As we enter into August, the extreme heat continues to place a strain on the Dallas-Fort Worth area air conditioners and many homeowners remain concerned with finding ways to cut their energy costs. There is one great way to do just that while still remaining comfortable in your home: use your ceiling fan!
It is no secret that moving air feels cooler. Your body cools itself in three ways – through convection, evaporation, and radiation and moving air helps keep you cool by speeding up the processes of both convection and evaporation.
Convection occurs when the air around your body is cooler than your body temperature. Your body cools itself by passing its heat to the air. But the air immediately around your body can then become too warm to continue to cool you off. A fan moves the warm air away from your skin and replaces it with new air, helping you feel cooler.
For water to move from a liquid to gaseous form, heat is required. Therefore, as sweat evaporates from your skin, it also pulls heat from your body and cools you down. Moving air (like the breeze created by a ceiling fan) increases the rate of evaporation. And the more water (sweat) evaporating from your skin, the cooler you will feel.
So while a ceiling fan may not actually lower the temperature in your home, it will help you stay cool without lowering your thermostat setting, saving you money on air conditioning costs.
Of course, ceiling fans use electricity, just like your air conditioner. So is it really beneficial to run the ceiling fan and your air conditioner? The answer is yes. Ceiling fans are much more energy efficient than air conditioners.
According to an article in the New York Times, a typical 3-ton air conditioner runs at a cost of about $0.36 per hour while a ceiling fan at medium speed can run for 3 hours before the energy costs add up to one penny!
It is important to note that ceiling fans do not lower the temperature of your home. They will only make you feel cooler, so make sure you turn off fans in unoccupied rooms.
The next time the heat is getting to you and you are tempted to lower your air conditioner’s setting, turn on your ceiling fan instead. The savings can really add up!