The ceiling fan was actually the first residential HVAC technology. As electricity became common in houses at the beginning of the 20th century, ceiling fans quickly gained popularity among homeowners. The graceful slow-spinning blades provided coolness and air circulation at low cost. Today’s energy-efficient ceiling fan is even more useful as an energy-efficient and economical adjunct to your home’s cooling and heating system.
In summer, the gentle motion of air created by ceiling fans creates the perception of coolness for occupants in a room. This small-scale version of the “chill factor” that makes a windy winter day feel colder than it actually is allows you to bump the A/C thermostat up a few degrees without any loss of comfort. Every degree you raise the thermostat setting saves about 4 percent in cooling costs.
During winter, ceiling fans redistribute warmth to reduce the furnace heating load. Heat naturally rises and accumulates at the ceiling. Ceiling fan rotation can be reversed in winter to blow upwards, continuously recirculating the accumulating layer of hot air at the ceiling back down into the room to keep occupants comfortable without raising the furnace thermostat setting.
Two specifications help you select the best ceiling fan for your household:
- “Size” refers to blade diameter. The larger the diameter, the more air the unit moves. For a 75-square foot room, a 29-inch to 36-inch diameter is suitable. Rooms as large as 144 square feet will require at least a 48-inch blade diameter.
- Efficiency of a fan is rated by cubic feet of air (CFM) moved per watts of electricity consumed. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Star rating sets these standards to designate optimum efficiency: At low speed, the fan should move 1,250 CFM at an efficiency of 155 CFM per watt. At medium speed, the fan should move 3,000 CFM at 100 CFM per watt. At high speed, the fan should move 5,000 CFM at 75 CFM per watt.
For more about the year-round benefits of a ceiling fan, in Greater Cleveland ask the home comfort professionals at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues. For more information about ceiling fans and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or give us a call at 440-345-8795.
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