How Ceiling Fans Affect Indoor Air Quality

Do Ceiling Fans Affect Indoor Air Quality?

Before air conditioning, there were ceiling fans. In 1887, a brilliant inventor attached fan blades to a sewing machine motor and installed the fan to the ceiling. But ceiling fans continue to be prevalent in U.S. homes 75 years after the introduction of central air conditioning systems. More than 70% of homes in the U.S. feature ceiling fans, with an average of 2.8 fans in each home. Are ceiling fans necessary or beneficial? Are they just a nostalgic holdover of outdated building methods?

The answer is “No.” to both questions. Ceiling fans and air conditioners work together to increase efficiency and comfort. Here are a few advantages to having and USING ceiling fans during the hot summer.

Ceiling Fans Do Not Cool the Air

The temperature of air remains the same whether it is moving or still: a breeze that blows 950 air certainly does not change the air temperature. However, moving air makes us feel more comfy than motionless air, and here is the reason. Our bodies sweat as a natural defense against a rise in body heat. The moisture on our skin meets hot air and evaporates. The air does not become cooler, but our skin temperature is cooler. This evaporation of moisture, happening directly on the skin, creates a naturally occurring comfort without affecting temperature change.

Ceiling Fans Use Less Energy

Ceiling fans cost less to run than air conditioning systems: a ceiling fan uses 50 watts, and the air conditioner uses at least 3500 watts. While ceiling fans cannot replace the comfort of air conditioning, they might save some cash on only mildly warm days without discomfort. Be assured that running ceiling fans with AC systems does not make a significant difference in utility use.

Ceiling Fans Can Be Used Strategically

If fans do not change the air temp, do not run ceiling fans when a home is unoccupied. However, if you prefer to sleep in a cool room, try turning the ceiling fan on or up rather than turning the AC down. Certainly, use ceiling fans during extremely hot days to mix the air well for better cooling. The air conditioner will be struggling to keep up, and turning the AC thermostat down generally does not produce the desired results. A ceiling fan will contribute to the comfort level.

Ceiling Fans Contribute to Improved Indoor Air Quality

Most airborne particles are heavier than air and fall to surfaces—floor and furnishing—when the air is still. Ceiling fans help keep these particles moving so they can be collected by the air filter during the cooling cycle. (If you suffer from a seasonal allergy, consider turning ceiling fans off during days with high pollen count.)

Direction Matters

Most ceiling fans have a direction switch that should change when changing from heating to cooling seasons. The clockwise rotation pulls air up to mix with warmer air near the ceiling, while the counterclockwise rotation pushes air down for a cooling effect. Consider changing ceiling fan directions at the same time as Daylight Savings Time changes.

Are You Concerned if Your Ceiling Fan is Affecting Your Indoor Air Quality?

Schedule your indoor air quality consultation by calling All Cool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email and let our NATE-certified indoor air quality technicians put their experience to work for you.