March 22, 2012

If you’re having trouble keeping your winter heating costs down, the ceiling fan is a piece of old-fashioned technology that can still be beneficial. Ceiling fans are useful year-round, and in winter they can be used to optimize the efficiency of your heating system.

You’re probably aware of ceiling fans’ cooling power in the summer, but many homeowners are surprised to learn that they make you feel warmer in winter just as effectively. The key is reversing your fan’s direction to promote air circulation: the blades should rotate counterclockwise in summer and clockwise in winter.

  • In the summertime, the counterclockwise rotation of a ceiling fan creates a wind-chill effect that makes you feel cooler even though it doesn’t actually lower the temperature in the room.
  • In winter, reversing the direction of your fan creates an updraft, which forces warm air near your ceiling back down into your living space. It doesn’t actually warm up the room, it just moves the warm air down to where you can enjoy it.

A ceiling fan uses about as much electricity as a light bulb, and running one in wintertime can allow you to set your thermostat four or five degrees cooler without sacrificing comfort. This might not seem like much, but over the course of the winter it can add up to significant savings.

There are a few things to consider if you plan on using your ceiling fan in winter, or if you intend to install new ceiling fans.

  • Ceiling fans are generally only effective in rooms with a ceiling 8 feet high or more.
  • Fans with longer blades circulate air more efficiently in larger rooms.
  • Each ceiling fan is only effective in a single room, and remember that it only makes you feel warmer; it doesn’t actually raise the temperature.
  • Make sure you turn the fan off when you leave a room, and don’t waste energy by running fans all the time throughout your house.

For more information on how you can benefit from ceiling fans all year long, contact Wolff Mechanical. We’ve been providing expert heating and cooling service in the Phoenix Valley since 1990.

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