Ask The Expert

Q. Will running my ceiling fans while using my cooling system help to cool my house faster and keep it cooler so the system doesn’t run as frequently?

A. Believing that ceiling fans help to cool a home is a misconception among many. As most would like to think of ceiling fan usage as a more cost effective alternate to running the air conditioning system, ceiling fans do not cool the temperature in a home; they simply move the air around. Moving the air around will not trick your thermostat into believing the house is cooler. Your AC system will shut off when the air temperature, controlled by air conditioning output, has reached your desired comfort setting.

What a ceiling fan is good for is tricking you into feeling like it’s cooler than it actually is. This leads us to how ceiling fans can help to save you money but not by cooling your home faster. When you are directly below the circulating fan, your body temperature feels cooler. The comfort you experience from the fan allows you to set your thermostat to a higher temperature. Raising the temperature setting in your home by as much as two degrees can save you 1-3 percent per degree on your energy bill.

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