Air conditioners in Kansas have a hard job, trying to combat our intense summer heat. Unfortunately, they can also lead to some uncomfortably high summer electric bills. But you can take a load off your A/C – and put some money back in your wallet – by making good use of your ceiling fans.
Contrary to what some people believe, air conditioning did not make ceiling fans obsolete. Air conditioners and ceiling fans actually work quite well together, with each making the other more effective and efficient.
Though air conditioners literally change the temperature within your home, fans simply change the way that temperature feels on your skin. It’s exactly the same as the wind-chill factor outdoors; no matter what the temperature is, it will feel cooler if you have a breeze blowing. Ceiling fans allow you to create a cooling breeze inside your home.
Since the wind-chill effect gets stronger as the air gets cooler, an A/C system actually makes fans more effective than they would have been before the invention of air conditioning. On average, the wind chill from a ceiling fan makes a room feel about four degrees cooler than it actually is. That means you can set the thermostat four degrees higher without feeling any warmer. Since your air conditioner then doesn’t have to cool down your house as much, it will use less electricity and experience less wear and tear.
Ceiling fans do use electricity, but require far less than an A/C system. You can maximize your savings by using your fans wisely.
- Only turn on a fan when you’re in the room. Unlike air conditioners, fans provide instant cooling; the room will not be any cooler if you leave the fan running all the time.
- Choose efficient Energy Star-rated fans.
- Most fans are reversible, so make sure yours are set to blow the air downward during the summer. (You can reverse the fan’s direction during the winter, and also save on your heating bills.)
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ceiling fans and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.