Sep 302015

 Energy Efficient Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fan

ENERGY STAR certified ceiling combination light and fan units are approximately 60% more energy efficient than conventional light and fan units. The reason for this is firstly because of the technologies that they use.

Ceiling fan motors need to create magnetic fields to operate. AC (Alternating current) motors create magnetic fields with the aid of large quantities of electricity while DC (differential current) motors include permanent magnets, and, therefore, use very little electricity. To enhance efficiency even further, these motors can be operated at a number of variable speeds and be activated remotely or switched off by automatic sensors.

The second reason ENERGY STAR ceiling fans are so energy efficient is because of their optional operational capabilities. On cold days, slow-moving ceiling fans can be set to gently draw warmer air that collects at ceiling levels down room walls to mix it with cooler air at occupant levels. On hot days, fast moving ceiling fans can reverse this air flow, blowing straight down, increasing skin evaporation and thereby creating a wind chill effect for occupants. Ceiling fans can also be set to draw cooler evening fresh air into the home through open windows.

Running and energy inefficient 120 Watt fan only (no lights) for twelve hours per day for only six months of the year will cost $34 per year.

Running an energy efficient 19 Watt fan only (no lights) for 12 hours per day will cost only $6 per year. This is a difference of $28 per year while the difference in price between the two models ranges from $100 – $200.  Assuming four fans in a home, the savings in energy costs are therefore approximately $112 per year. These savings are greatly increased if the fans are activated by motion sensors, which will switch them off when there is no one in the room. Calculator

However, this is only half of the savings picture. One of the main benefits of using a ceiling fan is as a result of the wind-chill effect that it creates. This allows the home occupants to raise the air conditioner thermostat set-point by 2-3 degrees without sacrificing any comfort.   This results in a significant saving on the energy cost of running an air conditioner. The U.S. Department of Energy quotes an energy saving of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.  Dept. Energy source.

However, the savings are only realized if the occupants remember to raise the thermostat set point when running ceiling fans. If they forget to do so, then the home’s energy usage and costs can instead increase.

In conclusion, energy efficient ENERGY STAR certified ceiling fans, activated by motion detectors and used in conjunction with effective air conditioner thermostat management, and used for only six months in a year, should produce energy savings in excess of $100 per month in a four ceiling fan home.  EPA source.

Energy efficient fan options can be seen in all of our green home models.

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Marius J Smook – Licensed Real Estate Eco-Broker, LEED AP for HOMES, Home Energy Rater.

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 September 30, 2015

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