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ceiling fansAs the weather warms, many Baltimore-area homeowners will turn their fans on for an added boost of cool air. But far from being an old-fashioned way of cooling yourself down when it’s not hot enough to use the air conditioner, ceiling fans can deliver a measurable boost to your home’s energy efficiency for both heating and cooling.

Using Ceiling Fans for Increased Comfort

The secret is in the ceiling fan’s direction, and the fact that warm air rises and cool air settles toward the ground. When you want to cool your home, the coolest air in the house is down around your feet, which doesn’t do much to cool you. When the fan is moving in its forward, counterclockwise direction, it’s pushing the air in your room downward, which displaces that settled air up. Cool air then mixes with the air in the several feet above the ground, where you can fully enjoy it.

If the fan is moving in its reverse clockwise direction, however, it will actually make your living areas feel warmer. Instead of pushing air down, it’s drawing air up, which displaces the warm air near the ceiling. That warm air mixes with the air in the rest of your room, raising the temperature for people who aren’t clinging to the ceiling.

That makes your ceiling fan useful in the winter, but when you’re trying to cool your home, it’s counter-productive. So this spring, make sure that your ceiling fan is rotating in its summer direction, and you can get more benefit from the cool air your A/C is already producing. In fact, because you’ll feel cooler from the air that’s being chilled, you may be able to turn your A/C down and save money on your energy bills without sacrificing home comfort.

For more information on how ceiling fans and other lifestyle tricks can help you save energy dollars, check out Griffith Energy Services, Inc.’s energy efficiency resources and HVAC maintenance services, or give us a call at 888-474-3391 to schedule an appointment with our HVAC pros.

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