Green Ideas for the Colorado Homeowner: Ceiling Fans

In Homeowners by Doug Phelps

One of the least expensive and most effective energy-saving things we can do is to install ceiling fans in our homes.

Although most people think of ceiling fans as something to help keep rooms cooler in the summer, they are actually highly valuable in the winter months – especially in rooms with high ceilings where the warm air tends to get trapped.

A decent ceiling fan with a reversible motor can be purchased for around $100. The potential for energy savings makes for a quick return on investment. Why a fan with a reversible motor? This is the only way the ceiling fan will be worthwhile in the winter months to warm a room. Installing a fan isn’t a big project and rather easy to install, especially when it is enhancing a light fixture already in place.

It is common knowledge that ceiling fans in the summer months will cut the need for excess running of the air conditioning unit, as the downdraft of air is actually helping to evaporate the perspiration on the surface of skin and pushing away the expelled body heat.

How does a ceiling fan help in the winter months? Simply run the motor in reverse at a low speed. Instead of pushing air downward as one does in the summer, the fan blades draw air upward to push the warm air (because heat rises) at the ceiling down along the walls and back into the room. The furnace won’t have to run as much or as long.

When buying a ceiling fan, there are a few options to consider. For example, many fans come with a ceiling light adaptor, so you can either keep a light that is already in the room or add one. Also, higher end units offer remote control features, ideal for the vaulted ceiling location or for a fan over your bed.

A good resource to help identify the right fan to purchase, visit this website:


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