Virginia & Maryland Heating & Air Conditioning

How Ceiling Fans Help You Save Money on Energy Bills

With energy costs rising tremendously, it only makes sense that homeowners everywhere are looking for ways to save money on their electric bills. When you consider that roughly half of the energy the average American household consumes each year is dedicated to this cause, it makes sense that your HVAC system is a good place to start.

What better way to save money on your heating and cooling costs than to turn the system off completely, right? Sure this can save you money, but within an hour or two you’ll find that you’re extremely uncomfortable with how hot or cold it is in your home—or perhaps even less if it’s the middle of summer or winter. So that solution doesn’t exactly make sense. Fortunately, there’s one that does: install a ceiling fan.

Ceiling fans add a touch of personal style and décor to any room you install one in, but they also have a particularly useful function: keeping rooms comfortable without the need for your heating and cooling system to run as hard. This allows you to save a good amount of money on your energy bills without sacrificing your comfort.

How It Works

Have you ever sat in front of a desk or standing fan and noticed how much cooler you felt? This is because the air flowing over your skin is literally removing heat from your body, giving you that cool and comfortable feeling. This effect is magnified if your skin is wet from water or sweat through a phenomenon known as “evaporative cooling.” A ceiling fan works exactly the same way: by creating air currents in the room you’re in, the air will constantly be moving over your skin, removing the heat and helping you feel cooler and more comfortable.

Now there’s something you need to know: a ceiling fan does not actually make the air in the room cooler. In fact, over time, it will continue to warm up. This means two things: first, you won’t be able to turn your air conditioner completely off, but you will be able to turn it up several degrees without noticing any substantial change in comfort, and second, a fan left on in a room that nobody’s using will do absolutely nothing but waste energy. But that being said, a fan could help put a substantial amount of money back in your pocket by simply allowing you to run your air conditioner less throughout the summer.

Keeping You Warm in Winter

What about winter time? Nobody likes standing in front of a fan during winter, so how do they help you there? Simple: there’s a small switch on the side of a fan’s motor housing which controls the fan’s spinning direction. By flipping this switch so the fan is in reverse, the fan will suck air from the lower points in your room up to the ceiling, which in turn forces the warm air that’s stuck at the ceiling level back down to the lower levels. As a result, your room stays at a warmer, more even temperature and you get to enjoy more of the heat you paid so dearly for. Just make sure you dust off your fan blades before you do—you don’t want to send any accumulated dust flying about the room when you first switch the direction.

Another way to improve your air conditioner and furnace’s energy efficiency is to have your system maintained by a professional Sterling HVAC expert from Donmar Heating & Cooling! Call us today at (703) 457-8676 to r­equest an appointment today.
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