Do you have ceiling fans in your home? Chances are you’re not making the most of them.
You could be using your ceiling fans year-round to stay more comfortable and lower your cooling and heating costs. If you have a wobbly fan, you should balance it. You should make sure all your fans are the right sizes for your rooms. And you should turn your fan off when you’re not in the room, or use a timer to turn your fans on and off at set times.
Turn Your Thermostat Up a Few Degrees in the Summer
The breeze a ceiling fan creates can make you feel up to four degrees cooler in the summer, so if you’re not turning your thermostat up accordingly, you’re not making the most of the benefits using a ceiling fan can bring. Turn your thermostat up a few degrees in the summer, at least when you’re enjoying the ceiling fan. You can save a lot of money off your electricity bill simply by turning your thermostat up, especially if you’re able to turn it up above 72 degrees.
Run Your Fan Backwards in the Winter
Did you know that your fan blades are built to spin in two directions? During the summer, we spin the blades counterclockwise to pull cool air up from the floor. During the winter, we spin them clockwise to push warm air down from the ceiling. In the winter, flip the switch on the side of your fan’s motor housing to switch the direction of the fan blades to clockwise and don’t forget to flip it back in the spring.
Make Sure Your Fans Are the Right Size for Your Rooms
A fan that isn’t the right size for the room will either be ineffective, if too small, or overpowering, if too large. If you’re feeling that your fan isn’t creating the kind of breezes you like or if you feel like it’s too powerful, that means you have the wrong size fan in your room.
Measure the square footage of your room and the width of your fan across the fan blades. If the room is under 75 to 100 square feet, your fan should be about 36 inches across. If the room is 100 to 400 square feet, you need a fan that is 36 to 50 inches wide (the larger the room, the larger the fan). If the room is larger than 400 square feet, you need a fan larger than 50 inches wide – or possibly at least two fans for more balanced airflow throughout the room.
Make sure your fans are the right height from the floor, too. A fan that is hung too high won’t produce the desired airflow. Choose an extension rod if needed to lower a fan to eight or nine feet off the floor. If you have low ceilings, choose a low-profile, flush mount ceiling fan that should still leave plenty of headroom.
Balance a Wobbly Fan
A wobbly ceiling fan is often noisy, and wobbling blades can wear out a ceiling fan’s motor prematurely. If you have a wobbly fan, you should:
- Turn off the fan;
- Tighten the blade bracket screws;
- Dust the blades and motor housing; and
- Label each blade with a numbered piece of tape.
Now you can measure the distance between the leading edge of each fan blade and the ceiling. They should all be the same. If any of the blades are too far or too close to the ceiling, try to adjust them by bending the blade bracket gently.
If your fan is still wobbly after tightening the blade brackets and leveling the blades, you need a balancing kit. The kit will help you determine where to place balancing weights and should contain weights and adhesive.
Turn Your Fan Off When You’re Not in the Room
When you’re not in the room using your fan, turn it off. It doesn’t cool the room, it only cools you, so if you’re not there to be cooled, you’re wasting electricity. Granted, not much electricity, but still. Many fans have a timer that allows you to turn the fan on and off at preset times, or turn the fan off after a preset amount of time. This can be useful for bedroom fans.
Use Smart Features
If your fan has smart features, you should be making the most of them. You can use smart features to turn your fan off and on from your phone or set the timer. Other fan features you might want to take advantage of include wireless wall controls or remote controls.
Ceiling fans can offer so much in the way of climate control as long as you’re using them properly. Make the most of your ceiling fans. You’ll keep more of your money, and be more comfortable doing it.