Craig Muccio runs FPL's Conservation Research & Development Program and crunches the numbers to figure out how you can save by managing your energy use.
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Asked on: January 14, 2013 by Carl V., Port St. Lucie, FL
We have seven ceiling fans in our house. What is the most efficient way to use them in the winter in Florida?
Ceiling fans can save you energy during the winter when running your central heating system. Normally, the breeze from fans make you feel cooler by increasing the evaporation of moisture from your skin. But, you can also use your ceiling fan to help you feel warmer by redistributing the warm air that rises towards your ceiling. Many ceiling fans, including all fans manufactured in the U.S. after 2007, have a switch to make the fan turn in the opposite direction blowing the air upwards. By running your ceiling fans in reverse on low speed, the warmer air near the ceiling will be pushed toward the walls and down to the floor. The air from the floor will be drawn back to the fan in the center of the room again. This helps distribute the warm air throughout the room making you comfortable at a cooler thermostat setting. Since the electric heat strip in a typical Florida central heating and cooling system costs about $1 for each hour the heater runs, the savings can add up. You may be able to save a few bucks this winter. Give it a try.
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