Become a fan of fans

Air conditioners can provide cooling comfort when the temps rise, but those looking for a less-expensive, simpler cool down can flip the switch on an electric fan to find relief. A fan can offer an alternative way to stay cool while reducing the amount of air conditioning needed. During the cooler summer months, they can even completely eliminate the need to use air conditioning. Used separately or in combination with an air conditioning unit, fans can cool down personal space, reduce room humidity and help to preserve your home’s interior by circulating air. There are a number of different fan styles, each with their own advantages. If you do not yet own one, here are a few things to consider about some of the most common varieties and their uses:

Ceiling fans are excellent at circulating air throughout a room. To cool a room, set the fan’s blades to push air downward. When used in conjunction with an air conditioner, the thermostat can be raised about four degrees without affecting the comfort level of the room. That’s an easy way to save some watts! A ceiling fan can also make a room more comfortable in the winter simply by reversing the fan’s direction.

Standing or desk fans are a simple and inexpensive way to cool a small room or apartment. Models range in size and style and can be moved to different places in the home. They use less energy than ceiling fans but do not cool an area as effectively nor are they intended for circulating air around the home.

Window fans can also effectively cool the home without using too much energy. This style of fan is used to circulate air through the home by creating a cycle of drawing cooler air in and venting warmer air out. These units should be placed on the side of the home where the wind does not blow, while windows near it are tightly closed. On the opposite side of the home, where prevailing winds make contact, windows should be opened to allow cooler air to enter. Those windows with shade surrounding them provide the best intake air. In homes with more than one floor, the window fan should be placed on upper floors and the windows on lower floors should be opened. Alternatively, a standing or desk fan placed in these opened windows will enhance air circulation within the home.

Exhaust fans installed in the kitchen and bathroom are excellent ways to keep the home free of heat and humidity, both of which are responsible for increasing the air temperature within the home. Consistent use of exhaust fans will reduce the need to use air conditioning in order to overcome the heat and humidity generated from cooking and showers.

Depending on your home, each of these fans can provide relief from the summer heat in different ways; each more energy-efficient than air conditioning. The last thing to keep in mind is, much like air conditioners, a correctly installed and maintained fan will allow it to perform at its best for many years.

Some information provided by Energy Savers.