How Much Energy is Saved Using Ceiling Fans?

Ceiling fans are a positive feature to have in a home, especially if you want to improve air circulation. There are many styles available, so you should be able to find something that matches your decor. The wonderful thing about a ceiling fan is that it's also a good way to save energy.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when selecting a ceiling fan if energy savings are important to you.

How Ceiling Fans Save Energy

How exactly do ceiling fans save energy? First, fans can be used alongside air conditioning to save energy because when they are in use you can set the thermostat to a higher temperature. Using the air conditioning less will save you money overall.

Fans work by creating air movement which cools people in the house down by evaporating moisture from their skin. The cooling effect makes it possible to raise the thermostat.  

Every degree that you raise the air conditioning thermostat over 78 degrees saves about three to five percent on cooling costs each year. Keep in mind that you will not see any energy savings if you use the ceiling fan without raising the thermostat setting.  

Which Size is Right for You?

When shopping for a ceiling fan, you will notice that there are many different sizes available. The best size for you depends on the room you plan on putting the fan in. A smaller fan works well in smaller rooms, while a larger fan is needed in very large rooms. Longer rooms may need two fans at each end to adequately cool the area.  

Saving Money in the Winter

Many people do not realize that ceiling fans can also save energy costs in the winter. Reversible ceiling fans can save heating costs in the winter because they move hot air from the ceiling, pushing it down towards the floor. If you lower your thermostat while using a ceiling fan in such a manner, you can save a lot of money during the winter months. In fact, for every degree you lower the thermostat, you reduce heating costs three to five percent.  

Fans are very economical and efficient because they don't use any more electricity than light bulbs. For example, a 56-inch ceiling fan only uses 100 watts of power. A 36-inch ceiling fan uses only 55 watts of power. Depending on the size of your home, the type of fan you install, and your typical air conditioning and heating costs, it is possible to save several hundred dollars over the course of a year.

Most fans are relatively inexpensive to purchase, although you can find some models for more than a thousand dollars. There are many in home improvement stores starting at only $30, although you will probably want to purchase a model in the $100 price range. It won't take very long to recover the investment you make in the ceiling fan with the energy savings you accumulate over the years.  
Portable fans also save energy, especially if you set them in a window on a cold night to circulate air into your house.