Do ceiling fans actually cool a room?
When you’re in a room that feels a little warm, despite the fact that the air conditioner may be running at the time, if you’re lucky enough to have a ceiling fan in that room, you can turn it on and feel cooler. While ceiling fans circulate air in a room, they do not actually lower the room temperature.
Ceiling fans create what is known as a “wind-chill effect,” which makes you feel cooler by accelerating the evaporation of perspiration on your skin. It is similar to the feeling you get when you open the window of a moving car. Most of us are familiar with the wind-chill concept in the winter, when 32 degrees can feel like 25 if the wind is blowing.
If you have a ceiling fan in a room with a temperature of 80 degrees, running the ceiling fan can make you feel like it is actually several degrees cooler. When you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat one or two degrees without a noticeable reduction in comfort. During moderately warm weather, use of ceiling fans may allow you to avoid running your air conditioner entirely.
Ceiling fans are only suitable in rooms with ceilings that are at least 8 feet high. Fans work at their optimum levels when the blades are 7 to 9 feet above the floor, and 10 to 12 inches below the ceiling. Larger ceiling fans can circulate more air than smaller fans. A larger blade will also provide comparable relief from heat at a lower speed than a smaller blade.
One thing that’s important to remember with ceiling fans is that they only provide the wind-chill effect when someone’s actually in the room to feel it. That’s why you can save power and not suffer any loss of comfort by turning off the fan when no one’s in the room.
For more information about ceiling fans, or answers about other HVAC concerns, please contact CCAC, Inc., in Corpus Christi. We’re here to help.
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