9 Energy-Saving Tips for Ceiling Fans: Beyond Adjusting Speed

Wondering how you can use your ceiling fan to save energy. There are many more things you can do to than just turning your fan up or down. Here’s what you can do. 

There are quite a few things you can do with a ceiling fan to save money. Adjusting the fan direction, using it with air conditioning, and turning it off when not in use are effective strategies. There are also some things that directly impact energy usage like the motor type and maintenance.

Keep reading to find a few more tips and details of why things work. 

9 Top Energy-Saving Tips For Ceiling Fans

Here are some tips you can follow to save energy with a ceiling fan. That doesn’t just mean turn the fan down because sometimes there are other things you can do that have an impact. 

1. Adjust the fan direction

Most ceiling fans have a switch that allows you to change the direction of the fan blades. In the summer, set the fan to rotate counterclockwise (forward) to create a cooling breeze. This creates a wind-chill effect, making you feel cooler. In the winter, set the fan to rotate clockwise (reverse) to gently circulate warm air trapped near the ceiling. This helps distribute the warm air throughout the room, improving heating efficiency.

2. Use the fan with air conditioning

Instead of solely relying on your air conditioner to cool the room, use a ceiling fan in conjunction with it. The fan creates a wind-chill effect, allowing you to set the air conditioner at a higher temperature while maintaining the same level of comfort. This can significantly reduce your energy consumption. Usually you can turn the temperature on the A/C quite a few degrees when used in combination with a fan. 

Yes a fan uses electricity but A/C uses way more so using both is still cheaper. 

3. Turn off when not in use

Remember to turn off the ceiling fan when you leave the room. Ceiling fans cool people, not the air itself, so there’s no point in keeping it on when no one is benefiting from the airflow. This simple habit can save energy and reduce your electricity bills.

4. Make use of natural ventilation

Open windows and doors when the outside temperature is cooler than the inside temperature. The ceiling fan can help spread the cooler air faster throughout the space making it more comfortable quicker.

This doesn’t only help with just the temperature, usually the humidity outside is lower as inside the house and the ceiling fan helps equalize that as well. 

5. Use energy-efficient fans

When purchasing a new ceiling fan, look for models that are energy-efficient. Energy Star-certified fans meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These fans are designed to use less energy while providing effective airflow, helping you save on energy costs in the long run.

Other things you can look for are ceiling fans with DC motor since those use significantly less energy. Bigger fans are generally more efficient as well but they cost more to buy and don’t fit everywhere. 

6. Maintain your fan

Keep your ceiling fan clean and well-maintained. Dust and debris can accumulate on the blades and in the motor housing, making the fan less efficient. Regularly clean the blades using a damp cloth or a brush to remove dust. Additionally, ensure the fan is properly balanced to minimize any noise or vibrations that may indicate an issue. Imbalanced fans turn the electricity into shaking and wobbling and not into airflow like they should.

7. Use the fan as the primary cooling method

During mild weather or when the outside temperature is comfortable, consider using the ceiling fan as the main cooling source instead of air conditioning. This can significantly reduce your energy consumption.

8. Install a timer or smart control

Installing a timer or a smart control system for your ceiling fan allows you to set a specific schedule or control the fan remotely. This ensures the fan operates only when needed and saves energy when you’re not around or during specific times of the day.

Some new fans have all this functionality built in which is worth a look if your fan should be replaced anytime soon. 

9. Use efficient lighting

If your ceiling fan has built-in light fixtures, opt for energy-efficient LED bulbs instead of traditional incandescent ones. LED bulbs consume less energy and have a longer lifespan, helping you save on lighting energy usage.

In many cases it’s possible to change the bulb for a LED one or sometimes you can replace the whole light kit. Replacing a bulb is easy, a new light kit isn’t always worth the time, money and effort. 


Matt moved to a location where the climate is hot and humid year round 8 years ago and got a bit obsessed with ceiling fans as an alternative or supplement to air-conditioning. He just wants the optimal ceiling fan and to get it to work the best for the specific situation. And now you can follow what he learned on ceilingfantips.com

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