Benefits of Installing an Indoor or Outdoor Ceiling Fan or Portable Pedestal Fan
Apart from being energy efficient, ceiling or pedestal fans - both indoor and outdoor - are great for cooling you down on a hot day.
There is nothing nicer on a hot day than walking into a cool room but that coolness comes at a high price, especially considering the rising cost of electricity and the fact that, for many hours of the day we could be without power. Air conditioners, whether central, freestanding or mobile, have a high energy consumption and even if you want to run them on backup power, they cost a fortune to operate.
We are all concerned about the rising cost of electricity and ensuring that we do not use energy-sucking appliances in the home, but is there a way to stay cool in the home - or out on the patio - without having to spend so much? Take a look at how ceiling or standing fans compare to air conditioners and you can make your own informed decision.
The bad news about air conditioners
Record-breaking temperatures around the globe have us looking for ways to keep cool and air conditioners provide us with an easy solution, whether it is a central air conditioner that controls the temperature of an entire house, a free-standing unit to cool a room or a portable air conditioner.
Air conditioners consume a lot of electricity no matter the type of air conditioner. The sad fact is that even the most energy-efficient model will still have a high wattage rate compared to alternatives and the manufacturers don't make it easy to do a comparison based on power usage; usually, you will have to inspect the packaging or find the manufacturer's tag on the unit to discover the wattage required for operation.
Even knowing the wattage for a particular model air conditioner, Eskom doesn't make it easy to know how much it is going to cost to run because Eskom tariffs are based on so many variables. The only way to know how much it will cost to operate an air conditioner is to check your monthly electricity bill and by then it's too late to do anything.
The good news about ceiling fans (or pedestal fans)
My home has both fitted ceiling fans and free-standing pedestal fans. The reason for having both is that I use the pedestal fans outdoors and can place them where needed around my entertainment area to cool and keep away mosquitoes. Another reason I prefer to have pedestal fans is the ability to run these via a UPS or inverter when the power is out, which is great for keeping the mozzies at bay during late-night load shedding. But enough about me...
The reason ceiling fans - and pedestal fans - are becoming increasingly popular is their energy efficiency. Fans are rated from 40W and upwards depending on the size and speed settings whereas air conditioners can range from 900W up to 3500W and that is a huge difference in power consumption. Other than power consumption, take a look at the following benefits of installing a ceiling fan or using a pedestal fan:
- A pedestal fan has complete portability and only requires access to a power point or extension lead
- Pedestal or ceiling fans are effective for outdoor use
- All types of fans are excellent for keeping pests at bay
- Ceiling and pedestal fans use a fraction of the energy consumption required by an air conditioner
- A pedestal fan with low watts can be powered via a UPS or inverter during load-shedding
Tips to make a ceiling or pedestal fan more effective
- Place a pedestal fan close to an open window to draw cooled air into a room.
- Select a fan with low wattage to be able to power during load shedding or power outages. It doesn't necessarily have to be a large fan but should have variable speed settings.
- Keep a spray bottle of water handy to lightly mist your body when the temperature rises as this will aid in keeping you cool.
- Regularly clean the fan blades and cage on the fan since dust build-up affects performance.
- Choose a ceiling fan that has a summer/winter setting so that it can be used throughout the year.
- Have an expert install the ceiling fan for safe installation and proper operation. If the fan becomes unbalanced for any reason, have this checked.
At the end of the day, the decision is yours to make although with climate change, reduction in the availability of power and the ever-increasing cost of electricity, perhaps you should consider a more energy and cost-efficient solution to staying cool.