Let Fans and Air Conditioning Work Together to Cool Your Home
When you get home on a hot day, your first inclination may be to turn on the air conditioning to its coldest setting. But energy experts say that doesn’t speed the cooling process. In fact, it makes your AC unit work harder than necessary and uses even more energy, which is reflected on your utility bill. There are other ways to maximize the cold air that comes from your air conditioner. Using a fan in tandem with your AC can significantly reduce the hot temps in your home – and reduce your energy bill. By positioning fans near your air conditioning window units or in proximity to air vents where central air emits, you can circulate the cool air over a wider area, cooling more of the home. Here’s a look at how it works.
Run Fan and Air Conditioning at the Same Time
It may seem redundant to run both a fan and the AC together, but the two work in different ways to cool down your home. A fan cannot provide the cold air that an air conditioner does, and an AC cannot provide the circulation of a fan. Positioning your fan so that it is under or near the AC vent helps distribute cold air faster and more efficiently than the AC alone ever could. Use a stationary tower fan or pedestal fan underneath or beside the vent. A pedestal fan like the 34″ Compact Power Pedestal Fan with Remote Control or the 18″ Remote Control Elegance & Performance Pedestal Fan can be tilted into a position that pushes the air into the room and beyond. A tower fan (like the 48″ XtraAir Tower Fan with Remote Control) offers a vertical breeze coverage, covering a longer area for air circulation and dispersing the cold air quickly through the room. The use of a fan allows you to adjust the settings on your AC; it does not need to be on full blast to cool the home, and a colder setting that costs more money isn’t needed. For the ultimate in economical coverage, try a box fan, like the Weather-Shield® Select 20″ Box Fan with Thermostat, running with your AC. On average, a box fan costs less than two cents an hour to run. Not only will the temperature in your home be lowered, but so will your energy bill.
For those who use window air conditioners, fans can create an indoor cross-breeze that can carry cool air from room to room. Multiple AC units on a single floor will have spots where the cold air just won’t reach. Position your fans to blow the cold AC air toward the hot spots in your home or apartment. Using more than one fan creates a cycle of cool that doesn’t allow the air to settle, maintaining a comfortable room temperature.
Use Strategic Fan Placement
On a hot day, the air in your home rises close to the ceiling, while the cooler air sinks to the floor. By manipulating the air flow in your home with strategically placed fans, you can shift the air so that it is more evenly distributed to create a more comfortable temperature. Utilize your fans so that cold air is moved up from the floor. The pivoting head of a pedestal fan, table fan, or wall-mount fan can be used to push cool air upward. Place your fan so it faces the opposite wall across your main living space, or the area you wish to cool. Point the fan lower so that it drives cool air up and out across the room. Larger living space? Try a tower fan for extra power to circulate and move air currents.
Use Smart Saving Strategies
Pairing your AC with a fan is one step in making sure your home stays cool. For homeowners who have central air conditioning, setting the thermostats higher in summer is an energy-saving move. The key is to keep the indoor temperature as close as possible to the temperature outside. When used with a fan to disrupt and circulate cool air, a colder setting isn’t really needed. To prevent the air conditioning system from going off before it reaches the preset level, don’t place heat-generating appliances like TVs or lamps near the thermostat.
If you don’t need to cool the upper floors of a multi-level house while you’re out and about during the day, 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 utilize a window fan and an exhaust setting that will pull hot air out of the house. Window fans operate by either pulling fresh air inside, pushing (the exhaust setting) warm, stale air out, or doing both at the exact same time. With an 8″ Electrically Reversible Twin Window Fan or an Electrically Reversible Twin Window Fan with Remote Control, you can turn off the air conditioner while you are out, and let the twin fans do the work of keeping hot air outside where it belongs.
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