Long before the high-tech air conditioners were invented, homeowners were relying on ceiling fans to keep their rooms cool and comfortable. Even today, these fans are still considered an important part of our homes and workplaces. However, the most common question that we always hear from homeowners is: Should I run my ceiling fan with air conditioner? In this article, we will try to answer this question, but first let’s start by understanding how the two units work.
Running a Ceiling Fan and an Air Conditioner Together
How Does a Ceiling Fan work?
Although a ceiling fan won’t necessarily lower the temperature in your house, it will offer a wind chilling effect by exploiting the air temperature on your skin. If the blades of your ceiling fan are working properly, they should direct the air straight down on your skin. The air then disperses your body’s heat, evaporating perspiration, and giving you a cooler feeling. With this chill factor, a ceiling fan will keep you cool even when a thermometer in the room reads 86 degrees.
How an Air Conditioner Works?
Unlike a ceiling fan, an air conditioner is designed to alter the temperature, humidity, and the general quality of air in a room. Basically, it helps to keep your room cooler by removing heat energy from the house and replacing it with cooler air. This unit removes the warm air from the house through a special liquid called the refrigerant. The liquid passes through the evaporator coil where it’s transformed into vapor, thus removing heat from the surrounding air.
Once the heat has been removed, the air is then blown back into the house by the evaporator fan. The refrigerant vapor is then condensed and converted back to liquid, which returns to the condenser to repeat the entire process all over again.
Benefits of a Ceiling Fan and an Air Conditioner Combo
So can you run a ceiling fan and air conditioner at the same time? The quick answer is yes, you can. However, it’s a little bit more complicated. Be warned that a ceiling fan won’t necessarily increase the effectiveness of your AC, and neither will it help the conditioner lower the room temperature faster. In fact, studies have shown that sometimes ceiling fans can add heat to a room, albeit in almost immeasurable tiny amounts. Nonetheless, there are several benefits of running your ceiling fan and air conditioner together.
Increasing the Thermostat
When the ceiling fan and AC run simultaneously, the fan will circulate cooled air, making the house occupants feel even cooler. That way, you can increase the thermostat of your AC without decreasing comfort. By increasing the thermostat, you reduce the length of “on” cycles of the AC’s compressor by a substantial percentage, thereby lowering energy consumption and the carbon footprint.
Reducing the Costs
Studies have shown that a combination of a ceiling fan and an air conditioner helps to cut down the overall air conditioning bills by a few bucks. At normal utility rates, an AC costs $0.43 per hour to run, while a ceiling fan costs $0.1 per hour. By increasing your AC’s thermostat by 4 degrees, you will lower your total central air conditioning cost by $0.17 per hour. When you subtract the one-cent it costs to run a ceiling fan, you are able to save $0.16 per hour.
Since a central air conditioner will run for at least six hours a day in summer, you will be able to save up to $30 per month without losing any amount of comfort in the house. You can even save more energy and cut down your monthly utility bills by ensuring that your ceiling fan is on only when you are in the house. Remember that the ceiling fan is only meant to make the room feel cooler for you and your pets. That’s why you should turn it off if no one is in the house, in order to save money.