Here’s a question we hear often from those who brave the humid Atlanta weather: “Should I run my air conditioner with a ceiling fan?”
Answer: You can— and should— run your A/C and ceiling fan together. Doing so can help lower your cooling costs each month, but only if you’re using them right.
Here’s what we mean.
According to Energy.gov, “If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.”
So let’s assume you keep your central air conditioner at 76 degrees when you’re home. If you turn on your ceiling fans, turn your air conditioner up 4 degrees to 80 degrees. The ceiling fan will keep you just as cool, at a reduced cost.
How much it reduces your utility bills depends on how much you typically use your air conditioner or ceiling fan.
Here are base hourly costs according to ceilingfan.com:
As you can see, anytime you’re using the fan and decreasing the use of central cooling, you’ll be saving money.
Side note: This energy use calculator tool tells you how much your appliances are costing you each month and year.
Now, you may be thinking, “Why do I need to turn my air conditioner up when I turn on my ceiling fan? Doesn't the fan make things cooler in my home?”
A ceiling fan does not lower the temperature in your home. It only makes you FEEL cooler because it’s moving air over your skin, carrying the heat away from your body. This is the wind chill factor you hear on the Weather Channel so often.
So it’s doing nothing to lower the temperature in your home, meaning your A/C will run just as long whether the fan is on or not.
This also means you shouldn’t leave your ceiling fan when you’re not home.
We hope this answers your question. To summarize everything: