Recently I installed really stylish ceiling fans in my home because the existing fans looked out of date.
The new fans were so quiet and efficient in comparison to the old ones that I wondered if I could get away with running the air conditioner less in order to save money.
I brought up the idea with a group of friends one night, and wouldn’t you know it – one of my friends argued that it wasn’t a good idea to turn the a/c off. He is interning with an HVAC contractor, so he said that people commonly make the mistake of using either the ceiling fans or the air conditioner, not both. I was surprised to learn that when you use them both you can actually save money more so than if they are used independently. The real trick is what direction that the ceiling fan is blowing air. The air should be pushed down, which is easily determined by standing directly under the fan while it’s on. If the air isn’t blowing down on you, then turn it off and flip the switch to change the direction of the blades. Then, believe it or not, you should turn up the thermostat on the air conditioner two or three degrees higher than your normal setting. It does seem to go against common sense, but the U.S. Department of Energy claims that using ceiling fans with an air conditioner actually lets you feel comfortable at an indoor temperature that is up to four degrees higher than normal. In the end, the proper use of ceiling fans with air conditioners saves money because the thermostat setting is raised. The fans, of course, don’t make the house cooler – they just make it FEEL cooler.