Blades Of Glory
Not long again, the ceiling fan seemed headed the way of miniskirts and go-go boots.
Now, with greater attention to energy-efficient cooling, ceiling fans are a stylish mainstay of homes and businesses. They are more energy-efficient and quieter than before.
Advancing technologies are making fans consume less power and run smarter, on top of the fact that fans are already more energy-efficient than air conditioning.
Rules for the rotor
In the summer, the blades should turn counterclockwise to push air downward and force cool air to the edges of a room. Reverse the direction in the winter to redistribute warm air.
A fan can be a useful and cost-saving supplement to an air conditioner. The Energy Star program recommends that raising your thermostat by only two degrees and using your ceiling fan to cool instead can cut cooling costs by up to 14 percent. The fan doesn’t actually decrease the overall temperature of a room; it simply cools off the occupants like a cool breeze.
Use bedroom fans on cooler summer nights when you might be able to turn off the central air conditioning. Natural cooling costs a lot less.
Use vent fans to rid bathrooms of steamy humid air in the bathroom after each shower.
Because heat from the fan motor can make a room hotter, it’s best to turn off fans when a room or building is empty.
Hot or not?
To find the most energy-efficient ceiling fans, look for the Energy Star rating. These fans have met efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and are up to 50 percent more efficient that conventional fans. Lists of qualified products are listed at energystar.gov.
Fans with direct current motors are smaller, lighter and more powerful than fans that run on alternating current.
Ceiling fan/light combination units that come with the Energy Star certification are 60 percent more efficient than conventional fan/light units, which can save more than $15 per hear on utility bills.
Keep it clean
Any fan needs proper installation and maintenance. The fan should be anchored to a ceiling joist. If that’s not possible, use a ceiling fan mounting bracket. Dust the fan regularly and clean the blades with a damp cloth. Never use water or liquid on the fan motor.
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