In August, most of us find ourselves wishing for a cool, refreshing breeze. Ceiling fans are an efficient answer to the hot stillness that comes with summer in a desert climate.
When the weather’s at its hottest, indoor ceiling fans can help you take the indoor ambient temperature down, freshen the air, and circulate a cool breeze. However, there are a number of tasks you must do before you can reap the full benefit of your ceiling fans. This article takes a look at the routine maintenance you should do with your existing fans, and some considerations to ponder before adding a new ceiling fan to your home.
Ceiling Fan Maintenance – It’s a Breeze
Before you turn on your fan this spring, take a good look at it. Like most of us, you probably have accumulated dust and grime on the motor and blades. Many of us use a feather duster to clean the fan panels, and then have to clean up all the debris that falls to the carpets – or onto our shoulders. This year, try an old pillowcase instead. Take the open end of the pillowcase and put the fan blade inside, then use the outside of the pillowcase to wipe off the blade. All of the dust particles will be pushed right into the pillowcase. Shake out the dust outside, and then throw the pillowcase in the wash. Done. This will help keep down the particulates that cause spring allergies, as well.
Next, switch the fan settings so that the air blows up. You do this by changing the fan blade direction. There’s a toggle switch on the fan base. Your fan should turn clockwise in the winter and counter clockwise in the summer. The warm air always rises and gets trapped against the roofline. In the winter you want that warm air to flow downward to the people sitting in the room but in the summer, you want the heat taken away. Turning your ceiling fan blades so they rotate counter clockwise during the hotter months will produce that cool breeze you’re seeking.
Ceiling Fans Reduce Energy Consumption
Ceiling fans really don’t produce cool air; they circulate cool air from your air conditioning. The movement of the fan blades can produce a wind chill that can keep you more comfortable in the summer.
If you turn your a/c up in the evening and then run a fan, it will produce energy savings that you’ll start to notice on your electric bill. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy says you can raise your thermostat up to four degrees and not feel any temperature difference if you simply run a ceiling fan.