While it’s not too terribly hot yet in the Tri-State, we all know the humidity will be here soon enough. To help lower your utility bills, make sure your ceiling fans are spinning in the right direction to move air around the room.
Most fans are reversible: One direction pushes air down, creating a nice summer breeze. The other direction sucks air up, helping you distribute heat in winter. There’s normally a switch on the motor to change the fan’s direction.
Is your fan turning in the right direction for summer?
- Stand beneath the running fan, and if you feel a cooling breeze, it’s turning correctly.
- If not, change directions, usually by flicking a switch on the fan’s base.
Typically, it’s counterclockwise or left for summer and clockwise for winter, but the best method is to follow the steps above.
Not sure which way it is blowing? Be creative like the story I read on Yahoo! that one clever person used bubbles to see which direction his fan was blowing.
With Memorial Day behind us, things are heating up here in the Tri-State. If you’re like me, the time I’m the most miserable because of the heat is when I’m trying to sleep. No matter how hot it is, I still try to cover up with the blankets just a little. But it’s not worth the energy costs to turn down the AC just for a little extra comfort.
You don’t have to suffer away the summer while trying to reduce your reliance on central air conditioning and the copious amount of electricity it uses. Instead, use some low-tech cooling tips that will allow you to rest easy.
1. Reflect Light
Use light-colored curtains on the windows. Light colors reflect the sun. If you want to be absolutely certain to keep the light out of your room, put foil in the windows, shiny side out. (Your neighbors might hate you for this one, though.)
2. Ceiling Fan
A ceiling fan can cut your energy use by about 40% percent in the summer. However, just throwing up a ceiling fan isn’t going to save you energy. You need to make sure that it’s properly installed and rotating in the right direction.
3. Try a Chillow
A Chillow is one of those goofy “As Seen On TV” items. It’s a non-electric device that keeps your pillow cold.
4. Turn Off Your Appliances
Energy is the ability to work, and heat is a common waste product of that work. Make sure your computer, your TV and all non-essential electronics are turned off and unplugged. This will reduce heat.
5. Use Those Exhaust Fans
Dry air feels cooler than humid air. After taking a shower in your off-bedroom bathroom, vent that warm, humid air out of your house. Make sure to shut off the fan after 20 minutes.