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Tiffany Spence

About "Ask the Energy Expert"

Tiffany Spence is an energy expert at Florida Power & Light Company. She’s conducted thousands of energy audits at homes and businesses, helping customers find new ways to make their bills even lower.

Your questions on energy-related topics can be submitted anytime to our Ask the Energy Expert blog. Just click here to submit your question, and if chosen, it will be answered here

A/C vs. fan - which is more energy efficient?

By Tiffany Spence

Asked on: September 29, 2016 by Patrick C., Homestead

Is it more efficient to run our ceiling fans or lower the temperature on the A/C?

Great question, Patrick. We suggest you turn your ceiling fans on and raise the temperature on your thermostat.

Follow these two simple rules when using your ceiling fans to help you stay cool for less:

  1. Raise the temperature on your thermostat by at least 2 degrees and turn on the fan to medium or high, making sure the blades are circulating in a counter clockwise direction.
  2. Turn the fan off when you leave the room, or the home.

It’s important to remember, if you don’t raise the thermostat when using a fan, you won’t save energy –it’s the most common mistake people make. Also, leaving the fan on when no one is home will actually increase your energy costs. Keep in mind, ceiling fans cool people, but they don’t lower the temperature in the room.

By the way, the same holds true for portable fans, like standing floor fans. Turning off a fan, whether it’s a ceiling fan or portable fan, when no one is in the room can help you save anywhere from $3 to $7 a month – depending on the fan speed.

Estimating how much you can save from using fans will depend on many factors, including how much it costs to run your A/C, how well your home is insulated, and what temperature you like to have your thermostat set at. However, these factors aside, the fact is you must raise your thermostat when using a ceiling fan to achieve any savings at all.

Simple way to save
As the warm weather continues, one simple tip to help you save on your energy costs is to keep your thermostat at 78 degrees or warmer. We recommend turning your fan on “auto” and raising the thermostat setting to 82 degrees while you’re away. For every one degree you increase in temperature, you can save about 5 percent on your monthly cooling costs.

To keep your energy affordable and help you find more ways to save, visit FPL.com/EasyToSave.

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