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This Ceiling Fan Myth Costs You $138 a Year

September 20, 2017

Ceiling fans are a great way to keep cool on the cheap.

Unfortunately, though, homeowners usually get it all wrong when it comes to using fans to their advantage. In fact, running fans in unoccupied rooms 24/7 throughout the summer can waste over $138 a year.

And it all comes down to this little ceiling fan myth: Running ceiling fans lowers the temperature of your home.

False. 

We’ll explain why this is an (expensive) myth and how you can use fans to your advantage and actually save money.

Note: We used Energy.gov’s appliance energy calculator to determine how much it would cost to run 4 high-speed fans 24/7 for the entire summer (120 days).

Ceiling fans don’t lower the temperature of your home

Ceiling fans don’t cool rooms, they cool people.

You see, a fan is designed simply to circulate air in a room. Unlike an air conditioner, a fan doesn’t actually remove any heat from the air.

So if your fan is just moving warm air around, why does it make us feel cooler?

Well, that perceived drop in temperature is called “wind chill effect” and it’s attributed to airflow over our skin. By creating a breeze, fans help sweat evaporate off our skin faster, which helps our bodies release heat. But that breeze doesn’t cool the actual room.

In fact, because its motor generates heat, running a fan in a closed room can actually heat up closed rooms. For example, if you were to run seven 60-watt fans for 24 hours, they would give off as much heat as running a hair dryer for 10 hours.

2 rules for using your ceiling fans correctly

The good news is that, when used correctly, ceiling fans can actually help you save money on air conditioning bills. 

Below are 2 foolproof tips on how to use ceiling fans to your advantage:

1. Use your fan and AC together to save money

Because running a ceiling fan makes you feel cooler, homeowners will find that they can turn up the thermostat in warm weather and still feel comfortable. 

In fact, according to Energy.gov, homeowners typically are able to raise the thermostat up 4 degrees and still feel comfortable when a ceiling fan is on in the same room. And the higher you set your thermostat, the less energy your AC consumes, meaning lower monthly energy bills.

2. Never run fans in unoccupied rooms

If a fan only cools people, running them 24/7 in unoccupied rooms is a complete waste of money. 

And given that the average Florida home has 4.3 ceiling fans, the wasted energy cost of running fans 24/7 (incorrectly) can quickly reach up to $138 a year.

Want more cooling tips?

If you’re looking for more efficient ways to cool your home, we’re always here to help.

Just contact us with your questions.

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