If you had a perfectly insulated room with a ceiling fan, the energy used to drive the fan would turn into heat. So, contrary to popular belief, ceiling fans actually add heat to a room.
The value of ceiling fans is in their ability to create a wind chill effect, similar to the wind chill you often hear weather reporters describe. This wind chill effect is due to blowing air increasing convective heat loss — essentially, causing liquid to evaporate more quickly.
Air blown by a ceiling fan causes the sweat on your skin to evaporate more quickly, which allows you to eliminate body heat at a faster rate.
According to Energy.gov, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat about four degrees without any reduction in comfort. That’s putting money back in your pocket!
Bonus Tip: Since fans cool people — not rooms — turning off ceiling fans when you’re out of the room will save money without any loss of comfort.
Ceiling Fan Facts
- Ceiling fans should only be placed in rooms with ceilings at least eight feet high.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR® label. Fans that earn the label move air much more efficiently than standard models.
- Fans with larger blades have a lower velocity than fans with smaller blades. This might play a role in your decision if you expect to have loose papers near the fan.