Have you ever stood on your dining table so your head situates near your house’s ceiling?! If you haven’t, try it. You’ll feel different (higher) temperature at your head height so that you may sweat after few minutes. It’s one of the first things we’ve learnt (maybe) about hot air. When fluids get hot, their density decreases and it causes hot air to head up toward the ceiling and colder air (with more density) stay down. It’s good point in summer when we want to keep hot air away from our skin and that would be great if we could keep that hot air close in winter!
In winter and cold seasons, we consume energy (pay money!) to warm the space and the air that we mostly are in, not the space above our heads. So it’ll be a huge saving on our heating costs if we can blow down, the accumulated hot air near the ceiling. Not all of us can do this, but those who have ceiling fan in their rooms can do so.
In summer and hot seasons, we can use ceiling fan as a normal fan and it will chill us (why? As a quick answer, every fluid running on a surface will have heat transfer proportional to its speed and temperature difference and some other factors). So in summer time, we aren’t cooling the inner space of house, in fact we are increasing our body heat transfer with house’s air and because of this, we feel cooler and better. In winter, we don’t need this chilling effect of ceiling fan. Instead, we should try to push accumulated hot air above our heads to lower heights so it can warm our feet and body again and we won’t need to consume more energy to warm that space.
Most of ceiling fans have a key or ability to make fan turn in opposite direction. In summer you put the fan speed on high and its breeze (or storm!) will chill you. In winter you should put it on low reverse mode, as a result you won’t feel any breeze (so you won’t feel chilling) and hot air from above, comes down and according to reports you can save up to 15% on your heating bill. There are reports about using ceiling fans in summer which caused 40% reduction in cooling costs.
If we try to have a better understanding of different forms of energy and their interactions with our environment, we can take great advantage of them and reduce our costs just with using and behaving smarter. You can read more about smart solutions in our other articles.
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