The average household spends about $2,060 on energy bills every year. Air conditioning accounts for about 6% of this annual energy cost. In total, homeowners in the U.S. spend over $11 billion per year on powering their air conditioners.
Fortunately, it is possible to reduce your air conditioner’s energy usage by installing an energy efficient fan. An energy efficient ceiling fan uses less energy to perform the same tasks as a standard ceiling fan.
Using an energy efficient fan can save energy, lower your monthly utility bills, and reduce your carbon footprint. How much can you save? How can you find the right fan for your home? Here’s what you need to know:
How Much Can You Save With An Energy Efficient Fan?
Energy efficient ceiling fans are designed with more innovative blade designs and efficient motors than standard ceiling fans. As a result, an energy efficient ceiling fan is up to 60% more efficient than a traditional ceiling fan. This means an energy efficient fan will save you around $180 on utility bills over its 10-year lifespan.
Is An Energy Efficient Fan Right For You?
Ceiling fans are more energy efficient than other types of fans, but they aren’t right for everyone. According to the Department of Energy, a ceiling fan should only be used in rooms with ceilings that are at least eight feet high.
Once installed, the blades should be between seven to nine feet above the floor and no more than one foot away from the ceiling. The fan blades should not be closer than eight inches from the ceiling and 18 inches from the walls.
If your room does not meet these requirements, you may want to consider purchasing another type of energy efficient fan such as a window or tower fan.
Tips for Shopping for Energy Efficient Ceiling Fans
There are many different energy efficient fans to choose from, which can make shopping a little overwhelming. Follow these tips to choose the right one for your home:
- Look for the ENERGY STAR® label. The ENERGY STAR® label is only used on products that have met strict energy efficiency criteria. Any ceiling fan with this label is energy efficient, so it will not use as much energy as traditional models.
- Check the wet/damp rating. If you plan on using your new fan in a humid area such as a bathroom, choose one with a UL damp rating. If your new fan will be used outdoors, it may come into contact with water, so you should look for one with a UL wet rating. Fans with these ratings are specifically designed to withstand damp or wet conditions.
- Choose the right size. Most energy efficient ceiling fans range from 29 inches to 54 inches. Use these guidelines to figure out which size is right for your room:
- Rooms up to 75 square feet: 29- to 36-inch ceiling fan
- 76 to 144 square feet: 36- to 42-inch ceiling fan
- 144 to 225 square feet: 44-inch ceiling fan
- 225 to 400 square feet: 50- to 54-inch ceiling fan
Following these tips will ensure you choose the most energy efficient fan for your home.
How to Save Energy With An Energy Efficient Fan
Once your new ceiling fan is installed, there are certain things you can do to maximize your energy savings. Follow these tips:
- Run your ceiling fans year-round. In the summer, the fan’s blades should run in the counterclockwise direction. In the winter, reverse the direction of the energy efficient fan blades so they run clockwise. In this direction, the blades will pull cool air to the top of the room and force warm air down to the bottom of the room.
- Turn off ceiling fans in unoccupied rooms. If there’s no one in the room to cool down or warm up, there’s no reason for the ceiling fan to stay on. Keeping it on will waste energy.
- Adjust the temperature on your thermostat. If your ceiling fans are on, raise the temperature up by 4 degrees Fahrenheit. Your ceiling fans will keep you cool, so you won’t notice a difference in temperature.
- Use energy efficient light bulbs. Many ceiling fans are designed with lighting. If yours has lighting, make sure you use energy efficient bulbs. Ninety-percent of energy used by traditional light bulbs is given off as heat, which means it is wasted. Switch to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which last up to 25 times longer and use up to 30% less energy than traditional bulbs.
You can purchase an energy efficient ceiling fan for less than $100, which is a small price to pay to reap all of the rewards of living in an energy efficient home!