Living in South Florida can get uncomfortably hot during the summertime. A question Air Boca gets asked often is if it is more affordable to turn on ceiling fans or run the air conditioner. The answer is a bit complex: while A/C units use more energy and are more expensive than ceiling fans, it is hard to live comfortably in South Florida without one. Instead, we believe it is a good idea to take a combination approach. Our blog explores the age-old debate on ceiling fans versus A/C units.
Average Cooling Costs
According to the New York Times, a three-ton central air unit runs on roughly 3 kilowatts and costs about 36 cents to run. An average ceiling fan runs on 30 watts and costs roughly 1 cent for every three hours of use. If you do a little math and assume that your unit runs about half of the day during the summer, a central A/C unit would cost roughly $50.40 a month and a ceiling fan would cost $1.20 per month.
Ceiling Fans or A/C Unit?
However, don’t give up on your A/C unit just yet. While fans are less expensive to run, it is unlikely that you could live comfortably in South Florida with just a fan. Ceiling fans do not cool the air or the room. Rather, they work by convection and evaporation. The moving air dissipates the heat your body’s metabolism creates, convecting it away from the body. A fan’s evaporative effect means sweat dries on the skin and cools the surface. Simply put, a fan improves your convection and evaporation rates. The room temperature can be warmer and you won’t feel as hot. But at a certain humidity level, your sweat stops dissipating and you can end up feeling uncomfortable.
A Combination Approach
Air conditioners and fans are not mutually exclusive. Using a ceiling fan in conjunction with an A/C unit is a smart strategy for comfort and energy conservation. Although the room’s temperature is not lowered by using a ceiling fan, your perception of coolness increases. If the room feels cooler, you can put the A/C temperature a bit higher, reducing your net cooling costs. Because ceiling fans cool people but don’t lower the actual temperature of the room, be sure to turn them off when no one is around.
Trusted HVAC Experts in Palm Beach County
Air Boca is your one-stop resource for quality HVAC repair, installation, and maintenance in Palm Beach County. Our team of experienced professionals works hard to keep you sweat-free during these hot Florida summers. To learn more about our services or to schedule a no-obligation estimate, contact Air Boca today at 561-750-1625.
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