Air conditioning is the most effective way to keep your home – and your family – cool during the hottest summer months. That said, knowing how to use this appliance at its maximum efficiency can help save money on your electricity bills while reducing your environmental footprint.
One way to maximize efficiency is to purchase a central air conditioning unit with variable speed blowers to aid in cooling your home. Many sources – including the U.S. Department of Energy* – claim that that using the whole home fan reduces energy bills. This is the fan that circulates the air through your home after it has been cooled by your air conditioner. The ideal energy efficiency is achieved only when you use a variable speed fan that will automatically adjust the blower speed to the ideal level based on the current conditions.
Variable speed fans bring together energy efficiency and high indoor air quality. Standard air conditioning units have only “auto” or “on” settings for the whole home fan. While being able to run the whole home fan regardless of whether or not the unit is in an active cooling cycle can be highly beneficial, it is the variable speed fan option that stops it from running up the electricity bill.
How will a variable speed system really make a difference? Consider the following or call us and we’ll be happy to discuss it with you:
• When the air conditioner is not actively running, using the house fan will not make the air any cooler. It will however, re-circulate the air that has already been cooled by the AC, giving the house a feeling of “fresher” air with a wind chill effect. On average, a home in which the variable speed fan is running can comfortably turn the thermostat 4 degrees warmer than one in with a standard AC fan or one that has been set to “auto.”
• The house fan will also draw air from naturally cooler parts of the house and send it into warmer parts to encourage more equal temperature distribution and comfort throughout the home.
• Using the variable speed fan option allows you to lessen the need for the AC to continually run on an active cooling cycle, which helps save electricity. The average home HVAC system’s fan uses approximately 325 to 425 watts. That said, newer units with variable-speed fans use far less than that – as low as 23 watts. That’s where the most significant difference is made on an energy bill. Comparatively, the average home’s well maintained air conditioner uses around 3500 watts (which includes the electricity used by the fan to circulate the cooled air).
• Air quality also can improve with steady use of the house fan, by making sure the air in your home is continually filtered. This can bring tremendous relief for anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies, dust allergies, or who has other types of respiratory struggles.
The better the fan, the better the savings. Installing a variable speed fan and/or whole house filters are among the most cost effective moves you can make in terms of improvement to the efficiency of your air conditioner while keeping your air quality as high as possible.
If you’re not sure if a variable speed fan is right for your home, or if you’d like to know which model would be ideal for your needs, contact us at McLoughlin Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling.
We can help you to make certain your air conditioner is running at its best and can recommend the ideal whole house fan for your home.