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Here's how to use ceiling fans to cool yourself and your energy bill

Posted at 5:58 AM, Jul 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-05 07:39:34-04

(WXYZ) — Summer heat is upon us, which means our air conditioners are starting to kick into high gear. With that, high energy bills.

Choosing the right ceiling fan can help cool off that overheated electric bill and keep you cool.

They've been around for decades, but how much do you know about ceiling fans? Turns out, they don't actually lower the temperature in a room. They cool you off by creating a draft of air that moves over your skin.

Paula Machado relies on three ceiling fans, plus a little air conditioning.

"We have the ceiling fans on all day long in the entire house to help it cool off. And it’s important because one, it saves our electric bill somewhat, and two, it really helps extend the life of our AC," she said.

Here's the best part, ceiling fans cost very little to run, and when used with your air, you can raise the thermostat by about 4 degrees and feel just as cool.

Fans with the energy star label are 60% more efficient than convention fan and light units. To optimize the power of your fan, place it at the perfect height.

They should be hung high, about 7-9 feet above the floor and 10-12 inches below the ceiling.

The most popular fan size is 52 inches. They're best for large rooms from 225-400 square feet. A 42-44-inch fan is effective in rooms from 144-225 square feet. If your room is borderline, opt for the larger fan at a lower speed.

When it's time to install, if you're replacing a light fixture with a ceiling fan, check to ensure the electric box can support the weight.

Your fan is going to gather dust and even pollen. To keep it clean, Consumer Reports says to lay a sheet beneath the fan to protect furniture and floors. Wipe the blades and housing gently with a damp cloth and all-purpose cleaner.

Finally, remember that fans cool people, not rooms, to turn them off when you leave.