Can Fans Help Achieve Cooling Savings in Summer?

cooling savingsSummer’s the season to think about cooling savings while still maximizing indoor comfort. Cutting air-conditioning costs is more important than ever. As a national average, air conditioning accounts for 17% of household electricity costs. In hot and humid locales, however, keeping the AC running makes up more than 25% of total electricity expense. It’s not hard to see that effective measures to reduce AC power usage can make a meaningful difference in the household budget.

One option to cut electricity expenses and achieve cooling savings without sacrificing comfort is ceiling fans. The first electrical device patented specifically for indoor cooling, ceiling fans were common in American homes by the 1920s. These slow-spinning fans with big, paddle-style blades take advantage of the fact that moving air over the skin makes a person feel anywhere from 2 to 6 degrees cooler, even though the air temperature hasn’t actually changed. This phenomenon, which is a summer version of winter’s windchill effect, occurs because exposure to moving air evaporates perspiration and disperses body heat more rapidly.

Big Blades, Lower Costs

  • A standard-size central air conditioner consumes (on average) about 3 kilowatts of electricity and costs about 36 cents of electricity per hour.
  • A typical ceiling fan uses only 33 watts, and the electricity to run it costs two to three cents per hour, depending on local rates.

The Fan/AC Combo

The main advantage of ceiling fans is their role as an adjunct to an existing central air conditioner in operation. Running a ceiling fan along with an air conditioner allows a homeowner to bump the AC thermostat setting up as much as 5 degrees, thus achieving cooling savings without compromising the perception of coolness in a room. This reduction at the thermostat reduces AC operating costs accordingly.

Getting Size Right

For best results, ceiling fans should be sized to the room where they will be installed. This sizing calculation includes blade size, rotation speed, and the square footage of the room to select the most effective and energy-efficient model.

Contact NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating for more information about cooling savings with ceiling fans.

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