Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning Blog : Archive for April, 2012

Which direction should my ceiling fan turn in summer and winter?

Monday, April 30th, 2012

If you are looking to reduce your utility bill and efficiently cool your home this upcoming summer, ceiling fans are an inexpensive way to add that comfort to your home throughout the season and even in the winter. When you operate ceiling fans properly you can cool off or warm your home and save money at the same time by reducing the use of your air conditioning unit.

Ceiling Fan Direction in Summer – Forward/Counter Clockwise

On very hot summer days you can beat the heat with a breeze from a ceiling fan. A ceiling fan’s direction in the summer should be rotating counter clockwise or “forward” to which produces a Wind Chill effect when it creates downward airflow. Your thermostat won’t actually change but the room will feel like it’s several degrees cooler because of the wind chill factor.

When you are using a ceiling fan you can then generally raise the thermostat setting, which results in reduced air conditioning energy consumption of 40% or more while still keeping your room cool.

Ceiling Fan Direction in Winter – Reverse/Clockwise

Ceiling fans are generally thought of when it comes to warm weather. However, many people don’t realize that ceiling fans can also help warm up a room in cooler months. The ceiling fan direction in winter should rotate clockwise or “reverse”. Warm air rises and gets trapped near the ceiling so when the ceiling fan direction is in “reverse mode” it circulates the warm air from the ceiling to the floor which helps take the coolness out of the air.

Without a ceiling Fan the warm air would continue to be trapped near the ceiling and the floor level would continue to stay cold. Keep in mind that with reverse mode it only works if the fan is on low. If you have the fan on higher speed you might create a wind chill effect since it is already cold. Check your fan because some ceiling fans now come with a wall or remote control that has a forward/reverse option so you can change the direction with a push of a button. I hope you find this post helpful!

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Great energy savings ideas for this Spring!

Friday, April 27th, 2012

It’s Spring everyone!! and I bet with the high prices of gas you would like to find any way you can to save money. Here is a good checklist of energy saving tips you can use to keep more money in your pocket this spring.

Air Conditioning Savings

  • Increase your air conditioner temperature by one degree. Believe it or not, it could mean significant savings over the long run. Your air conditioner uses three to five per cent more energy for each degree that your air conditioner is set below 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24C). So, set your thermostat to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25C) to provide the most comfort at the least cost.
  • Opening windows costs nothing, but it can save a lot of energy and money. Consider keeping your windows open in the evening and overnight to allow cooler air into your home, and don’t forget to turn off your air conditioner. Close the windows during the day to keep the cool air in and the warm air out.
  • If you’re going to be away from your home for a long time, say, on vacation or a long weekend, turn the temperature up. Or better yet, turn the air conditioning unit off.
  • Install a programmable thermostat if you don’t have one already and set the times and temperatures to match your schedule. Also, consider installing an automatic setback thermostat that turns off your air conditioner at night.
  • Bigger isn’t always better. Buy the proper-sized equipment to meet your family’s needs. An oversized air conditioner unit will waste energy.
  • Before buying an air conditioning unit or system, find out its energy-efficiency ratio (EER). Calculate the EER by dividing the unit’s cooling capacity (BTUs/hour) by its energy requirement (watts). An EER of 10 or more is very good, and 6 or 7 is fair. Remember to buy the smallest capacity unit or system that will meet your needs.
  • Spring cleaning involves making sure all the fans in your home are working properly and are dust-free. Wash or replace filters every month, clogged filters mean your air conditioner works harder.
  • Have a look at your foundation walls. If you have an unfinished basement or crawlspace, check for air leaks by looking for spider webs. If there’s a web, there’s a draft. A large amount of heat is also lost from an un-insulated basement.
  • Ceiling fans use less electricity than air conditioners or furnaces. For example, a ceiling fan costs about five cents an hour to operate, which is much less than an air conditioner.
  • Buy a ceiling fan
  • Without blocking airflow, plant trees or shrubs around your air conditioning unit. A shaded unit uses up to 10 per cent less electricity than it would in the sun.

Windows and Insulation

  • In preparing for the summer, consider investing in some insulated, thermal-backed drapes for your windows.
  • Consider upgrading the windows in your home. Select high efficiency windows with low-e coatings, argon gas fill and insulated spacers.

 

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