questionswhich will save more money - run ceiling fan on…


I'm guessing the logic is that running the fan in reverse will help push and circulate the warm air down, where the people are, in order to conserve heat?

Somehow, running more electricity in the name of efficiency seems off, though I'm not well versed in this particular theory.


Running a ceiling fan when you are not in the room either in the summer or winter is not a good idea because it does nothing but wastes electricity.

A ceiling fan does not heat or cool a room. It only moves air around. So, if you are leaving a room for a long time, turn it off. When you return, you can turn it back on and it will begin to circulate the air again.

As for me, I never use the ceiling fan in reverse in the winter. The breeze it creates gives me the impression it's cooler in the room.


I expect it will depend to some degree on how high your ceilings are. Mine are 11 feet, and there's lots of warmer air up there, which can counter the feeling of having a breeze. That said, having it on all the time doesn't seem helpful.


It depends on your house, and the way your heat is distributed.

We have a big kitchen/dining room area with a lot of windows and tile floors that sucks up sunlight and stays about 10 degrees warmer than the front of the house. Running ceiling fans to distribute that free heat costs a fraction what it does to have the furnace spin up.

On a side note, I work with somebody whose family basically runs the HVAC racket around here. According to her, it's better for your furnace to either keep ceiling fans on, or set your furnace fan to "on" rather than "auto" to keep your furnace from breathing the same warm, stale, dusty air.


Heat rises and your thermostat will not turn off the heating/cooling system until it registers the set temperature... To optimize heating efficiency you would need to lower the temp until just before occupying the space and turn on the ceiling fan at the same time you want to raise the room temp or want to redistribute accumulated heat from one space to another..


My wife and I had this discussion before. We determined it was best to do whatever she wanted. I advise others to take the same approach.


I think it'd really depend on a lot of factors - heat source, house size/layout, etc..
I could see it possibly having a benefit for something like a wood stove where all of the heat is centrally located around that one source (although most newer inserts have built in fans that do job pretty well).

On a side note: @hoppe, did you really join Woot just to ask that question? :)
(That's awesome if you did, just curious because the info system gets wonky sometimes and reports bunk stats :D)


@lparsons42: you just made me crack up. I'll tell my husband to laugh, too. ;)


There's a Ceiling Fan Electricity Usage calculator online that says that if you run it 24/7 it will cost about $65 per year...


Higher ceilings(> 9') definitely cost you more to heat a room, fan does more good than harm. Reverse vs. forward on the fan is really just a difference of whether you want air drawn in from the sides of the room, then down, or up from the center and pushed out to the sides. That's the facts on fan usage, period.
But now for an anecdotal reason: spiders. In stagnant air, spiders seem to flourish, doesn't seem to happen as much in rooms with constant airflow. A good example is the habit of closing off unused rooms in winter. Sure, there's less human interference, but the lack of airflow seems to encourage web building( or so claims my entomologist relative).