Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A ceiling fan can lower the feel of a room’s temperature

Switching out an existing overhead light fixture for a ceiling fan is a fairly simple project that a handy DIYer can do in a couple of hours.

Cool breezes at low cost

Ceiling fans use just slightly more energy than a 100-watt light bulb, and new Energy Star-rated fans use about half that—saving you up to $165 in energy costs over the life of the fan. For every degree you raise the air conditioning thermostat above 78 degrees, you can save 3% to 8% on cooling costs.

Size does matter

With any ceiling fan, the goal is to move more air—measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM)—with less effort, or fewer revolutions per minute. For example, a fan that’s 36 to 42 inches in diameter might have a top speed of 300 rpm; a 52-inch fan moves the same amount of air at 220 rpm.

Size matters more than the number of blades. Go for the biggest fan that will fit the space. Putting in a dinky fan to make it appear inconspicuous often has the opposite effect—and is a missed opportunity for cooling comfort.

Here are general size guidelines from the American Lighting AssociationContinued...