Fans have been making hot weather more bearable for centuries. They create a wind chill effect that makes you feel more comfortable. And they work just as effectively in your home—even if it’s also cooled by natural ventilation or air conditioning.
Since some rooms in your house can be 15 degrees warmer at the ceiling than at the floor, ceiling fans are considered the most effective fans. They circulate the air in a room to create a draft and can reduce the difference between the floor and the ceiling to only 3 degrees.
The biggest bonus? If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting 4°F with no reduction in comfort. For each degree the thermostat is lowered (and held there for eight hours), you can save about 1percent on your cooling costs.
- So if you were able to reduce the temperature by 4 degrees around the clock, you’d save about 12 percent on your cooling costs.
Here’s what to look for when shopping for a ceiling fan.
- Shop for an ENERGY STAR® qualified unit.
- Choose a fan that’s reversible and has more than one speed.
– It needs to be reversible in order to provide heat disbursement benefits in the winter.
- Check to make sure the blades are angled at least 10 degrees.
- Match the size of your fan to the size of the room. For rooms 12 feet by 12 feet or less, you can use a 36-inch or 42-inch fan. For rooms up to 12 feet by 18 feet, use a 48-inch or 52-inch fan. If the room’s bigger than that, you’ll probably need at least two fans.
- Purchase a fan that is UL listed with a “damp” rating if placing it in a bathroom or other humid location.
But don’t forget to turn off fans when you leave a room; fans cool people, not rooms. It’s our skin that makes the wind chill effect work.
Idaho Power’s Home Products program pays cash incentives for purchasing ENERGY STAR qualified household products, including select ceiling fans, appliances and light fixtures. To learn more, visit idaho power dot com slash home products.