During winter months, Alabama homeowners turn to their HVAC systems for warmth and comfort. Standard in many rooms of a home sits a valuable helper for your HVAC system – the ceiling fan. Do ceiling fans help air conditioning and heating? When used correctly, your ceiling fans keep air moving and help your HVAC system keep your home warmer and use less energy.
The Function of Ceiling Fans
Contrary to popular belief, ceiling fans do not cool. Fans are actually meant to enhance the temperature of your rooms, whether warm or cool. Ceiling fans keep air moving, having different effects depending on the seasons and how you use them.
Do ceiling fans help air conditioning and heating systems? Yes, if you know how to correctly use them.
Do Ceiling Fans Help Air Conditioning?
In the summer months, ceiling fans help your air conditioning system by reducing the cooling load in your home. As the blades of the fan rotate counterclockwise, they move air downward toward the spaces where we sit, sleep, and live.
This creates a windchill effect, and moves air across your skin. The breeze evaporates moisture from your skin which makes you feel warmer. By doing so, your ceiling fan keeps bodies cooler so you are able to stay comfortable and even set your thermostat a few degrees higher. Therefore, your AC unit gets a break and lessens the odds of requiring air conditioning repair service in Birmingham. Do ceiling fans help save energy in this way? Absolutely.
Do Ceiling Fans Help Heating Too?
In the winter, use a ceiling fan in combination with your heating and air system to keep your home more comfortable. Ceiling fans work to evenly distribute air in the room. Do ceiling fans help heating? Yes, they reduce the amount of heat needed by helping you benefit from the warm air already produced by your heating system and can reduce the risk of needing Birmingham heating repair service.
The fan’s blades draw warm air up toward your ceiling, and the rotating motion pushes this air out toward the edges of the room before circulating back to the ground. With air warmer pooling naturally at the top of a room, this air distribution helps the whole space feel warmer by pushing it back down to reach your body.
You benefit with more of the warmth produced by your heating system. This helps you feel comfortable even if you set the thermostat back a few degrees.
How to Set Ceiling Fans for Winter HVAC Help
Ceiling fans shouldn’t be used in the same direction in the winter as they work in the summer. Otherwise, you’ll get the undesirable windchill effect indoors when you’re trying to stay warm.
Adjust ceiling fan blade direction for each season to create the desired warming or cooling effect. Fans have a switch, typically located on the base, to adjust the direction of blade rotation. It is important you select the correct direction for each season to achieve the desired effect.
Do ceiling fans help air conditioning? Only if they rotate in the correct direction. In the summer, your ceiling fan blades are set to rotate counterclockwise; in the winter, the blades should be set to rotate clockwise. Changing the rotation of your ceiling fan blades is simple, as most models are equipped with a switch on the unit to switch the direction.
Why Use Ceiling Fans with Winter HVAC
Running your ceiling fan correctly during the winter can help you cut heating costs. With better use and distribution of the warm air created by the HVAC system, your heating unit catches a break.
Your household will feel just as comfortable with the fan running properly and your thermostat down a few degrees to save energy.
Don’t Use Ceiling Fans with Your HVAC If…
Whenever a room is unoccupied, you should turn the ceiling fan off. The warming benefits the ceiling fan produces are realized by those in the room. When there’s no one in the room, there’s no need to waste electricity operating the fan. Ceiling fans don’t save energy if they operate in unoccupied rooms.
One exception to this rule exists: a ceiling fan located at the top of a two-story stairwell or foyer. As heat rises to the second floor, the ceiling fan moves the stairwell’s heat down to the first floor to add warmth.
If you have a two-story foyer or great room which feels cool while upstairs feels warm or stuffy, try a fan. An existing lighting fixture can easily be swapped out with a fan or a fan with lighting.
Using ceiling fans wisely throughout the winter can be a great complement to your HVAC system. Ceiling fans can help you feel warmer indoors and allow your HVAC system to cut back, for great energy savings.
Be sure your ceiling fan blades are rotating clockwise and you turn off your ceiling fans when a room is unoccupied (except in a two-story stairwell).
How to Choose a Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans work best in rooms with ceilings at least eight feet high. Optimal ceiling fan installation places blades seven to nine feet higher than the floor and 10 to 12 inches away from the ceiling.
Blades should not be closer than eight inches from the ceiling and 18 inches away from the surrounding walls.
Choose a ceiling fan appropriately sized for your room. Larger fans are capable of moving more air than smaller models. For rooms of 225 square feet, ceiling fans with a diameter between 36 and 44 inches is sufficient.
Larger rooms need a fan with a diameter of 52 inches or more. In rooms longer than 18 feet, multiple fans should be used for best results.
When it Comes to HVAC Systems – We’re Huge Fans!
These ceiling fan best practices give your HVAC system a needed break this winter and help it operate more efficiently. For more energy saving tips, schedule service from Douglas Cooling & Heating today.
We’re here for you whether you need HVAC repair or service. Ready to upgrade to a more energy-efficient heat pump, furnace, air conditioner or other HVAC equipment? We also provide free estimates!
Finance options are available to keep household budgets intact while enjoying greater comfort. We love helping customers get the most value from their HVAC equipment, so please call us if you need assistance.