Most homeowners often ignore the contribution of ceiling fans when it comes to energy savings. Given a little thought, they can play a significant role in reducing the heating and cooling cost of your home. Years back, fan companies would hardly divulge any quantifiable energy savings data to their consumers. Things today are however different. Almost all the modern ceiling fans come with important information like energy consumption, speed, and airflow mentioned on the package. So, what features help you save energy the most? Here are the ones you should be looking for.
Efficacy indicates how much air a fan can deliver for each unit of energy input. While buying a ceiling fan, don’t forget to see the speed, energy consumption, air flow, and efficacy information mentioned on the package. The efficacy of ceiling fans usually range between 35 cmf/watt to 106 cmf/watt, and needless to say, the higher the better.
High-end modern ceiling fans use DC or direct current motor technology, which allows them to operate much more efficiently, on two-third or even less power consumption, without sacrificing performance. Therefore for environmentally conscious people, modern DC ceiling fans are the only way to go. They can run on an inverter or a UPS system with minimal load and noise. They are more stable, and there is no fluctuation in speed with the change in voltage, which saves you even more energy.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grants ENERGY STAR to fans, lights, and other electric products that pass their energy efficiency standards. Energy Star fans with built-in lights are usually about 60 percent more efficient than traditional fans with lights. The Energy Star website also has a spreadsheet that lists the brands and models of fans with higher number of stars. You can download and sort this list by size, brand, efficacy, and several other parameters.
One of the nicest ways to save energy is buying fans that have programmable thermostats. They come with a remote control that can automatically set the fan speed, and turn the fan on and off, based upon the room temperature. Additionally, a remote control, in place of a conventional regulator, also saves you space on the switch-board.
Reverse Direction Settings
Adjusting directions on the ceiling fan can save you significant amount of energy. These days many fans come with counter-clockwise and clockwise direction control, having singular settings for different seasons. Usage of direction depends on the fan blade and that vary by models. To determine the direction of your fan, stand beneath it. If you instantly sense the breeze then it’s on summer, “counter-clockwise” setting. The direction can be changed through a little button close to the base of the fan. Most of the modern fans allow you to control the fan direction through a remote control.
Efficiency of a fan increases with the size of its blades. A fan can give you more air either through higher speed or through larger blades. Since increasing the speed consumes more power, going with larger blades is a pretty good alternative. For best results, buy fans with blade angle adjustment of more than 12 degrees.
Once you have the best fan running for you, make sure you run it only when needed. Turn off the fan while leaving the room. Note that a fan motor actually produces heat; so if you keep a fan running unnecessarily in summer, you will waste more energy in cooling the room.
I really appreciate this article. Glad to know there are ceiling fans that save triple the energy of the cheap stuff I see at Home Depot stores.