Saving Energy – One Ceiling Fan At A Time
For cooling, have you ever thought of ceiling fan?
A decent sized ceiling fan when well placed in room can induce wind chill of about 5 degree Celsius, that is approximately 10 degree Fahrenheit. So in summer you can leave your air conditioner at 80 deg Fahrenheit, turn on ceiling fan and feel like 70 deg. Considering that each degree you go closer to ambient temperature, you will save about 3-5 % electricity and ceiling fan consumes only about 60 to 150 Watts compared to 4000 – 6000 W of central air conditioning. Do not be surprised if you achieve about 33% saving in cooling costs.
Ceiling fans cost about $25-$50 at local stores and can be easily be fixed yourself. With that cost , you are looking at payback period of probably less than a couple of months and pure savings after that.
Some ceiling fans allow rotation in inverse direction as well. So in winter when you are heating room, you can rotate ceiling fan to draw air from the floor towards the top. This will improve circulation and save some additional amount on your heating bills.
The same holds true for any fan, whether it is mounted on ceiling on sits on your desk. It brings in local wind chill effect at much much lower cost than an air conditioner.
Here are some links that talk about energy savings that can be achieved using a ceiling fan.
On an interesting side note. If you are in a car and if you are driving with open windows to fuel consumed in powering air conditioner, then you might be doing wrong thing unless you are driving at high speeds. At high speeds, air drag created by open windows makes the engine work more and consume more fuel. Typically this inversion occurs at 45-50 mph. Meaning driving with windows down saves you fuel at 45 mph, but not at 55 mph. But certainly you are better off leaving windows open or partially open at lower speeds. Here is a link to myth buster program that discussed this fact.
So turn on your fan and enjoy the cool breeze as well as savings in utility bill.