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    Air Conditioner or Ceiling Fans?

    April 20, 2018

    When the sweltering spring and summer sets upon sunny Tampa, the mission to find the most efficient way to keep your home’s rising temperatures under control – without also driving up the cost – gets underway. It’s not an easy task to accomplish by any means, and we get that. Stopping the heat and humidity in its tracks usually means you’re going to be paying a premium on energy bills, so you’re more often than not going to be choosing one or the other. One solution you might be considering is substituting the use of your AC unit with a substantial increase in ceiling fan usage.

    It seems logical, right? There’s no conceivable way fans use anywhere close to as much energy as a central air unit does. Spinning in a circle is an easy task compared to firing up an intricate, convoluted network of electricity and air ducts. Let Electric Today help you wade through this question, and maybe you’ll come out on the other side with a clearer picture of what works best.

    How do Fans Help?

    Contrary to popular belief, fans don’t actually cool the air in the room they’re positioned in, unlike central air. Instead, fans make you feel like the temperature has dropped by ratcheting up the process of evaporation. They blow air over your skin, which wicks away the moisture already there. By doing that, your body can run through the process of perspiration better – and thus, it feels like everything has gotten colder.

    But because fans only work when you’re actually in the room for them to move air over, running fans while nobody is in a room is a pointless exercise. Thankfully, they don’t use a lot of energy, so even if you do forget to turn them off, your bill won’t be affected that much.

    Comparing the Cost

    This isn’t a blog meant to suggest that you consider using only a ceiling fan instead of central air – rather, it’s to tell you which one makes more sense to use more in your home. In this day and age, it doesn’t make any sense to consider not having air conditioning, especially not in Tampa.

    • Ninety percent of homes have central air, according to the Department of Energy, and 25 percent of a home’s electricity use comes from using it. That comes out to an equivalent of 1.9 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year – ouch.
    • One option might be to switch to a window unit. An article from the New York Times, using stats from the DoE, says they use 1.2 kilowatts of energy per hour, compared to 3 kilowatts per hour of central A/C-usage. That’s a savings of 22 cents per hour!
    • But a ceiling fan uses considerably less. How does 1 cent for a staggering three hours of usage sound? Pretty good, right?

    Based on those numbers, exclusively running the ceiling fan would save you plenty of money in the long run. However, that’s not the whole story, as we learned about earlier. A ceiling fan isn’t going to make a huge difference in changing the overall temperature in your home, unlike a central cooling unit would. You may save money, but unless you stay in one room all day every day, the effects are going to be lost in the long run.

    To make your home more comfortable while still saving money, a more prudent solution would be to increase the temperature on your thermostat by a few degrees – enough to where it’s higher than you’d normally set it, but still low enough to be comfortable.

    Electric Today can help you determine a new cooling solution – one that is suited specifically to your home’s needs, and one that will make enduring the upcoming hotter seasons a bit easier. Give us a call at 813-653-4221 and find out more today!