Finding ways to keep your home extra cool in an Arizona summer can become an obsession for some homeowners. While cranking up the air conditioning is the obvious answer, homeowners can also resort to using ceiling fans to cool themselves. Indoor fans provide continual breezes of cool air, although they don’t actually cool rooms.
How Indoor Fans Cool You Down
A fan is designed to cool people using air motion. This motion helps to evaporate sweat, which directs body heat away from the skin. The process is called evaporative cooling. The Consumer Energy Center provides more insight into how this works. Using indoor fans can save as much as 40% on A/C operating costs because you’re less likely to run your air conditioner.
You will feel a few degrees cooler, even though the room temperature hasn’t changed much. Fans should be configured so everyone in the room is in the direct path of the moving air. Ceiling fans are common in Valley homes. These fans push the air downward so people feel drafts throughout the room.
When it’s hot out, make sure the fan rotates in a direction that the paddles appear to be in a “down stroke.” The resulting downward airflow speeds the evaporation process and creates a wind-chill effect (in the winter, you can change the direction of ceiling fans to help distribute warm air without cooling the room’s occupants). Paddle fans operate similar to ceiling fans.
Portable table and floor fans are easy to set up and move from surface to surface. Window fans are best for moving air between the inside of your home and outside; they can suck hot air from your home and push it outside. If you can fit one in your attic, a whole-house fan will draw cool air in through all your windows and direct hot air out your attic vents.
Benefits of Ceiling Fans
Using an air conditioning system in tandem with indoor fans offers homeowners the most cooling atmosphere in the home. Fans might allow you to raise the thermostat a few degrees higher. You might save as much as 5% in cooling costs for each degree you raise the system, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. A good ceiling fan may keep you just as comfortable even if you raise the thermostat by 5°F. You could see 15% to 25% in savings on your utility bills.
Ceiling fans have other benefits in the hot Arizona summer. They:
- Keep the air flowing, so you don’t feel stuffy and sweaty
- Can be used with the A/C based on the weather, the home’s design, and how you feel
- Provide a backup in case you air conditioner breaks down
- Are high up so kids and pets cannot reach them
- Create a breeze that keeps flies, mosquitoes, and other insects away
- Come in many designs to accommodate your home décor
Other Ways to Complement Ceiling Fans
Close the blinds: The right types of blinds and curtains will block the sun’s heat from getting inside your home. Wood blinds, for example, are great for this purpose. Blinds work as a layer of insulation between window glass and interior spaces.
Run heat-generating appliances at night: Dishwashers, washing machines, ovens, iron machines, and dryers generate heat when operating. They will counteract cooling systems, especially during the hot daylight hours. The impacts on cooling and your energy costs are reduced when these devices are run during the nighttime.
Lighting: Turn off heat-generating lights when not needed, or replace older incandescent bulbs with efficient LED or CFL lights.
Arizona air-conditioning service: A/C units are energy guzzlers. Maintain your air-conditioning system by performing monthly filter checks and cleaning. Also have a professional look at it periodically to see what else needs cleaning, tuning, and replacement. Regular maintenance could save up to 15% on operating costs and extend the system’s operating life. It sure helps to run the A/C with indoor fans, too.