Question: Do ceiling fans change the temperature in a room?
I’ve been in the ceiling fan business for over 20 years and I still get asked this question almost every day…
Ceiling fans do not actually change the temperature in a room. If you place a thermometer beneath a fan, you generally will not see a change in the temperature. However, if you are running a window air conditioner in a nearby room you may see a change in temperature only because the fan is moving the air throughout the two rooms and bringing cooler air into the room where the fan is.
As others have correctly noted, ceiling fans mostly create a wind chill effect, which is what happens when the breeze created by the fan pulls perspiration away from your body, allowing your body’s own cooling system to work more effectively. That’s why we all like a little breeze outside during the hot summer.
Even more, if you use ceiling fans along with central air conditioning, you can raise the thermostat about 10 degrees without noticing a decrease in your level of comfort. Since a ceiling fan costs about 3 cents/hour to operate and an air conditioner can cost as much as $1.00/hour to operate (depending on it’s efficiency), there is considerable money to be saved by augmenting your air conditioning with the use of ceiling fans.
Finally, not all ceiling fans are created equally, so some fans will make you feel substantially cooler than others simply because they are designed to move more air. This has to do with the power and quality of the motor inside the fan combined with the shape and pitch (angle) of the blades. Poorly designed fans have small weak motors with blades that are nearly flat, so they don’t move much air. Good quality high performance ceiling fans have much more powerful motors with blades that have a steep pitch to them and that are fine tuned as far as weight and aerodynamics. But plan on paying a premium price for the better fans, which cost about $300 and up (you need to go to a specialty fan dealer, not your local home center to find them).
Sorry if I went a little overboard…