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Ceiling fans can be an attractive addition to almost any space, and they can provide a cooling alternative to air conditioning on a hot day. It seems that a ceiling fan should be less expensive and more efficient than air conditioning, but is that true? Are ceiling fans energy efficient enough to be practical as well as good-looking? And how do ceiling fans compare to other types, such desk and floor fans?

Are Ceiling Fans Energy Efficient? Let’s find out.

The ceiling fan has come a long way. These days a ceiling fan may be any combination of standard or low-profile, high-flow or standard-flow, damp-rated, LED lit, WiFi enabled, AC or DC powered, with classic or modern or even futuristic looks. Some of these features are about personal preference, others have a major impact on fan efficiency. Which is best for you? Latched Electrical Solutions can help you find the best solution for your cooling needs. For a quote, a call out or for any questions, you can reach us on 0419 283 055 or via our contact page.

Efficiency in Air Movement vs Power Consumption

The more air you want to move with a fan the more power you will need. This is always true, but efficiency improvements have changed the relationship. Modern ceiling fan design includes significant changes to blade design and the motor powering the fan, maximising air movement while minimising power requirement. High-flow fans often use specially designed curved blades to push more air more efficiently than traditional flat-bladed ceiling fans. DC motors are in wide use today – they draw up to 70 percent less power than AC motors for the same work done. The best and most efficient modern ceiling fans will combine these improvements – they will typically cost more than older designs, but they will always deliver better performance.

Ceiling Fans vs Air Conditioning

A good strong air conditioning unit will of course cool an interior space faster and to a greater degree than a ceiling fan – but that power comes at a cost. And is it always needed? When continuous light cooling is needed, a ceiling fan will perform very well, and with its smaller current draw will always cost less than an air conditioning unit. The longer the fan runs, the better the cost comparison. The fan will also be much quieter and more pleasant than typical window or wall-mounted air conditioning.

Ceiling Fans and Air Conditioning Working Together

In a very hot interior, air conditioning actually becomes more efficient initially, when all aspects are considered. The power used by air conditioning is offset by the unit’s ability to cool down fast. If both air conditioning and ceiling fan are available, then the air conditioning may be used first to drop the temperature to a point where the fan can take over, so you get the best of both in the most efficient scenario.

Outdoor Ceiling Fans

One specialised home setting where a ceiling fan will do better than air conditioning will be a covered patio or similar semi-outdoor space that is protected from rain. Air conditioning does not usually perform efficiently in locations that are open to the outside. A modern damp-rated ceiling fan can provide directed cooling in a setting like this.

Ceiling Fans vs Portable Fans

Portable fans such as desk fans and floor fans can be very convenient, providing close-up cooling right where it’s needed. They are less useful in cooling larger spaces, and in most cases they use much less efficient AC motors, so over time their running cost will exceed that of a modern ceiling fan by a large margin. They are really a completely different class of fan than a ceiling fan, and their best uses are not the same. One way a portable fan can help is in a very warm interior being cooled by a ceiling fan – if it’s really hot and the ceiling fan is doing its best but falling behind, adding the local cooling of a portable fan might make turning on power-hungry air conditioning unnecessary.

Ceiling Fans in Commercial Spaces

Ceiling fans used to be very commonly found in commercial spaces but were phased out in favour of air conditioning. They’re making a comeback as businesses seek ways to trim their energy bills. As in the home, it is not always necessary to engage the high cooling power and cost of air conditioning in the absence of extremely hot weather. An investment in modern high-efficiency ceiling fans can pay off for a business in a moderate climate.

Ceiling Fans in Other Business Environments

In production environments, well deployed energy efficient ceiling fans can provide comfortable surroundings that lead to higher employee morale and productivity. Ceiling fans are up and out of the way – preventing the potential hazards of randomly placed portable fans in the workplace. In retail and office settings, ceiling fans can also add pleasant detailing to the design of the space. People do like ceiling fans. Commercial use of ceiling fans is definitely a place for professional advice and involvement.

Ask The Experts

We suggest that the next question after “are ceiling fans energy efficient?” is whether a particular ceiling fan is going to work well for you. We’re ready to help you with any energy efficient ceiling fans you may require, so your options are very broad. Latched Electrical Solutions is one of the most experienced and trusted electrical contractors Brisbane Northside wide. What matters most to us is what works best in your situation and on your budget. For your questions or for a quote, begin by calling us on 0419 283 055 or reaching out via our contact page.

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