Ceiling Fans: Fulfilling the Energy Efficiency Promise

January/February 2001
A version of this article appears in the January/February 2001 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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January 01, 2001
Ceiling fans, and their light kits, can be substantial energy users. Changes in product design and consumer education offer major savings opportunities.
        Ceiling fans are one of the most popular and generally well regarded of all home energy efficiency features. They have a very pragmatic appeal to those who want to cut summer electric bills. At the same time, they offer a decorative alternative to typical light fixtures. So it should come as no surprise that two-thirds of American households now have ceiling fans. Home improvement centers do a brisk and growing business in sales to do-it-yourselfers, and it’s not uncommon to find ceiling fans installed by builders in nearly every bedroom and living area in many new homes.          But recent research suggests that it may be time for the energy efficiency community to take a second look at ceiling fans (see “Ceiling Fans 101,” p. 27). The Florida Solar Energy Center identified ceiling fans as substantial energy users and investigated a number of technologies to improve energy efficiency (see “Cutting-Edge Blades Slash Fan Energy Use,” HE, July/Aug ’99, p. 7). The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Ecos Consulting recently undertook our own EPA-funded research to determine how much energy ceiling fans use, identify ...

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