Ceiling fans are great, aren’t they? That brisk breeze helps us survive the humid Georgia summers.

But when you turn on your fan you might be forgetting to do a simple task that could help you save energy and lower your summer utility bills.

It’s a mistake most Atlanta-area people make:

Forgetting to turn up the thermostat when turning on the ceiling fan

“Wait a second,” you might object, “doesn't the ceiling fan lower the temperature in my home so that the air conditioner doesn't have to work as much?”

Not so! It only feels that way because of the wind chill effect. Let’s explain the science behind that real quick.

Understanding the Wind Chill effect

You’ve probably seen a “wind chill factor” on the weather channel, right?

In their own words:
“The Wind Chill is the temperature your body feels when the air temperature is combined with the wind speed. It is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by the effects of wind and cold. As the speed of the wind increases, it can carry heat away from your body much more quickly, causing skin temperature to drop.”

Notice it says your “skin temperature” drops—not the air temperature. So, while things feel cooler to you, the actual temperature is the same, and your thermostat tells your air conditioner to run at its usual pace.

Knowing how to turn your thermostat up

OK, so you know you should turn the thermostat up. But how much? gives us a nice rule of thumb: “If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.”

Simple, right? We hope this helps someone in the Atlanta area save some money.

As always, if you have any cooling problems in your Atlanta-area home, be sure to give us a call at (770) 443-1821.

Ragsdale Heating, Air, Plumbing & Electrical has been providing award-winning service to Atlanta and the surrounding areas for over 25 years.

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