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Whether to leave ceiling fan on 24/7 or not to save energy?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
HI,
I've heard both sides of people who say having ceiling fans on 24/7 saves energy because the fans will distribute cooler air in the room better but when I talked to our electric company personnel, he said it doesn't matter much so turn them off when not in the room.
Have you seen significant difference in electric bill when using/not using fans much?
We are trying to conserve energy which in turn will save us monthly bills.
post #2 of 13
We leave them on all the time because having the circulation keeps it cooler in the house, which leaves us less tempted to turn on the AC.
post #3 of 13
I turn them off when we leave the room or leave the house. Circulating the air can be accomplished in a very short period of time (minutes, at most) and so I don't see the advantage of running the fans when we aren't there to benefit. Mostly they make you feel cooler because of the air movement, the room itself isn't actually cooler (so your a/c won't run any less - you can just set a higher temp and still feel comfortable). However, our a/c is on all the time as we are in south Texas. If we were in a climate where our windows were open I'd be tempted to run the fans more when I wasn't around.
post #4 of 13
As I understand it ceiling fans don't actually keep your house cooler because they don't circulate air from room to room. They only help you feel cooler when you are in the room because it is causing the air to hit you. So, we turn of ceiling fans if we are not in the room. We use a box fan, even with AC to get the air going from one side of the house to the other (one side gets alot more sun). Also, we sleep with the ceiling fan on and can keep the AC a couple of degrees higher at night.
post #5 of 13
Just saw a segment on the news the other evening about a fire caused by a ceiling fan left on while the family was out. Fans cool people, not the house. I had a free energy assessment by our electric company and the rep said that it only makes sense to turn them on if you are in the room.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennlyn View Post
Just saw a segment on the news the other evening about a fire caused by a ceiling fan left on while the family was out. Fans cool people, not the house. I had a free energy assessment by our electric company and the rep said that it only makes sense to turn them on if you are in the room.
Well you could have a fire started by your dryer, or oven, or anything else so I don't think you should turn off your fan just because it might start a fire.

We only use ours when we're in the room to benefit from them.
post #7 of 13
We leave the one on the the living room all day and turn it off at night. We turn our bedroom ones on at night and turn them off in the mornings.

When it gets really really hot and humid (last week) we turn on the window A/C unit and put a fan in front of it to help ditribute the cool air. We have some horrible dead spots in the house where air just collects and sits and the upstairs where the boys rooms are is AWFUL when it gets hot.
post #8 of 13
"Well you could have a fire started by your dryer, or oven, or anything else so I don't think you should turn off your fan just because it might start a fire."

oneKnight-
Nowhere did I say you shouldn't turn on your fan because it MIGHT start a fire. I wouldn't leave the fan on when I'm not home, just like I wouldn't leave the dryer or oven on when I am not home. Please read entire posts before commenting.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by quirkylayne View Post
As I understand it ceiling fans don't actually keep your house cooler because they don't circulate air from room to room. They only help you feel cooler when you are in the room because it is causing the air to hit you.
I've heard this recently too. We still leave the ceiling fans on most of the time though. :
post #10 of 13
I thought I read somewhere that if you turn your fan upstairs on (we have a two story house with a fan located in the middle of the second floor above the stairs) that is helps draw the hot air out so the upstairs is not like a sauna. So, I do that if I think of it on very hot days, and it does seem to help. I did have to switch the way the fan turned so it drew the air up through the house though. I have no idea if this saves energy, but I am willing to pay the extra few cents a day to be able to sleep in my room!

As for leaving them on 24/7, I don't do it. If we leave the house, everything is unplugged or turned off except if we are coming home at night... then I leave one of the CFL lights on. But, I am the type that unplugs things like the coffee maker and toaster if it is not in use for fear of freak fire, so perhaps I am not the best one to ask!
post #11 of 13
I do leave them on 24/7. I am a SAHM and we are home 24/7. Oh and we don't have AC.
post #12 of 13
We turn our A/C off during the day, and try not to leave it on for very long in general, so if we come home to a cool house or even a house with air already moving so it *feels* cooler we're less likely to rush to turn the A/C on, which is one reason we leave it on all the time.

The other reason is that we live in a house which is built into the side of a hill and partially earth-sheltered. Which means the downstairs stays very, very insulated. Our fan is at the top of the stairs and is set up to pull air upward, meaning that with another fan in the lower level it keeps the air circulating and keeps our house WAY cooler. I think a lot of whether it's a good idea to leave the fan on depends on the layout and design of your house.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Most consensus here is not leaving the fans on when not in the room (this is also my electric company guy recommended anyway). However have you guys seen the commercial of "Eco-Sense"? I've seen it on PBS here and the lady said something about leaving the fan on to conserve energy bec/ it circulates hot air up or something..... I don't remember whether this only applies to 2 story houses though...
I'm now more convinced that leaving fans on 24/7 doesn't help much...
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