With increased AC use in the summer, it’s a crucial time to save energy in other ways. For example, by upgrading your lighting and increasing the effectiveness of your ceiling fans, you can reduce your utility bills. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
When choosing bulbs, stick with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Both are more energy-efficient than traditional options, such as halogens and incandescents. In fact, LEDs and CFLs use 25% to 80% less energy. Although they’re more expensive initially, the investment will pay off over time.
Also, make sure the bulbs you choose are ENERGY STAR®-qualified. This symbol is backed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and indicates that a product is energy-efficient, protecting the environment and saving you money. Additionally, upgrade your lighting fixtures—including your desk lamps and porch lights—to ENERGY STAR-qualified products. They generally deliver more even lighting and come with dimming features, enhancing the look of your home.
Next, install light-colored curtains throughout your home to allow more natural light to enter via your windows. Finally, paint and decorate your rooms with light hues, such as lavender, bright orange, or peach, to brighten the house naturally during the daytime.
If your ceiling fans are more than a decade old, it’s time to replace them. Again, consider products that are ENERGY STAR-qualified; they’re 60% more efficient than traditional options, and the motors and blades are optimized to save energy.
However, keep in mind that some brands choose not to get ENERGY STAR-qualified, as the process can be time-consuming and expensive. Thus, you should also look for options that have DC motors, which are even more energy-efficient.
A DC motor has internal magnets of opposing polarity, creating the torque that’s needed to rotate the blades. This process makes the fans 75% more efficient than traditional options. Additionally, the magnet-powered operation eliminates noise and keeps the internal components cool, extending the life span of the product. Finally, DC motor ceiling fans are smaller, weigh less, and come in a variety of modern designs.
Pick the sizes carefully to avoid utilizing more energy than necessary. We recommend using the largest fan in your room that you can handle visually. This will allow you to have better control over the airflow and in many cases operate the fan on a lower speed, which saves energy. Use our Ceiling Fan Size Calculator to see how large a fan you can use.
Many people are under the impression that blade pitch is an important consideration and that a good fan should have blades are at least 14 degrees. Although that is not a bad rule, there are fans with lesser blade pitch that move more air and do it more efficiently. Instead, we suggest referring to our Wind Speed Factor, which actually allows you to compare fans based on the breeze they create regardless of blade pitch. Fans that produce a breeze of 3 MPH or more are highly recommended. The more, the better. Anything below that won’t provide enough air to effectively cool the room; instead, the blades will cut through the air—not push it around the room.
If you can afford it, consider Big Ass Fans, which have their SenseMe technology. These smart fans have motion sensors that turn themselves on and off when you enter or leave the room. Their operation can also be scheduled with an app or connected to smart home devices. Such fans are specifically designed to cut down on energy consumption and maximize your level of comfort.
Once the fans are installed, make sure they’re set to the counterclockwise setting. Generally, this will push the air down, which is ideal in the summer. However, you may need to change the setting to clockwise, depending on the blade alignment and model. To double-check, stand underneath the fan; if there’s an immediate breeze, it’s set correctly.
Finally, make sure to turn off the fans whenever you leave the room. Fans do not cool the air, they cool you off when you feel the windchill, so it wastes energy to leave them running when you are not there. Smart fans can do this for you, but you can always set a reminder on your phone to ensure that you don’t forget.
When you need ENERGY STAR-certified lighting or ceiling fans, Hansen Wholesale has you covered. To speak to a member of our team about our products, call (800) 201-1193.
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