In the world of home decor, ceiling fans get taken for granted. Even though they help keep their owners cool in the summer, when winter comes around they rarely get a second look.
Fact is, with the proper tweaks and TLC, ceiling fans can be an important player in your battle to reduce heating costs this winter by as much as ten percent. What kind of tweaks and TLC are we talking about?
Tweak #1: Clean the blades
After months and months of rotating and whooshing around and around, all kinds of debris gets deposited on your paddles. When this gunk accumulates, the build-up not only creates drag that slows down the rotation, but it can also gum up the inner workings of the housing and shorten the fan’s life.
If your ceiling fan blades haven’t been cleaned lately, here are a few tips to make the job easier.
- Remove excess dust. Place an old pillowcase over each blade and gently apply pressure on the top and bottom of the blade as you pull the case away. This will allow the loose debris to fall into the case instead of on your table or floor.
- Remove excess grease. Ceiling fans — especially when they’re located in the kitchen — can accumulate a lot of airborne grease. The easiest way to remove it is by first wiping the blades with a paper towel dabbed in mineral oil (or vegetable oil). Don’t scrub, just wipe. Repeat a couple of times if the blades are extremely gunky.
- Finish cleaning with the appropriate cleaner. If the blades are wood, use Murphy’s Oil Soap or similar product. Otherwise, a basic household cleaner without bleach can be used to continue the wipe-down. Be sure that your cloth is not saturated with cleaner, because excess moisture might drip into the housing of the fan.
Tweak #2: Change the rotation
In a standard room in winter, the difference in temperature from ceiling to floor may be as much as 15 degrees. But to get all the warm air pushed down to where you and your friends are sitting, the fan has to be rotating the proper direction.
The default setting for ceiling fans is counter-clockwise. This is for proper summer cooling. But in the winter you want the blades to rotate clockwise. To make sure your fan is moving in the proper direction, turn it on the slowest speed and stand directly under it. If the blades rotate the same direction as the hands of a clock, you’re all set.
Tweak #3: Upgrade to an Energy-Star fixture.
Ceiling fans that are ENERGY STAR®-qualified move air up to 20 percent more efficiently than standard ceiling fans. This can lead to additional savings on utility bills, plus even more air conditioning or heating savings gained when operated properly.
The Newburyport Lighting Company is proud to be a preferred vendor for a variety of quality ceiling fan lines, including Casablanca, Fanimation, and Matthews Fan. We’d be happy to give you guidance in selecting the right fan for your setting.