Do ceiling fans help air conditioning efficiency? | Hunter Fan

Do ceiling fans help air conditioning efficiency?

  • Sarah Villane

Do ceiling fans help air conditioning efficiency?

When temperatures rise in the spring and summer seasons, the only thing on your mind is cooling off. Many homeowners keep their ceiling fans on until it gets hot enough to turn the AC on. Then, they may turn off their fans and rely solely on their air conditioners to keep their homes comfortable.  However, there’s a more efficient way to keep cool without having to set your AC so low. 

Using your ceiling fans and AC unit simultaneously can help save you money in the long run. As long as you use your ceiling fan properly, it can help with your annual cooling costs while maintaining the comfortable living conditions you want.  

Let’s break down how ceiling fans can help keep you cool in your home and reduce your energy bills.  

How Ceiling Fans Work

Unlike air conditioners, ceiling fans don't actually lower the temperature in a room. Instead, they offer a "wind chill effect" that helps you feel cool from the breeze brushing against your skin. For a ceiling fan to be effective, you must be able to directly feel the evaporative and convective airflow created by the fan.  

Do Ceiling Fans Help Air Conditioning Efficiency? 

Yes, as long as your ceiling fan is set to spin in the right direction, it can increase air conditioning efficiency and help reduce how much you spend on your monthly electric bills. Depending on the time of year, you should set your ceiling fan direction to clockwise or counterclockwise.  

During summermake sure your fan is turning counterclockwise so it creates a downward draft and circulates the cool air around you. If your fan blades are turning clockwise, simply turn off the fan and flip the switch on the fan body (or push the button on your ceiling fan remote) to change the direction the blades spin 

Diagram of how ceiling fans work in relation to the direction the blades are moving.

This way, your fan can work with your AC by providing cooling airflow throughout the space, and you don’t have to keep the thermostat temperature set as low.  

How to Use Your Ceiling Fan to Cool Your Room 

Keep in mind that ceiling fans are designed to cool people, not rooms. For that reason, you never need to run ceiling fans in empty rooms. Since fans don't actually lower room temperatures, running them when you're not in the room will just waste money and energy. If you run your fans when you're in the room and turn them off when you leave, your comfort level shouldn't be impacted.

Ceiling fans can help with cooling costs. In fact, according to the Department of Energy, "Ceiling fans allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F without impacting your comfort." 

Many people bump their thermostat up when they’re away from home and then lower it back down when they return. Now, instead of turning the air down when you come home, you can keep it at the same temperature and turn the fan on to feel just as cool. 

So, how do ceiling fans help with cooling costs, exactly? Let's do the math.  

Based on the information provided by the DOE, we can calculate that you save approximately 1% on your cooling costs annually for every degree that you raise your thermostat for an 8-hour period. This means that if you raise your thermostat 1°F each day for the entire day, you could see an estimated 3% savings on your cooling bill each yearFollowing that logic, if you were to raise your thermostat 4°F each day for the entire day, you could save approximately 12% annual savings on your cooling bill.  

If you have a Hunter ceiling fan with SIMPLEconnect technology, use your smart device to schedule your fan to turn on or off even when you're away from home. Use our smart ceiling fans along with a smart thermostat to program your fan speed and air conditioning temperature based on when your home, away, or asleep. Let the smart technology help keep you cool and save you money on your utility bills! 

How Much Money Can a Ceiling Fan Save You? 

Electricity rates vary in different parts of the country. Depending on how high you set your thermostat and use your ceiling fan in the room you're in, you could save approximately 12% on cooling costs.  

With over 100 million households in the United States, the potential to reduce energy consumption is only compounded. If all homeowners used ceiling fans to maintain a comfortable environment and raised thermostat settings by just 4°F during warmer weather, billions of dollars could be saved nationwide.  

Disclaimer: Individual savings may vary depending on geographic location, level of home insulation, and other influencing factors. 

How to Save Money with Ceiling Fans 

Now that you understand how much money you could save by turning on your ceiling fan, knowing how to use your fan to maximize your cooling comfort can be helpful. Follow these tips to save money with your ceiling fans: 

  • Use the appropriate ceiling fan direction for the warmer spring and summer months. 
  • Install the right ceiling fan size for your space to improve energy efficiency. 
  • Turn up your thermostat by up to 4°F. 
  • If the room isn't occupied, turn the ceiling fan off. 
  • Adjust the speed of the fan as needed to stay comfortable.  
  • Keep shades and curtains drawn during the day to block direct sunlight. 
  • Make sure your home is properly insulated and that windows are tightly sealed. 

In addition to offering energy efficiency, Hunter ceiling fans add a touch of sophistication and comfort to any space. Shop the selection of quality models available at Hunter to choose the right ceiling fans for your home. 

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