Beat The Heat

While vacationers enjoy the sunshine, Floridians are all too familiar with scorching summer temperatures. But putting one home appliance to proper use goes a long way toward neutralizing everyone’s heat discomfort.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s website, fans create a wind chill effect that adds comfort on a sultry day. “Ceiling fans are considered the most effective since they circulate the air in a room to create a cool draft,” the site says.

Ceiling fan use can cool utility expenses as well. “It costs about 50 times less to use ceiling fans than air conditioners,” says Bob Seaton, retail energy services manager for the City of Tallahassee. “A 50-watt ceiling fan at medium speed costs .07 cents to use per hour,” he explains. “It costs 37 cents to use air conditioning from a medium-sized central cooling unit.”

Seaton suggests raising air conditioning temperature settings one or two degrees higher and using ceiling fans more often for “huge savings,” adding that residents save about 12 percent in utility costs for every degree they adjust their thermostats. 

Keep in mind that fans are only effective when they’re used correctly. Setting the fan in a counter-clockwise rotation helps move air downward to circulate through your living space. Fans with larger, 52-inch blades move more air in larger rooms but would be overpowering in smaller areas.  Also, it’s OK to turn fans off in empty spaces since they cool people, not rooms.

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