Home Design – Air Conditioning vs. Ceiling Fans

Many people think that if they have ceiling fans they shouldn’t need to have air-conditioning, but in fact this is wrong, especially if they live in a hot climate. Fans of all kinds simply move the air around. This may make you feel a bit cooler, especially if you are perspiring. But once the air becomes really hot, a fan is not going to cool you off unless you are actually wet.

We all know that hot air rises; that is why we have thunderstorms when a cool front moves in after hot weather. In the house, especially if the ceilings are high, this hot air congregates all around the top of the room. When you switch ceiling fans on, they actually push that hot air back down to the floor, so you are going to feel hotter than you were before you switched them on. Freestanding fans don’t do this.

If you have both ceiling fans and an air conditioner (and get it serviced regularly) with a high ceiling, you’ll notice it all the more because the cool air from the air con will sink to the bottom half of the room. But if you then switch on the ceiling fans, once again, you’ll feel that hot air getting pushed down. Eventually, the two will merge and equalise, but it’s far better to leave ceiling fans off, especially in weather that is scorching hot.


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