Should you use a ceiling fan or air conditioner?

Should I Use My Ceiling Fan or My Air Conditioner?

If your home is equipped with ceiling fans, you might wonder if you can save money by whirling the fans versus lowering your AC. We often have customers asking us: Should I use the ceiling fan or use the AC?

The simple fact is this: the energy required to use ceiling fans is much lower than what is required to power an air conditioner. The best bet is to use both systems together.

Most people we know swear that ceiling fans won’t truly cool them off. In fact, ceiling fans are a helpful addition to a cost-effective comfort plan for you home. Ceiling fans improve air circulation in your home. As a result, the movement of air against your skin triggers evaporation. That helps keep you cool! Plus, ceiling fans force warmer air away from occupants, which can make you feel as much as eight degrees cooler.

Efficiently Using Your AC

If you want to use a ceiling fan, you’re probably looking to save energy costs. That’s totally understandable. Utility bills can get out of control. In the Inland Empire area, 17% of of energy bills are attributed to air conditioning systems. But that’s just an average over the course of year. In the summer, up to 70% of your energy bill could be just air conditioning!

So, if you want to save energy on cooling your home, the first step is to look for tips to reduce your air conditioning usage. If you haven’t had your HVAC serviced recently, now might be the time. Just like your vehicle, when your air conditioner is properly maintained, it operates better. Also, consider installing a programmable thermostat. That way you can schedule your thermostat to set back 5-10 degrees when you leave your home for several hours. Finally, make sure your change your filter. We recommend changing filters every 3 months, or more frequently if you have pets or family members with allergies.

Ceiling Fans: The Wind Effect


If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort. 

U.S. Department of Energy

Ceiling fans can significantly reduce the need for air conditioning. During our hot southern California summers, using a ceiling fan along with a highly-efficient air conditioner can save you big in energy costs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, if you use ceiling fans you can increase your thermostat setting by four degrees without any change in comfort. In fact, if the outdoor temperature isn’t too hot, you could turn off your A/C completely and rely only on the fans.

Here’s one important point to remember: ceiling fans cool people, not rooms! While you will feel the cooling effect of a ceiling fan while you are sitting in a room, the room will not get colder if you leave a fan on. So, be sure to turn off ceiling fans anytime you leave the room. Otherwise, you’re just wasting energy!

Your HVAC Experts in Riverside, CA

Looking to save more money on your monthly HVAC costs? We’d love to help. Contact us today to learn more about our energy-efficient HVAC systems. Or, schedule your routine HVAC preventative maintenance appointment to ensure your system is working efficiently.


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