At this time of year, you’ll do almost anything to cool down. The heat can be stifling and oppressive. But did you know that one of the easiest ways to stay cool is also one of the summer’s best ways to cut your energy costs? That’s right. Installing a ceiling fan can save you 25% on cooling costs this summer.
How is it that a fan can save so much energy? The circulation of the air evaporates moisture from the skin and makes you feel cooler. It also allows you to raise the temperature of your thermostat, which saves you 7%-10% for each degree raised.
To determine what size ceiling fan you need to effectively circulate air, measure the room where the ceiling fan will be placed. Typically, fans should be sized as follows:
• Rooms 9x12 – 36 inch fan
• Rooms 12x15 – 48 inch fan
• Rooms larger than 12x15 – 56 inch fan
Flex Your Power’s website, (www.fypower.org), offers these tips on purchasing an indoor ceiling fan:
When shopping for circulating fans, be sure to test the fan for noise. Listen to the different qualities of each fan's sound. Fans also will be marked with their rated noise level, measured in "sones." Very quiet fans are rated at 1.5 sones. Some are so quiet, they're rated as low as 0.5 to 1 sones. A more expensive fan that operates quietly and smoothly will probably offer more trouble-free service than cheaper units. Check the noise ratings and, if possible, listen to your fan in operation before you buy it.
Look for the ENERGY STAR®. If the fan comes with a lighting system, be sure the lamps are ENERGY STAR® qualified.
Use advanced blade designs. Curved blades will move more air per minute than flat blades, and they accomplish this at lower motor speeds.
Fans work best when blades are seven to nine feet above the floor and 10 to 12 inches below the ceiling. Fans should be installed so their blades are no closer than 8 inches from the ceiling and 18 inches from the walls.
Larger ceiling fans can move more air than smaller fans. A 36- or 44-inch diameter fan will cool rooms up to 225 square feet, while fans that are 52 inches or more should be used in larger rooms. Multiple fans work best in rooms longer than 18 feet. Small- and medium-sized fans will provide efficient cooling in a 4- to 6-foot diameter area, while larger fans are effective up to 10 feet.