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home energy audit

Create a wind chill in your home with help from electric fans


Think about the pleasant sensation of a breeze on a summer day and you’ll appreciate the indoor wind chill that electric fans can add to your home. It’s just a question of using your fans properly – and strategically – to reap their full benefit.

You can easily add to the cooling effect of air-conditioned air by positioning fans near the AC units where they can circulate the cool air over a wider area. Installing a window fan nearby is also more cost efficient than using more than one air conditioner. Just turning up the AC level also isn’t much help. Instead of magnifying the cool air, the room will become dried out and may need help from a humidifier to restore natural moisture to your home.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, many homeowners believe that if they turn their air conditioner on and immediately turn to the coldest setting, they’ll speed up the cooling process. Not only does this not work, but in the process, there’s more energy being wasted in the effort.

When you use a window fan, put it in windows that face away from the prevailing wind outside because they’ll operate more effectively this way. In addition, when you place a fan in windows covered by shade from a tree or that are out of direct sunlight, the fan will bring cooler air into the home.

More cooling tips
The best wind chill you can create in your home is between multiple fans and air conditioning units on a single floor. They pick up a cross breeze from one another and create oscillation that benefits most of the floor.

If you don’t need to cool the upper floors of a multilevel house, try other methods to keep heat at a minimum. Pulling down shades or drawing curtains prevents strong sunlight from entering rooms and heating them. Or, you can turn your fans on to a setting in which hot air is exhausted to the outside.

For homeowners who have central air conditioning, setting their thermostats higher in summer is another energy-saving move, the DOE reported. The key is to keep the indoor temperature as close as possible, within your comfort zone, to the temperature outside. To prevent the air conditioning system from going off unnecessarily, don’t place heat-generating appliances like TVs or lamps near the thermostat.

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