Use Fans to Cut your Carbon

Caretaker Actions for May 2019

This month we're talking about electricity, and specifically, how we stay cool on those hot summer days.

Did you know the average American household uses double the electricity of the households of France, Japan, the UK, or Germany?  Did you further know that space cooling accounts for the largest portion of our electricity bills (15% of our total usage), with most of that coming from air conditioners?  But air conditioners are not the only way to stay cool.  Fans and windows can also be very effective, particularly during the shoulder months before the weather is scorching.

So, as the weather shifts from mild to warm to hot, pick one or two of the tips below.  They'll help keep you and the planet cool.

Running a ceiling fan costs just 1 cent per hour, compared to 14 cents for a window air conditioner and 36 cents for a central air conditioner.  This makes fans 14 - 36 times more efficient than air conditioning!  And opening the window is free.  This spring and summer, try using the fan as much as possible to lower your energy bills and your carbon footprint.  Here are a few specific tips.  Which ones will you try?

  1. Use ceiling fans instead of the air conditioner to keep occupied rooms cool. If you don't have a ceiling fan, consider investing in one or two for your most frequently used rooms. 

  2. Try opening your windows at night and using a tower or window fan to pull in the cooler outside air.

  3. High velocity fans can move a lot of air and will help the room feel significantly cooler.

  4. Open the windows anytime it's cooler outside than inside.