I was finally grateful for our ceiling fans this week—just a month after installing them. I know, I know, I should be happy that the power grid has had a rest this summer, but I want sun!
Our last apartment had central air, which I loved. Then again, we were on the third floor, and it got hot. But it bothered me that we sometimes reflexively turned on the AC without even attempting any of the more passive ways of cooling down: shutting the blinds, opening windows at opposite ends of the house to create a draft, or taking a shower before bed.
In the new apartment, there’s no central air, so we’re not tempted. But we’re on the first floor now, with decks overhanging the windows on both the front and back of the house, so keeping cool isn’t as much of an issue. For those really hot days, I looked into which was more efficient, a window air conditioner, a floor fan, or a ceiling fan, and the ceiling fan came out way ahead. (Don’t even ask about central air.)
As a bonus, you can flip a switch to change the direction they spin in the winter. This will circulate the heat gathered at the ceiling without it feeling breezy. It’ll feel warmer, so you can turn your thermostat down. (So I’ve read. I haven’t used them in the winter yet.)
Some people think we’re crazy for buying ceiling fans as renters. But we pay our own utility bills, so they’ll be saving us money. And I like to think of them (and any of the energy improvements we make to the apartment) as carbon credits. Just instead of paying them to a company far away where we don’t see the results, it’s hands on and immediate. And long after we move out, the ceiling fans (and caulk, weatherstripping, CFLs, etc.) will be saving energy.
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Posted: July 28th, 2009 under Energy Use.