Air conditioners are expensive. Installing a central air conditioning system will cost you thousands of dollars, and running it may cost you hundreds of dollars in cooling bills, in the cooling season. And that’s where circulating and ventilation fans enter.
They can be part of a larger strategy to replace AC, or be used in conjunction with air conditioners.
Types of fans
Fans are of two main types. Those like ceiling fans and portable fans, designed to circulate the inside home's air (circulation fans); and those intended to move outside air into the house when temperatures are lower: the ventilation fans, which include window-fans and whole-house fans. This last type of fans can't be used in conjunction with AC, contrary to circulation fans.
Do not undervalue fans in your strategies to reduce your cooling bills. Consider circulation fans (ceiling and portable) but also ventilation fans (window and whole-house fans). Over the years, they can save you thousands of dollars in air-conditioning.
Using fans in conjunction with air conditioners
Circulation fans can be used in conjunction with air conditioners.
You just have to raise the air conditioner thermostat setting to a higher temperature – say 80-82º F (26º-28º C) instead of 74-76 ºF (23-25ºC); you will not notice any difference in comfort and you will get significant energy savings...
Just choose the right temperature setting for your AC system. Each one degree increase can reduce your cooling bills by 5%-6% …
Obviously, you still need to keep the windows closed (you can’t use air conditioners with ventilation fans; just circulating fans).
Don’t run your AC system with your windows or doors open, and do not forget to adjust the AC temperature setting when using Ac and fans in conjunction. If you don’t adjust the AC setting you'll actually increase your energy bills.
Also do not forget to turn off the fans, when leaving the room. Circulation fans do not cool the air; they cool people by circulating the air, which in turns evaporates moisture from our skin and makes us feel more comfortable...
Ventilation fans and air conditioners
Obviously, you can’t use ventilation fans (window-fans or whole-house fans) with air conditioners in the way you can use ceiling fans and other circulating fans. You can’t use them simultaneously. Ventilation fans move air into and out of the house...
The idea behind ventilation fans is to cool the house during the nighttime and early morning hours, when the outside air is fresher, and to close up the house during the hotter hours of the day, to eliminate air conditioning needs, or to reduce them to a miminum.