When the temperature in the greater Phoenix area begins to climb, the first thing many homeowners do is turn on their ceiling and portable fans. The steady stream of air blowing can provide immediate cooling relief and even help reduce the mugginess when monsoon season hits. Yet, should you keep those fans turned on when you’re also running your air conditioner? Here’s the answer to this very common household question?
The Answer Is Yes!
While it may seem redundant to be using electricity to power two ways to keep yourself cool, the reality is that fans can actually make your air conditioner more efficient with something called the “wind chill” effect. Just as wind can make a cold weather seem colder, a fan blowing in a house can make air conditioned air seem chillier. This happens because the air your fans circulates carries heat away from your body, making you feel cooler and ideally more comfortable.
How to Use Your AC and Fan Together
There are some techniques to maximize the efficiency of your air conditioner by using fans.
Run Ceiling Fans Counterclockwise – To maximize efficiency, run ceiling fans counterclockwise on medium to high speeds.
Raise Your Thermostat – Because you’ll feel cooler, you can raise your thermostat setting by up to four degrees and feel just as cool when your fan is also running.
Run Fans Only When Rooms Are Occupied – Turn on your fan only when you’re in a room and turn it off when you exit.
Stay Cool and Save
It may seem counterintuitive that you can actually save money by running both your air conditioner and fans, but it’s true! It’s a good rule of thumb to consider that you’ll save about 3 percent on energy use for every degree you increase your thermostat during the warm weather months. And, fans cost less than a penny an hour to operate. In fact, your air conditioner costs about 70 times more than running a fan.
So, don’t underestimate the importance of your fans and use them freely with your air conditioning. And, if you need service this summer, call Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating, your local air conditioner specialist at 480-968-5652.