How to Properly Use a Ceiling Fan to Reduce Your Utility Bill All Year Long

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How to Use a Ceiling Fan When It’s Cold

Did you know that you can save money on your winter heating bills with the help of your ceiling fan? Well, that is IF you’re lucky enough to live in a home with a high ceiling and IF you don’t mind the draft.

Here’s how it works:

If you live in a 2-story home or a home with a high ceiling (12+ feet) you can take advantage of the fact that heat rises and use your ceiling fan to push the hot air back down into the room. In order to do this, you must be sure that the blades are rotating in the proper direction. You’ll want to double check the literature that came with your specific ceiling fan, but in most cases, your ceiling fan should rotate clockwise in the winter and counterclockwise in the summer.

You can change the direction the blades rotate via a switch that is usually present on the housing of the fan. If your fan doesn’t have a switch to change direction, then you’ll have to manually adjust the blades themselves. Some newer ceiling fans come with remote controls or even apps that allow you to do this with the convenient push of a button.

By recycling warm air in this way, you might be able to turn the thermostat down in the winter and enjoy some savings. It all depends on your fan, your home, and your comfort level.

Please note: If you’re going to be occupying the room while the fan is on, then you’ll fall victim to the wind-chill effect of moving air and actually feel colder which, unfortunately, defeats the entire purpose. Please take this into consideration before turning on your ceiling fan in winter.

If you’re lucky enough to live in well-designed, energy efficient home, then using your ceiling fan in winter could save you as much 10% off you winter heating bill.

If your home does not have a high ceiling, then you’re best leaving the ceiling off because the warm air being pushed back down is negligible and it may even cost you more money because the fan is consuming electricity.

How to Use a Ceiling Fan When It’s Hot

The explanation for how a fan saves you money in the summer is simpler than that for winter; the wind-chill effect makes you feel cool—end of story. Or is it?

A fan blowing air onto your skin does, in fact, make you feel cooler, but this does not help save you money if you’re not mindful of its use. In fact, using a ceiling fan can actually cost you money.

For example:

If you turn the fan on, but don’t bother turning the thermostat up, then you’re wasting money on the electricity that the fan is consuming (up to $75 a season). If you don’t want to turn the thermostat up, then consider leaving the fan off. Either way, I recommend walking around naked.

If you leave the fan on while you’re not in the room, then once again, you’re wasting money on the electricity the fan is consuming. Remember, fans circulate the air but don’t change its temperature; “fans cool people, not rooms”. If you’re going to utilize a ceiling fan during the summer, then you should try to be in the habit of turning it off when you leave the room. And no, a motion sensor is not a solution because the sensor is always on and consuming electricity, a great deal more than you might think.

If you’re lucky enough to live in well-designed, energy efficient home, then mindfully using your ceiling fan could save as much 10% off your summer cooling bill.

Even if you don’t live in an ideal home, you can still realize some savings, 4% – 8%, if you still want to use your air conditioner and up to 75%+ if you don’t.

Bottom Line

Ultimately, there are so many variables that can affect your heating and cooling costs that’s impossible to say for sure whether or not you’ll save money, or exactly how much you’ll save. In some cases, the savings might be significant and in others negligible. You’ll have to take in consideration your own circumstances and decide for yourself if it’s worth it or not.

Thank you for reading stranger! I wish you comfort and prosperity the whole year through!

How to Properly Use a Ceiling Fan to Reduce Your Utility Bill All Year Long

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