Ceiling fans can add a touch of elegance by combining lighting with a fan, while at the same time making your home more comfortable in both the winter and summer months. And all of this while consuming only about the same amount of energy as a 100-watt light bulb that costs literally pennies a day. They are a great low-cost alternative to air conditioning in milder-weather.
Ceiling fans cool the air by pushing air downward, forcing the cool air near the floor to mix with air at the edges of the rooms. Just the air movement alone can make the room feel up to four degrees cooler than it actually is. This allows you to set your thermostat a few notches higher to save energy.
Ceiling fans can be switched to change the direction of air flow in the winter. Instead of pushing air down the blades of the fan draw the air towards the ceiling, driving the warm air down to the outer edges of the room, resulting in a more evenly heated room. This will act as a deterrent to condensation buildup on the glass of your windows.
ENERGY STAR qualified ceiling fans and light combinations are approximately 50% more efficient than conventional models, saving up to $15 annually on energy bills. The savings can be attributed to improved motors and blade designs to help maximize air movement. If a ceiling fan comes without lighting, an ENERGY STAR lighting kit that is both efficient and long lasting can be purchased as an add-on.