Will a Ceiling Fan Lower My Energy Bill?

October 17, 2023

If you have been looking at your utility bills and wondering what you can do to cut down on your energy costs, we have a simple life hack for you. Utilizing the ceiling fans in your home during both the warmer and colder months can have a significant effect on just how much you actually need out of your HVAC system in order to feel comfortable.

The Cost-Effectiveness of Ceiling Fans

The cooler you set your AC in the summer, the more energy the unit expends. This is also true for how you use your AC to keep your home warm in the winter. Ceiling fans only cost about a penny an hour to operate, so if you keep your AC usage moderate while utilizing ceiling fans, you are likely to see a real difference in your utility bill.

The average amount of cost savings from correctly utilizing ceiling fans with an AC unit is approximately 12%. You could save even more if you make sure to use the most energy-efficient HVAC system and ceiling fan combination possible.

The 4° Method

The method for saving energy with a ceiling fan is not simply to turn off your HVAC and rely on a ceiling fan. The point here is to make sure you are comfortable while also saving money, and during the hottest months of the year, a fan alone might not be enough to do the trick. Instead, figure that you can count on a ceiling fan in a room to cool things down an average of 4 °F. Knowing this, if you want a room to be, for example, 70°F, set the thermostat to 74°. Then, turn on the ceiling fan, and it will be a cool 70° without you using unnecessary extra energy from the HVAC system.

Setting Your Fans for the Right Direction

One important thing to remember so that you are getting the most energy savings possible from utilizing your ceiling fans along with your HVAC system is to make sure your fans are rotating in the proper direction, depending on the season.

In the summer months, you are going to have your ceiling fans rotate counterclockwise. This serves to create a draft that works its way downward and circulates cool air around the room.

During the winter months, have your ceiling fans set to rotate clockwise and have them turned to their lowest setting. What this does is pull the air from the room up gently and then bring the warm air down around the walls. This will not only distribute the warm HVAC air better around the room but also prevent you from getting the wind chill effect that can come from being underneath a ceiling fan.

Doing this, coupled with practicing the 4° rule, will help keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer while also lowering your energy bill.

Getting the Most out of Your Ceiling Fans While Lowering Your Energy Bill

While adhering to the 4° rule is going to help improve your energy bill, there are other things you can do in order to make sure you are getting the most out of your ceiling fans while also saving money.

Here are some good practices to look out for when it comes to using ceiling fans:

  • Energy-efficient ceiling fans
  • Ceiling fan height
  • Fans that are the appropriate size
  • Shades drawn during the day
  • Turning off your fans when you are not home
  • Mindfulness of proper insulation

In order to save the most money with your ceiling fans, you should look for ones that are rated as being energy efficient. You are also going to be aware that for ceiling fans to work at their best potential, they need to be in rooms that are at least 8 feet tall and hang about a foot from the ceiling. This does not mean that you should not install them in rooms that do not match this criteria; just understand that rooms that do not meet these guidelines may not be as effective in using ceiling fans to cool or disperse heat.

It is also important to make sure that you are using the appropriate size fan for the size of the room. A fan that is large is going to move more air than one that is small. While you do not want to have too small of a fan for a large room, you also do not want to have too large of a fan for a small room, especially if you have items in the room that could be easily blown around. A 36-inch fan can cool rooms that are up to 225 square feet, and fans that are 52 inches and larger can cool a room that is significantly larger. For areas that are larger than 18 feet, it is best to utilize multiple fans.

To save even more energy, you can keep the shades drawn during the parts of the day when direct sunlight is likely to come in through a window. This will help keep things cool in the summer months without you having to further adjust your thermostat or ceiling fans.

You should also remember to turn off ceiling fans when there is no one in the room to benefit from them. While ceiling fans are dramatically cheaper to operate than ceiling fans, running all of your ceiling fans in the household incessantly, even when there is no one in the room, can potentially cut into your energy bill savings.

Finally, in order to get the most out of your HVAC and ceiling fan heating/cooling combo while lowering your energy bill, you should check your household for proper installation and the possibility of there being any windows that are not properly sealed. Either of these situations could put a limit on how much you are saving on your home energy bill by incorporating the 4° method.

Consulting a Professional

If you are in the greater Detroit area and are looking for further insight on how to get the most efficiency out of your HVAC system and keep your energy bill low, our team at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning will be happy to serve you. We have been looking after the heating and cooling needs of the good people of Southwestern Michigan since 1948.

With C & C Heating & Air Conditioning, you know you are getting the kind of expertise that can only come with several decades of experience. Not only can we help you with a strategy for lowering your energy bill, but we can also do routine maintenance on your HVAC system so that it is running as efficiently as possible, as well as catch any potential issues early. We are also the go-to in Detroit for heating and cooling system installations as well as checking your indoor air quality.

If you are looking to lower your energy bill by running your HVAC system and ceiling fans more efficiently, give C & C Heating & Air Conditioning a call today.

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