Feeling the breeze from a ceiling fan just might be a step you can take toward greater energy efficiency this fall.
You can save as much as 40 percent on the cost of cooling your home because a fan creates airflow that cools the people in the room, reducing the need for air conditioning, said Leslie Killingsworth, director of purchasing for Progressive Lighting/Lee Lighting stores.
In the winter, she said, ceiling fans recirculate the warm air at the top of the room, which raises the temperature in the living space below (if fans are switched from running counter-clockwise in the summer to running clockwise in the winter). Using ceiling fans can trim heating costs by 10 percent, according to Casablanca Fan Co.
Fans have become an extension of decorative lighting, with people returning to traditional styles with plated finishes or choosing a rustic style for a more casual look, Killingsworth said. Other fans have more natural materials, also fitting with the desire for a greener look and feel in homes.
Ceiling fans with new DC motors (instead of the traditional AC motors) enable homeowners to use less electricity, said Phil Sherer, vice president of sales at Masterpiece Lighting.
Some motors are virtually silent, and because the motors are smaller, the fans are lighter, he said.