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Do Indoor Ceiling Fans Cool a Room?

If you’ve ever stretched out in front of a fan on a hot day, you know how refreshing moving air can feel. Smart homeowners use ceiling fans for efficient cooling. But does an indoor ceiling fan actually cool a room? The answer is technically no, but learn how to use ceiling fans to keep your home comfortable at a fraction of the cost.

Why Do I Feel Cooler When I Run a Ceiling Fan?

The cooling sensation you get from an indoor ceiling fan isn’t all in your head—it’s in your skin. When the fan is running, the room temperature stays the same, but your body temperature changes. Just like the wind chill factor in winter, an indoor fan makes the air move against your skin, causing moisture on the surface to evaporate. The droplets take some of your body heat with them as they float away, so you feel cooler.

How Much Energy Can You Save with a Ceiling Fan?

If you use air conditioning to keep heat at bay, you certainly notice the impact on your energy bill. A/C systems cost about 36 cents per hour to run, accounting for roughly 25% of your home energy costs. By comparison, the average ceiling fan only costs about one cent per hour.

If you live in a climate where you can completely replace air conditioning with fans, you can save up to 97% on your home cooling costs. But even in areas where A/C is essential, you can reduce your heating and cooling budget by 4-8% by supplementing your system with fans.

The reason is simple: indoor ceiling fans help you feel cooler, so you can turn down the air conditioning. The U.S. Department of Energy has found that homeowners who use fans can turn up their thermostat by 4℉ without any loss of comfort. That means the air conditioner runs less often, and you save on your power bill.

Here are other ways to save energy with ceiling fans: 

  • Upgrading an older fan to a newer high-efficiency model, which can move more air with less energy. 
  • Add an LED or fluorescent lighting kit to your fan in place of power-hungry lamps or fixtures.
  • Turn off your ceiling fan when no one is in the room. The cooling happens in your body, not in the room, so leaving the fan on unattended isn’t necessary.

Where Should You Put a Ceiling Fan for Maximum Cooling?

The most important factor for placing a ceiling fan is air circulation. For the most effective cooling, make sure it sits 10-12 inches below the ceiling and 7-9 feet above the floor. This will give the fan the optimal range to reach the cooler air on the floor and move it to the areas where you can feel it. The blades should be at least 18 inches from the walls.

How Many Ceiling Fans Do I Need to Cool My House?

Knowing that your fan works by cooling your skin, make sure to install one wherever you spend a lot of time. Think about places like your bedroom, home office, living room, rec room, or kitchen. Depending on the size and shape of a room and whether it has any hard-to-reach nooks, it may need more than one. 

There are other benefits to placing fans in lesser-used rooms, like reducing humidity and mold in closets, hallways or laundry rooms. But for strictly cooling purposes, stick to the rooms you use most.

What’s the Best Type of Ceiling Fan for Cooling a House?

There are hundreds of types of ceiling fans, but if your ultimate goal is to cool your home, you can narrow down your search. To start, figure out the optimal size for your room, as this will give you the most soothing breeze. Then, look for factors like Energy Star ratings or other signs of high efficiency. If the fan is going in a bedroom, be sure to choose one that has quiet operation.

Some more fun factors to consider are convenience and style. Does your room call out for a touch of the tropical, nautical, traditional, or ultra-modern? You can also choose a fan with a remote, so you turn it on or off, adjust the speed or direction without getting up from your chair or bed.

Need Help to Pick the Perfect Ceiling Fan?

At Dan’s Fan City, we’ve got the right fan for any situation. Contact us today to speak to an expert who’s knowledgeable about the art and science of home comfort. They’ll help you figure out how many fans you need, where to place them, and which models will bring you the best value and enjoyment.

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