The ceiling fan is one of life’s greatest luxuries – right? With a good ceiling fan, you’ll stay cooler throughout those unbearable summer months, even if you don’t have air conditioning.
Ceiling fans are energy efficient – the average fan uses only 60 watts when running on high compared to the 3500 watts of energy it takes to run an air conditioner!
Lots of people overlook the huge difference a good ceiling fan can make when it comes to your comfort – and even more people fail to realize that there are simple ceiling fan hacks you can use to increase its utility, lower your energy costs, and to make things even more comfortable!
Change Things Up By Season
Want to reduce your power bill by making the most of your ceiling fan? Just make sure that you have it rotating the right way!
There is a little switch on the base of the fan that will change the direction of rotation. Here’s what you need to know:
Cooling in Hot Weather: To help cool your house when it’s hot outside, make sure that your fan is rotating counter-clockwise on a high setting. You ought to feel a cool breeze when standing underneath the fan.
Keeping Warm in the Winter: To help your home stay warm in the cool winter months, your fan needs to be rotating clockwise on a low setting. When the blades are running in this direction, they circulate the warm air back down from the ceiling, making the most of your heating system.
Turn it Off
I know, it sounds like a travesty! But you really should consider shutting your ceiling fan off…at least when you leave the room, that is. By shutting off the fan when you’re not in the room, you’ll save a ton on electricity bills.
Fans don’t actually lower the room temperature – they just circulate air.
So you won’t actually be making any progress by turning a fan on to “cool” the room before you get into it.
A fan works by pushing air down onto your skin and leaving you feeling refreshed. If you aren’t in the room, you’re throwing money down the drain!
Get an App-Controlled Fan
Yup, there’s an app for that! In this day and age of “smart” technology, there are even intelligent ceiling fans that are digitally-integrated and can be set to timing schedules.
These schedules can do everything, it seems- they can sense your motion to turn off and on when you exit or enter a room they can control the fan speed, and they can even change the blade rotation!
Lots of apps are free to use, meaning you’ll just have to pay for a ceiling fan that’s equipped with the right technology.
You’ll pay a bit more, but it could be well worth the added expense when you figure out how much you’ll save on heating, cooling, and electrical costs!
Adjust Your Thermostat
Remember how I said you could adjust the direction of your ceiling fan during the summer and winter to provide benefits during both seasons? If you’re doing this, you might want to play with your thermostat, too.
If you’re going to run ceiling fans constantly on a hot day, raise the temperature on your thermostat.
You only need to bump things up by a few degrees, but you’ll save some money on your cooling costs since the ceiling fan will do most of the legwork for you.
Maintain Your Fan Properly
Make sure you have an electrician come and examine your fan at least once per year. This is a smart way to avoid electrical fires and will also keep your ceiling fan running in tiptop shape. He will look at a few things in particular.
For one, he will make sure that all components are working properly and can make any repairs that may need to be done. He can also clean the fan, lubricate any moving parts, and tighten screws (which unfortunately do come loose over time).
Watch Out For Damages
Even if you’re having an electrician check out your ceiling fan each year, it’s vital that you also take the time to thoroughly inspect and repair any issues you notice on your own, too.
Usually, you’ll realize your ceiling fan is not operating effectively when one of two things happen -the first is that you might hear noises coming from the motor or fan blade rotor. You might also notice that the fan is vibrating.
These two issues are usually caused by loose blades, fixtures, or screws, but they can also occur when blades and brackets become damaged. Sometimes, they’re the result of imbalanced blades due to dust and dirt buildup.
If your ceiling fan blades have gotten a bit grimy, you can use old pillowcases to clean them up.
Simply fill a spray bottle with water and some white vinegar. Spritz the inside of a pillowcase, then pull the pillowcase over each blade, pulling back to trap dust inside.
Invest in Energy Star
When you’re shopping around, look for a fan that not only has an excellent blade and motor design (which will improve its efficiency and reduce the noise it puts out) along with an Energy Star rating.
This will be a good indicator that your fan is energy efficient and won’t drain your electric bill.
Make Sure You Mount Correctly
Before mounting, make sure you find the appropriate UL-rated electrical box. This outlet box is mounted above your ceiling and will be the point where the fan is attached.
It should have all the wiring you need to install and connect your ceiling fan. When you mount your fan, make sure it’s connected to a ceiling joist.
Usually, this will be located in the center of the room – but if it’s not, you can get a special ceiling fan mounting bracket hat you can install. This is essential because ceiling fans can be heavy – up to 50 lbs!
After installation, check that the fan is not wobbly. You may need to align the blades (you can do this by holding a yardstick along the vertical edges) or you can get an alignment and balancing kit.
Choose the Right Ceiling Fan
Another simple – yet often overlooked – tip is to choose the right ceiling fan for your needs. For starters, make sure you invest in a ceiling fan with the extra light assembly.
Yes, you’ll pay a bit more – but having the extra splash of light is definitely worth it, particularly if you’re installing the fan in a room with minimal lighting.
Also, look for a ceiling fan that has an angle of more than 12 degrees. Any less, and the fan is mostly decorative and won’t do much to circulate air around the room.
At the same time, a fan with an angle of 16 degrees or more might provide too much air at top speed – so choose wisely based on your preferences and the room in which the fan will be located.
For most rooms, that means buying a fan that is around 44 inches. This is an appropriate size for most average-sized kitchens or bedrooms, while you might need a 50 to 54 inch fan for a large living room.
If things are starting to heat up where you live, it might be time for you to install a ceiling fan – or to take advantage of the one you already have by incorporating these helpful tips! Stay cool, folks.
update 05/01/2020 by Rebekah Pierce
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.