Try These Five Tips for Using Ceiling Fans Along with Your AC 

If your goal is to keep cool without racking up your energy bills, you’ll probably rely on your ceiling fan a lot this summer. A common approach is to operate a fan without AC until it gets extremely hot, then switch the fan off and run the air conditioner in its place. This is a mistake! Having the ceiling fan and air conditioner together is the best way to maximize comfort and energy savings. 

It may seem unnecessary to pursue two cooling methods at once, but fans make your air conditioner more efficient. Follow these five tips to help you get the most from your cooling system this summer. 

Install a Ceiling Fan 

First things first—if you don’t already have ceiling fans throughout your home, look into installing some. You should be able to swap out any light fixture in the center of the room for a quiet, efficient and eye-catching ceiling fan. 

Keep in mind that ceiling fans work best when the blades are seven to nine feet above the floor, 10 to 12 inches from the ceiling, and at least 18 inches from the walls. This means your ceilings must be at least eight-feet high, and rooms with vaulted ceilings might not benefit the same amount. 

As you might imagine, longer fans can move more air than smaller ones. Opt for a 36- to 44-inch diameter fan for rooms up to 225 square feet and 52-inch fans for larger rooms. You can also install multiple fans in a row to cool rooms longer than 18 feet. 

Determine the Fan’s Direction 

Ceiling fans can work in both directions. Make sure yours is set to spin counterclockwise in the summertime. This forces air downward to make the breeze appear more apparent. 

If you’re not sure whether your fan is rotating the right way, flip it on and stand directly beneath it. If the breeze appears weak for how fast the blades are rotating, you probably need to reverse the direction. 

Some fans have a remote control, especially if they’re installed on a vaulted ceiling. Check for a button on the remote to change the direction. If your fan doesn’t have a remote, feel around the motor housing for a reversing switch. 

Ceiling fans can spin both ways because pushing the air upward is useful for lowering heating bills in the winter. So when the seasons change, set your fan to turn clockwise and run it on low to disperse warm air near the ceiling back toward the living space without creating a breeze. This technique is particularly beneficial in stairwells and rooms with vaulted ceilings. 

Turn Up the Thermostat 

You must adjust the thermostat to enjoy energy savings from running a ceiling fan in the summer. Don’t worry about feeling uncomfortable—the “wind chill” effect produced by running a ceiling fan makes the room appear about 4 degrees cooler. This concept, which can make winter cold miserable, is the key to home comfort and energy savings in the summer. 

If you normally keep your house at 75 degrees, consider setting the thermostat to 77 or 78 degrees to make up for the wind chill effect produced by running a ceiling fan. Then, adjust your outfit to increase your comfort level even more. Dressing for the season allows you to maximize comfort while lowering cooling costs

Turn Off the Fans in Unoccupied Areas 

It’s a common misconception that ceiling fans lower the temperature in the room. Sure, they make you feel cooler, but all they do is shift air around. As a result, there’s no reason to keep a ceiling fan running in an unoccupied room. Fans might cost pennies on the dollar to operate compared to air conditioners, but every little bit counts, so turn off the fan if you’re the last person to leave the room. 

Watch Your Energy Savings Grow 

If you follow the tips outlined above, you could notice a reduction in your air conditioning bills throughout the summer. After all, you can save up to 3 percent on your cooling costs for every degree you raise the thermostat. And by enjoying the wind chill effect created by the ceiling fan, you can experience savings without sacrificing comfort. 

Keep Cool with Help from A-Plus 

Clearly, you shouldn’t underestimate the impact ceiling fans can have on your home comfort during summer! If you need air conditioning services at any point, turn to A-Plus to resolve your problem quickly. Our technicians can help your air conditioner work as effectively as possible, ensuring it works in tandem with your ceiling fans to keep your home and family comfortable for less. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with the HVAC pros at A-Plus. 

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