When you come home, you expect your castle to provide a cool welcome. That's what AC is for, but your energy bill keeps rising when the temperature gets out of control. Ceiling fans are an inexpensive home improvement fix for when the weather is hot but not too hot. They won't give your home an Arctic chill, but they lower the cost of staying cool, and that makes sense (and cent$!). If you've only thought of ceiling fans as stylish vintage decor, it's time for a second look.
Ceiling Fans Save Dollars and Cents
An overhead fan should keep you comfortable enough to lower your summer thermostat setting by about 4 degrees. The lower setting can reduce your climate control costs by about 8%. The little daily savings quickly add up to dollars.
They Cool Your Body, Not Rooms
Fans perform a minor cooling miracle. When your ceiling fan circulates air, it feels like a gentle breeze blowing through the room. As Energy.gov suggests, fans "cool people, not rooms." Those swirling blades move the air around enough to evaporate the perspiration from your skin. That might be all you need to keep cool.
Energy-Star Rated Ceiling Fans Save Even More
If you plan to install a ceiling fan as part of your next home improvement project, you should shop for a fan with the Energy Star logo. That means they're certified to be 40% more energy efficient than non-certified fans. When you operate your fan, you'll use less energy, and that means saving more green. If you want to estimate your energy use for a fan or other appliance, check out the ES Appliance Energy Calculator.
The Bigger the Blade, the Bigger the Breeze
Bigger blades circulate more air. You can run your bigger fan at a slower speed and get the same cooling effect as running a smaller fan at a faster speed. If you go big, make sure it fits the room. You wouldn't want a huge fan overpowering the decor in your tiny bathroom. Energy.gov explains the recommended fan size based on room dimensions.
Save Cents in Winter Too
Fans have a directional motor switch. Turn it one way, and the blades circulate air to supplement your AC system. Flip it the other way during the winter, and it reverses direction. The change pulls heated air away from the ceiling and disperses it into the room.
Optional Fan Upgrades
Some ceiling fans have a center light fixture with LED and other light source options. You can operate the fan and light at the same time or separately. If your fan doesn't have a built-in light, you can buy a kit and do the upgrade yourself. If you want to save on your energy, a ceiling fan remote gives you push-button feature control.
Three Blades Will Do
If your home improvement fan project calls for a sleek three-blade model, that's just fine. Fans with fewer blades look more modern and generate less noise. Three-blade fans also operate more efficiently, so your energy savings keep increasing.
A ceiling fan installation is a cost-efficient way to reduce your energy bills. They're economical too. You'll find plenty of ceiling fans beginning at around $100. If your home improvement plan calls for a high-end model, you'll find luxury fans around $2,000 and up. Of course, it will take you a while longer to recoup your costs.