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Keeping Cool

Jul. 21, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- In this day and age, if you want to stay cool you flip on the air conditioner. However there is a tried and true alternative.

You won't stay as cool and there is an element of dust involved but a ceiling fan will move the air and makes us think we are cooler with it on. The biggest advantage to a ceiling fan as opposed to air conditioning is that is just plain cheaper to use. One authority said that 16% of an electric bill could be related to the air conditioning unit.

Philip Diehl invented the electric ceiling fan way back in 1882 thus beginning our quest to cool off the house by using an overhead fan. In actuality the ceiling fan doesn't cool the house, it just helps us cool off. It seems moving air helps the perspiration evaporate faster from our skin, thus we feel cooler though the temperature hasn't changed.

Some like a ceiling fan for the ambiance it provides to a room, plus you get to enjoy its ability to help heat and cool a room. That's right, a ceiling fan can help a room warm up as well as cool you off. It all has to do with which way the fan is moving - if it is pulling the air up it will warm the room and if it is pushing it down it will help cool. There is usually a reverse switch on the side of the fan to accomplish this.

When choosing a ceiling fan one needs to consider the size of the room and the height of the ceiling. The bigger the room the bigger the fan should be to work effectively. The ceiling height will determine how low you hang the fan from the ceiling to do its best job. There are charts online that will help a person determine what size fan should be purchased for the room.

Ceiling fans have come along way since 1882. They come in all sorts of styles and colors plus they now have light kits that go with them so they can do double duty as an overhead light. This function is usually controlled with switches that hang from the light, however, they can be wired to a wall switch so you can use either or both light and fan.

Installation of a ceiling fan is not supposed to be difficult but it is recommended one get a friend to help due to the weight of the fan. The best advice given is to turn the electricity off before beginning the job and leave it off until installation is complete. If you fail to turn off the electricity installation could be a shocking experience. Most fans have good directions with them but if you would like to watch someone actually install a fan check out YouTube for a hands-on experience.

Once a ceiling fan is installed it will work better if kept clean. You will be amazed at the amount of dust that will accumulate on the blades. If you are not a trapeze artist that likes to climb around on chairs and ladders then purchase one of the dusting mops with a long handle that will easily slide over the blades. The mops make fast work of a difficult job.

Some of us turn our ceiling fans on and leave them on more than others. If this is the case with you then know that you may have to replace it every few years. The cost of ceiling fans runs anywhere between $50 and $200. It all depends on the quality and the sale.