Author Topic: Fans vs AC  (Read 2847 times)

kc86

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Fans vs AC
« on: May 05, 2015, 12:53:31 PM »
I am looking into saving more of my hard earned money by using fans more and AC less.  I need to buy some fans to make the plan work and want to make good purchases that aren't so expensive as to eliminate the savings.

My newly purchased small home (770 sf) will probably need a nice ceiling fan for the main living area.  I'll get one installed or maybe just get a reversible window fan

My music lesson studio consisting of 5 rooms is where I'm kinda confused.  We have drop down ceilings and I don't want to put my money into improving the landlord's space.  I want my clients to be comfortable (kids and parents) and my favorite fans, Vornado brand, are somewhat expensive. 

I guess that I could save about $30 month, 4 months a year, in Michigan, and that the fans last 5 years.  That saves $600. 
The lesson rooms doors stay shut while we work and fan noise must stay low.  For this to work I need 4 quiet, high-quality fans.  Some of the Vornados are $100.  Maybe they'll save more than I'm estimating or maybe they'll last longer than I'm guessing, but it seems like it maybe not that cost effective.  I've gotten my energy costs down pretty low so maybe that's the best I can do. 

http://www.amazon.com/Vornado-660-Whole-Room-Circulator/dp/B0025QKUE8

Any recommendations?

PS Does turning on the fan on the AC unit help cool you down cost effectively?

thd7t

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Re: Fans vs AC
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2015, 03:09:58 PM »
I am looking into saving more of my hard earned money by using fans more and AC less.  I need to buy some fans to make the plan work and want to make good purchases that aren't so expensive as to eliminate the savings.

My newly purchased small home (770 sf) will probably need a nice ceiling fan for the main living area.  I'll get one installed or maybe just get a reversible window fan

My music lesson studio consisting of 5 rooms is where I'm kinda confused.  We have drop down ceilings and I don't want to put my money into improving the landlord's space.  I want my clients to be comfortable (kids and parents) and my favorite fans, Vornado brand, are somewhat expensive. 

I guess that I could save about $30 month, 4 months a year, in Michigan, and that the fans last 5 years.  That saves $600. 
The lesson rooms doors stay shut while we work and fan noise must stay low.  For this to work I need 4 quiet, high-quality fans.  Some of the Vornados are $100.  Maybe they'll save more than I'm estimating or maybe they'll last longer than I'm guessing, but it seems like it maybe not that cost effective.  I've gotten my energy costs down pretty low so maybe that's the best I can do. 

http://www.amazon.com/Vornado-660-Whole-Room-Circulator/dp/B0025QKUE8

Any recommendations?

PS Does turning on the fan on the AC unit help cool you down cost effectively?
Do you mean turning the fan on while the AC is running?  If so, yes.  It should reduce your cost (and increase your comfort) substantially by more effectively circulating the cooled air through your house.

dodojojo

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Re: Fans vs AC
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2015, 03:19:37 PM »
Yes, fans definitely help.  Right now it's in the high 70's/low 80's here and open windows with a regular fan stationed in front of me works perfectly.  I could keep it off and I'd be okay.  But having a nice breeze keeps me really comfortable for the work day.  When it gets warmer and humid, I'll turn on the AC but use the fan too.  That means I can keep the AC temp to about 80F.  I would tweak it even a bit higher but worry about the cats.  They refuse to be anywhere near the fans...

I'm not sure how personal or small fans work in big space.  My understanding is the fan is only useful if it's blowing at you directly.  So in your music rooms, could you not have a regular fan stationed quite close to you and the student?  I have the old fashion metal cage fan with 3 speed buttons.  There's also one button to get the fan to move side to side.  I don't think it's particularly loud, then again I could be used to it.  I picked it up at a thrift store for $5.  I also have a newer small squat plastic fan.  Since it's squat, I place it on the drawer next to my bed and it blows right at supine body height.

nereo

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Re: Fans vs AC
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2015, 03:23:11 PM »
My first recommendation is to step back and ask "what is causing my home to become so hot" (and don't say "because it's hot outside" - two homes in the same neighborhood can have vastly different internal temperatures).  By addressing why your home is heating up so much you can get ahead of the game.

Insulation, air flow, windows and orientation all contribute to a house (or a particular room) being 'cool' or 'hot'.  Do you have windows that are in full afternoon sun?  Cut down on solar gain with drapes, light-colored throw rugs (which will not absorb heat as much as dark tile), or awnings.  Is your home well insulated (especially around the roof?)

Finally, take advantage of the cooler periods and cooler rooms in your home.  Open the windows at night to cool off the house.  During the day, if you have a cooler basement or northern-facing room, open the windows in there and the windows on your top story and use fans to "pull" air from the cool room and "push" it out the top floor.  Vornado fans are fantastic, but I've had as much luck using window-mounted box fans set to either 'pull' or 'push' air, and they cost about $20 each new.

protostache

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Re: Fans vs AC
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2015, 06:22:46 PM »
PS Does turning on the fan on the AC unit help cool you down cost effectively?

If you have central AC then no, this does not effectively cool the house, nor does it save you much money. That big fan in the central unit can use hundreds of watts and it really is just heating up the air as it passes through.

Also, hey I'm in Michigan too! We're going to do our best to not turn the AC on this summer and rely on actively managing which windows are open to allow cool air in with a fan in an upstairs window blowing out. This seems to create a bit of a stovepipe effect in our house and cools things down considerably.

begood

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Re: Fans vs AC
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2015, 07:40:41 PM »
In years past, Costco has had two-packs of Vornado circular fans for sale. I bought some probably four years ago and they're still going strong. I use them to keep the A/C nudged up a little. Our 2nd floor is noticeably hotter than our 1st floor (where the thermostat lives...). The fans keep me sane at night in the summer.

kc86

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Re: Fans vs AC
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2015, 08:45:54 PM »
thanks mustachians.  sometimes i just gotta talk it out to figure out what to do.  :)