, ceiling fans come with a variety of blade angles that will affect their performance. If the angle sits below 12 degrees, it will provide little air movement; it will cut through the air without blowing air up or down. In contrast, blades with a 16-degree angle or higher will force a great deal of air toward you, which can seem overwhelming in certain circumstances. Ideally, look for a fan blade set at a 12- to 14- degree angle.
Talk to a Professional for More Efficiency Tips
The above tips can help you make the most of your ceiling fan and significantly lower your utilities when you perform them with care. However, your energy savings don't have to stop with these four tips. Talk to a professional electrician about more ways you can save money with your fan and reduce your heating and cooling usage.