We are still in the full swing of summer, being hit with relentless heat waves! For most, air conditioning is a necessary addition to keep cool over the summer. But for those without it, or those looking for a more cost-effective option, installing a ceiling fan can help save on long-term maintenance costs and utility bills. Air conditioners average around 3500 watts of energy to run, whereas a ceiling fan will average only 60 watts, even on high. This is a significant difference that over the course of the summer will save on your energy bills. While ceiling fans do not cool the air the way air conditioning units do, it does circulate air. This will create a breeze that will make the room feel cooler.
If you’re replacing a current light fixture in your home with a ceiling fan, the first step is to determine what size of a fan you need to properly circulate air. The larger the room, the larger the fan you’ll need. Ceiling fans commonly come in three sizes: 36 inch diameter, 42 inch diameter, and 52 inch diameter. Small rooms under 12 feet will suffice with a 36 inch fan. Large rooms over 15 feet should use a 52 inch fan. Anything in between will appreciate a 42 inch fan.
When choosing a fan, also check the blades. In order to get well-circulated air, your blade angle should be at least twelve degrees. Ideally more. Also, because ceiling fans replace light fixtures, it’s usually a good idea to opt for the light assembly as well.
Installing a fan in place of an existing light is a project that you may be able to do yourself, however will involve some electrical work, and ceiling work. Because fans tend to be very heavy, it’s important not to install one without a brace inside the ceiling to hold the weight. You don’t want your fan to crash in on you! You can purchase ceiling braces with instructions for installation at a local hardware store. If any part of the process is uncomfortable, considering hiring a licensed electrician to install the fan for you.
During the summer, for maximum circulation, you can keep the fan on a higher setting. Newer fans usually give you a choice of counterclockwise or clockwise. Depending on the angle of your blades, one of these options should give you the best breeze. To determine, stand directly beneath the fan. You should feel a breeze almost immediately after turning it on. If you don’t, try the opposite direction. Fans aren’t just for summer, either! During the winter, it will come in handy to move heat throughout the house. Try the direction opposite of the one you chose for summer, and keep it on a low setting. To test this, stand near a wall. You should feel a gentle, warm breeze.
Keeping the air moving throughout the home is a good way to maintain temperature control while keeping your energy costs down. It also can provide an added aesthetic appeal to any design, and provide lighting. When choosing a fan, so long as you go in knowing what to look for, and with a plan for installation, you’ll find the process a simple, enjoyable one.