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Want to Maximize Conditioned Air in Your Home? Turn That Ceiling Fan On!

Ceiling fans are commonplace in tropical environments because people know how they can cool off a room. While Virginia is far from the tropics, the thick of the summer heat can make it feel downright tropical, which is why it makes good sense to couple the cool air provided by your central air conditioner with the power of ceiling fans.

Just how does this coupling work? Set in a counterclockwise rotation in the summer, ceiling fans create a literal windchill that can make an 82-degree room feel like 78 degrees. “Feel like” is important, because while the draft from the ceiling fan cools you down by evaporating moisture from the skin, ceiling fans do not reduce room temperatures. Still, since you feel cooler, you can raise the temperature on your thermostat.

Now it’s time to reach for the calculator because for every 1 degree you raise your thermostat, you can save between 2 and 4 percent on your energy bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That kind of savings will add up quickly; it’s even more significant when you consider that most energy-efficient ceiling fans run for only pennies a day. When temperatures cool off in the evening, ceiling fans may be all you need to stay cool.

Naturally, big ceiling fans create a big chill in a room. But this doesn’t make big ceiling fans ideal for every room. Most ceiling fans come with blades that are 36, 44 and 52 inches long. The first two sizes will cool down rooms that are about 15-by-15-feet; 52-inch blades should be used in larger rooms.

No matter what the size of the room, ceiling fans need “breathing room” to perform well, or in rooms that have ceilings that are at least 8 feet high. The blades should fall about 1 foot below the ceiling and 18 inches from adjacent walls.

When you’re ready to cool off from the “tropical” heat of Virginia, call HVAC Unlimited. We’ll help you choose the right ceiling fans for your home — and guarantee that the coupling may give you goose bumps in the process.

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