Installing Energy Efficient Ceiling Fans

Installing Energy Efficient Ceiling FansA ceiling fan is a valuable accessory to your cooling and heating system. First installed in homes nearly 100 years ago, ceiling fans were the original air movers. Today, they keep the house more comfortable at lower cost in summer, plus give your furnace a helping hand in winter, too.

As the fan circulates air downward, it enhances the sensation of cooling for occupants of the room without actually lowering the temperature. This permits a higher air conditioner thermostat setting—and accompanying reduced energy costs—without any loss of comfort. In winter, the ceiling fan changes rotational direction and pushes hot air accumulating at the ceiling down into the room to keep occupants warmer.

Purchasing the most efficient fan depends on two specifications: size and efficacy. “Size” refers to blade diameter. Larger diameter equals more air movement. Residential models range from 24 inches to 60 inches. Generally, rooms up to 75 square feet require a 29-inch to 36-inch fan for adequate air circulation while rooms up to 144 square feet need 36-inch to 42-inch blades.

To evaluate ceiling fan efficiency, also consider efficacy: how many cubic feet of air it moves per watt of electricity consumed (cfm/watt). The Department of Energy’s Energy Star guidelines utilize these standards to rate ceiling fans:

  • At low speed setting, a fan should move a minimum of 1,250 CFM at 155 CFM per watt.
  • At medium speed, a fan should move a minimum of 3,000 CFM at 100 CFM per watt.
  • At high speed, a fan should move a minimum of 5,000 CFM at 75 CFM per watt.

Optimize your use of ceiling fans by remembering this critical fact: A ceiling fan only enhances the perception of coolness or warmth. Therefore, there is no advantage to running the fan when nobody’s in the room. In fact, energy wasted from doing so can negate savings gained from operating the fan when people are actually there to enjoy it.

Ask the pros at Paitson Bros., your home comfort experts since 1922, for more information about the comfort and efficiency benefits of a ceiling fan.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana 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 Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay”

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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