If you're a homeowner in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz area, you know just how much running your air conditioner daily can cost. That means that you, like most area residents, are probably always on the lookout for effective ways to keep your energy costs under control. Increasing your home's cooling efficiency is the key to doing that, and ceiling fans can help.
How Ceiling Fans Can Improve Cooling Efficiency
Rooms with a ceiling fan installed have better airflow, distributing cool air produced by the A/C system more efficiently. That increased airflow also creates a wind-chill effect, which helps people feel cooler at higher temperatures. That effect makes it possible to turn the thermostat temperature setting down by as much as 4 degrees with no decrease in comfort, which means less running time for your A/C and energy savings for you.
However, there are a few things you should know in order to maximize the benefits of ceiling fan use. Firstly, these fans can only be safely installed in rooms that have ceilings at least 8 feet high. Secondly, size matters when your goal is improved cooling efficiency, as does proper fan placement.
For rooms up to 225 square feet in size, install a fan that is 36 to 44 inches in diameter. Larger rooms will need fans that measure at least 52 inches. Rooms that measure more than 18 feet in length will need more than one ceiling fan. For the greatest increase in cooling efficiency, ceiling fans should be placed with their blades between 7 and 9 feet from floors, 10 to 12 inches from ceilings and 18 inches from walls.
Lastly, make sure you're installing energy-efficient fans. Look for fans with the Energy Star label, since certification by the federal Energy Star program means that they'll use an average of 20 percent less energy than the typical ceiling fan. Additionally, once you've installed your fans, make sure you're turning them off in unoccupied areas, since fans primarily cool people, not rooms.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).