How to Use Ceiling Fans to Heat and Cool Your Home

Your HVAC system plays a huge role in heating and cooling your house, but it isn’t the only factor. A Fort Collins HVAC company can improve your HVAC system, but ceiling fans can also help heat and cool your home while lowering your energy costs. When used properly, ceiling fans are incredibly effective at aiding in heating and cooling and allow you to set the thermostat a little higher in the summer and cooler in the winter while still being comfortable.

Here are five tips for how to use ceiling fans to heat and cool your home.

Counterclockwise to Cool

One of the most important things to know is to rotate your fan blades in the right direction to either heat or cool the room. During the hot summer months, the fan should rotate counterclockwise to cool the room. The movement pushes cool air down towards the floor, which adds a breeze and evaporates moisture from the skin. Running a fan doesn’t actually make the temperature cooler, but it does make the room more comfortable for anyone in it.

Clockwise to Heat

In the winter, change how your fans rotate. Blades should move clockwise to better heat the room. When blades turn clockwise, it pulls cooler air towards the ceiling and leaves the warmer air below. Hot air naturally rises, so a clockwise fan circulates the warmer air around the room. Changing the direction of the fan is fairly simple. Most modern fans have a remote or a switch on the fan itself that shows the direction it will turn. As the weather changes, simply press the button or flip the switch to change how the fan rotates.

Speed Matters

It can be tempting to turn a ceiling fan to its maximum speed to get the full effect, but that can actually negate any improvements to heating or cooling. In the summer, run the ceiling fan at a medium or high speed, but only when people are in the room. Because the fan doesn’t actually change the temperature, it doesn’t do any good to run it when the room is empty. In the winter, turn the speed down to low. The goal is to slowly circulate warm air throughout the room, but not create enough of a wind chill that it actually cools the room instead of warming it. A constant low speed can help the room feel much warmer.

Use Efficient Fans

Not all ceiling fans are created equal. New ceiling fans include an efficacy rating that measures the airflow produced based on the amount of electrical energy in cubic feet per minute of airflow per watt of electrical power. A more efficient fan will help your energy bill by using less electrical power to get great results. When shopping for a new ceiling fan, look for an efficacy rating of more than 100 cfm per watt. Ceiling fans with an Energy Star rating use up to 20% less energy, which can make a huge dent on your energy bills. In general, longer blades also tend to be more efficient because they push more air. Most decorative ceiling fans have similar blade lengths, but shopping around for a fan with longer blades could lead to an even more energy-efficient home, especially in a larger space.

Find the Right Motor

One of the most important features in a ceiling fan is the motor. Ceiling fans come with two types of motors: DC or AC. In general, DC motors produce less heat and consume less energy, while also being extremely quiet. AC motors tend to be heavier, which can slow down the fan and make it less energy efficient. DC fans tend to be more expensive to purchase than AC fans. However, the investment will likely pay off by lowering your energy costs more over time.

Ceiling fans can play a significant role in the temperature of your home. They can work in tandem with your HVAC system serviced by a Fort Collins HVAC company to keep your house comfortable and your wallet happy.