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Use Ceiling Fans to Reduce Cooling Costs

Here’s the thing, summers throughout the United States can be extremely hot. Air conditioning and forced air ventilation cost a lot of energy to run. Sometimes it just isn’t economical to run the air conditioner for a change of only a few degrees in ambient temperature. At this point, it’s best to bring out a fan. Using floor fans, desk fans, or ceiling fans in your home can offset the heat by enough to drop your monthly cooling bills substantially.

What Fans Don’t Do

Unfortunately, there’s a little bit of misinformation circulating about fans. You see, fans don’t actually cool down your room. This is pretty obvious when you recall outdoor fans on patios and decks. They don’t cool down the outdoors, but it does feel cooler when a fan is running.

Oddly enough, fans actually raise the ambient temperature of the room, ever so slightly. The motor used in a fan generates heat, and fans are not capable of cooling down a room, only shifting the air around inside. So it’s best not to leave a fan running when you aren’t in the room. A circulating fan with nothing to cool off will only make the room imperceptibly warmer and waste energy.

What Ventilation Does

Here’s what a fan actually does. Evaporation, which removes heat from a surface as water evaporates from it into the surrounding air, is aided by circulating air. In fact, evaporation is partly how your air conditioner works in the first place, with heat being exchanged in an evaporator as air is forced over the evaporator coils. With a fan, the air itself is not cooled down, but the surface temperature of the objects in the room decreases in temperature.

Everything on Earth is covered in a thin film of water. There’s even a small amount in the air in deserts. As air circulates, it evaporates this water, which takes heat energy to finish the transfer of water into the air. Heat is pulled from the surface, leaving things cooler than they were. This is why drier air feels cooler than humid air as well. Dry air helps with evaporation, since water can move freely. In high humidity, evaporation is partly blocked because the air is saturated, minimizing the cooling action of a simple breeze.

So while fans help to circulate the air, balancing the temperature in a room so it’s the same everywhere, they aid in evaporation. You can actually have a room that is much warmer than is comfortable, turn on a fan, and that room is now perfectly comfortable because of this cooling action. This will save you money because it means you can reduce how often your air conditioner runs. A change of even a few degrees on your thermostat can save you hundreds of dollars per year in cooling costs depending on the size of your home and the weather that year.

Get More Out of Your Fan

So how can you maximize the effect of a ceiling fan? Well, first off, DC motors in fans (which are more expensive during the initial purchase) are more energy efficient. It’s a one-time purchase as opposed to paying more every time the fan is turned on.

Additionally, buy a dehumidifier for the room. Reducing the humidity, as we’ve said before, aids in evaporation which will help you cool off easier. Plus, you get the added benefit of making it more difficult for mold to grow. Usually your furnace or air conditioner would be reducing the humidity in your home, but if you aren’t running them, a secondary dehumidifier will be beneficial.

Ceiling fans are especially useful. They take up no floor space, can be paired with a light kit, and have multiple settings for comfort. They can also be factored into any existing home control systems with a little extra effort.

Cassel Home Comfort Heating & Cooling is committed to being your best HVA/C contractor choice in Central Illinois in both Value and Customer Service! Call us to maintain your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in the Champaign, IL area: (217) 866-1596.

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