Throughout your life, you may have heard some people say that running your ceiling fans and air conditioner at the same time is a waste of energy. Many people view the AC and fans as separate air cooling devices that should be used as alternates to the other, but is that true? How do ceiling fans really contribute to air temperature and circulation? Is it okay to leave them running all day? My Guy is here to provide you with all the answers you need on ceiling fan efficiency.
Do Ceiling Fans Cool Air?
In plain terms, ceiling fans do not actually lower the temperature of air. The science behind fans is that they’re designed to use wind chill and the movement of air over skin to create an effect of cooler air. The perspiration that evaporates on contact with a breeze and the movement of air causes your body to feel several degrees cooler than the actual air temperature. So, no, fans are not a competing air cooling system in your home.
Should I Run My AC And Fans?
Because fans use air movement to make people feel cooler, it is beneficial to use them when the AC is running. With fans making people feel like the temperature is lower than it is, you can set your AC several degrees higher and expect no discomfort. For example, if you’d like your home to be 70 degrees, you can set your thermostat to 73 or 74 – and the added fan movement will make the air feel like 70 degrees. This saves your AC system from using more energy to make the air cooler.
When Should You Use Fans?
In addition to the wind chill effect, fans really do function to circulate air in a room. This is important in several ways – especially during extreme weather like summer and winter.
Summer Fan Use
During hot times of the year, the air movement caused by fans can be very important to the comfort of people in the home. The design of fans also serves to suck hot air up to the top of the room and circulate cool air to the bottom. This helps with the temperature displacement and helps the AC not work so hard.
Winter Fan Use
Some people might be unaware that using your fans in the winter can be just as important! Some fans are built to spin both clockwise and counterclockwise. The reason for this is because during the winter, when you reverse the spin of your fans, it allows the warm air to be pushed down toward the ground. In this way, fans can still make a difference to the comfort of people in the home without ever touching the thermostat.
During peak hours – roughly 3-9 p.m. – when the air is the hottest, keeping your AC unit on its regular cooling temperature is a huge waste of energy. The hottest part of the day will cause the AC unit to struggle and use up enormous amounts of energy to try and meet your demands. Instead, raise your thermostat up into the upper 70s and use fan circulation to fill the gap.
Leaving Fans Running
The number one rule when it comes to fans is: if no one is in the room, a running fan is doing nothing.
Fans can have a big impact on air circulation and perceived temperature, but that all depends on the people in the room to feel that air. Leaving fans running when there is no one to benefit from the air is simply wasting electricity. Also, most fans run on motors that produce heat when running. This heat is small, yes, but a room where a fan is left running is literally wasting energy and adding heat to your home.
Need More Tips On Conserving Energy?
My Guy Heating and AC is here for our community! We are dedicated to helping you conserve energy and save money when it comes to your appliance usage. If you have any questions about the most efficient AC practices, seasonal AC tips or anything else, call the best Escondido AC team around! We’d be happy to do an AC tune-up to ensure the highest efficiency!