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How Can Ceiling Fans Improve Cooling Efficiency?

Many people have the wrong idea about ceiling fans. They think they’re mainly for “improving air circulation” or “moving air around.” While these can be beneficial side effects of a well-placed ceiling fan, the technology’s main benefit is making the air feel cooler in an occupied room. This allows whoever controls the thermostat to turn up the temperature a a degree or two, without any loss of comfort. Doing this improves cooling efficiency while saving money on energy.

A ceiling fan doesn’t actually make the air cooler, however. The air moving across human skin creates a cooling effect without changing the temperature in a room. It’s just the summertime version of the wind-chill effect you experience in the winter when a stiff breeze can make 0 degrees Celsius feel like minus-4. To take advantage of improved cooling efficiency with a ceiling fan, make sure the switch on the fan housing is set so the fan blades rotate counterclockwise.

Benefits of Using Ceiling Fans

  • Energy efficiency is improved when you’re not running the A/C as often, as a result of the fans’ cooling effect. On a mild day, you may be able to avoid using the A/C altogether when one or more ceiling fans are operating.
  • Running your air conditioning at a higher temperature also saves on wear and tear on the equipment. The less often it’s running, the longer the air conditioner will last without breakdowns or needed replacement.
  • There’s an environmental benefit to running your A/C less often, since the carbon dioxide released by the refrigerant in cooling systems contributes to the greenhouse effect.

Unless you’re careful, however, you will neutralize these benefits of using a ceiling fan. Running a fan in an empty room wastes energy and money without accomplishing anything. This is because the cooling effect of a ceiling fan is meaningless when nobody’s in a room to feel it. Just as you do with lights, get in the habit of turning off fans in empty rooms.

For more help improving comfort and energy efficiency in your Calgary-area home, please contact us at Arpi’s Industries.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ceiling fans and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide.

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