Cool Your Space Effectively Without A/CWednesday 5th March 2014 10:24am
If you live in Australia, then you’ve probably got air conditioning. However, you do not always need to have it switched on during the summer. Running an air conditioning unit can cool you off quickly and it will lower the humidity, too. However, the costs of running AC are substantial and some people dislike the feel of artificially cooled air or find that it exacerbates allergies.
Before using the air conditioning, first see if the fan is enough to make you comfortable. If you’re interested in saving energy and lowering your electricity bills, then don’t run the ceiling fans and the air conditioning at the same time except perhaps on the very hottest days, when the AC isn’t very effective and you want to take advantage of the cooling effect of moving air, too. On moderately hot days, always try the fan first.
Two Ways To Cool Off With a Ceiling Fan
There are two ways to cool off with a ceiling fan. The first and best known method takes advantage of the process of evaporative cooling. The second uses the fan to speed air circulation, as well. However, the air circulation method only works if you’ve got both regular and transom windows, or if you’ve got old-fashioned double-hung windows and are able to open them from both the bottom and the top.
1. Take Advantage of Evaporative Cooling
The regular way to use ceiling fans in the summer is to let them move air around the room, thereby encouraging moisture on the skin of the room’s occupants to evaporate. When water evaporates, it absorbs heat. Therefore, when the moisture on your skin evaporates, it cools you down. This method doesn’t cool the air. It only cools people who happen to be in the room. Therefore, you should only switch the fan on in the room you’re in. Leave the rest of the fans in the house off.
2. Try This if You Have Double-Hung or Transom Windows
Transom windows are windows that are high up on your walls. Double-hung windows can be opened from the top and bottom at the same time. Both types of windows are common in older houses and buildings, because they’re what was used to cool interior spaces before air conditioning was invented. To take full advantage of this method of cooling, open windows a few inches at the top and bottom and switch the ceiling fan on reverse. This will circulate the warm air that’s high up in the room out the transoms or tops of the windows and bring in cooler air from the lower windows. The air movement will encourage evaporative cooling, too. This can work well on moderately hot days, and it’s the most effective way to cool a space without AC.
Whichever method you use for cooling with a ceiling fan, if you’re trying to save energy, remember to switch off the fans in rooms and spaces that aren’t being used, and don’t run the air conditioning and the fans at the same time unless it’s ultra-hot and the AC needs help.