Category Archives: Fans

How Ceiling Fans Affect Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

How Ceiling Fans Affect Your Home's Energy EfficiencyIn Portland’s mild climate, your ceiling fan can do a lot to help you stay comfortable efficiently. To get the most out of your fan, keep these tips in mind:

A Little Help for Your Air Conditioner

On days that aren’t too hot, stick to using your ceiling fans for as long as you can before turning on your air conditioner. Once you do turn on the A/C, don’t turn off the ceiling fan. A ceiling fan can make you feel around 4 to 5 degrees cooler, allowing you to raise your air conditioner’s thermostat temperature by the same amount with no loss of comfort.

Every degree you raise your A/C temperature can cut your cooling bills by around 3 to 10 percent. Make sure the fan blades are set to spin counterclockwise as seen from below. Spinning in this direction, they blow a cooling breeze downward over your skin. If the blades aren’t set correctly, look for a small switch on the motor housing that lets you change their direction.

Comfort in Winter, Too

When the cool fall weather moves in, set your fan blades to spin clockwise and run the fan on the lowest speed. When spinning this way, the blades create an updraft that pulls cool air from the lower part of the room toward the ceiling. This air pushes the warm air near the ceiling out towards the walls and down to where you are. The warm air in your room will circulate around you rather than pooling near the ceiling.

Maximizing Your Fan’s Efficiency

Fans make you feel more comfortable, but they don’t change the air temperature so they don’t help when you’re not in the room. To save energy, turn off the fan when you leave the room.

To move air efficiently, your fan must be the right size for the room. For a room of less than 144 sq. ft., a 42-inch fan is enough. For a room of up to 225 sq. ft., choose a 50-inch fan.

To learn more, contact Roth Heating & Cooling, providing trusted HVAC services for Portland area homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Consider These Improvements for Your Attic or Basement

Consider These Improvements for Your Attic or BasementAttic and basement spaces are frequently overlooked, especially if they’re not finished or furnished. But if your Portland home has an attic or basement, it may be valuable to invest in improving those spaces — even if you never plan on going into them. Consider these improvements:

  • Add insulation. During the summer, the sun hits your roof and warms it well past the temperature of the outside air – and that heat radiates into attic spaces, and down into your living areas. During the winter, warm air rises into attic spaces, and the warmth escapes. Insulation can help to slow both these heat transfers, keeping you cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Basement spaces can benefit from insulation as well, as the ground beneath your home can easily sap warmth from your home.
  • Seal and insulate ducts that pass through attic and basement spaces. Ducts may be designed to pass through attics and basements, even if those spaces aren’t conditioned. When that happens, they can leak into those spaces, or shed (or take on) heat as they carry air through them. That means that your cooling and heating dollars may be sapped away before the conditioned air ever makes it to your living areas.
  • Add ventilation. Ventilating attic spaces can help to manage temperatures, in the summer especially. Both attic and basement areas can also benefit from ventilation to bring in fresh air and exhaust stale air which otherwise might make its way into the air supply of your home.
  • Manage your humidity. Humid, moist or damp areas can provide a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and bacteria, which can eat away at fixtures and threaten your health. If your attic or basement has a humidity problem, a dehumidifier may be necessary to address it.
  • Find and seal any leaks. Air escaping from attic or basement spaces reduces the efficiency of your heating and cooling overall.

If you’re curious about how to improve your attic and basement areas, give Roth Heating & Cooling a call!

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Find Out the Best Way to Ventilate Your Bathroom

Find Out the Best Way to Ventilate Your BathroomAlthough bathroom ventilation is essential to the well-being of your home and health, many homeowners often overlook the importance of properly ventilating. Do you know whether your existing ventilation system is up to par? Find out everything you need to know about selecting and installing the right exhaust fan for your bathroom.

A Closer Look at Proper Ventilation

Your bathroom is regularly exposed to high levels of moisture and humidity. At the same time, the space is small and enclosed. Without a good bathroom ventilation system in place, you could wind up with warped wood, damaged drywall, and a breeding ground for mold and mildew. But just because you have a bathroom fan doesn’t mean that it’s getting the job done right. You may find that your existing system exhausts excess moisture into the space between ceiling joists or into an attic. This only moves the problem from one location to another. Instead, you need to install a bathroom fan that will exhaust moisture and mold spores outside of the home.

Selecting a Bathroom Fan

Once ready to install a properly ventilating bathroom fan, you need to know what to look for:

  • Airflow capacity — The airflow capacity of bathroom fans is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). In order for your bathroom’s ventilation needs to be met, you’ll need a fan with 1 CFM per square foot of the bathroom’s floor space. In the event that your bathroom is larger than 100 square feet, you’ll need to increase the fan’s airflow capacity by 50 CFM for each toilet, bath, shower, or bath/shower combo and by 100 CFM per whirlpool.
  • Noise Many homeowners are concerned with the noise factor associated with bathroom fans. If this is a concern, look for a fan rated at 0.5–1.2 sones. Fans rated higher than 4 sones, on the other hand, are the loudest.
  • Energy efficiency Maximize your energy savings by looking for an exhaust fan that has received the Energy Star label.

Ready to improve your bathroom ventilation? Call the pros at Roth Heating & Cooling. We serve the Greater Portland area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Can Ceiling Fan Direction Affect Your Home’s Cooling Efficiency?

Can Ceiling Fan Direction Affect Your Home's Cooling Efficiency?Without looking up, which direction is your ceiling fan rotating? If you answered counter-clockwise (as you’re looking up at the fan), you’re correct — most of the time. However, ceiling fans usually are equipped with a switch on the fan housing that allows you to change ceiling fan direction from the default factory setting, counter-clockwise, to clockwise. The first setting helps you feel cooler in warmer seasons, and the second aids in recirculating warm air during the heating season. Either strategy, used in the correct season, will help save energy and money in your Portland area home.

Ceiling Fan Heating

In most rooms, warmer air collects near the ceiling. In the winter, this can be a problem since people don’t spend time in the tops of rooms. They need that warm air down where they’re standing or sitting. A ceiling fan set to clockwise blade rotation will blow air upward, displacing the warm air near the ceiling, and force it toward the walls and then down into the room. When your thermostat senses the warmer air, it won’t kick the furnace on quite so soon, and you’ll save money on utility bills.

Ceiling Fan Cooling

When set to rotate counter-clockwise, a ceiling fan will blow air downward, creating a wind-chill effect for anyone who feels that air movement. This will make the room feel cooler, and allow you to turn up the thermostat as many as four degrees without starting to feel uncomfortable. During mild days, ceiling fans may allow you to keep the A/C off entirely. This provides energy savings, since it costs substantially less to operate a fan than it does an A/C or heat pump.

It’s important to remember that ceiling fans don’t actually cool a room; it’s all about the cooling “effect.” If no one is in the room to feel the air current, it’s not doing any good. Turn off ceiling fans in empty rooms.

Remember, the right ceiling fan direction can save you money in all seasons. For more helpful ideas for saving money on energy in your Portland area home, please contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Amy Walters/Shutterstock”

Exhaust Fans: Essential for Better Indoor Air Quality

Exhaust Fans: Essential for Better Indoor Air QualityConsider all the pollution generated in your home every day. Cleaning, cooking, burning fuel, bathing and even breathing create moisture and pollution you want to expel from your house. The kitchen, bathroom and laundry room are the biggest culprits for generating pollution, from fumes and smoke to grease and dust. The best way to get rid of these pollutants is by installing exhaust fans. Here’s a look at the types of exhaust fans available and the benefits they provide. Continue reading

A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing and Using Ceiling Fans

A Beginner's Guide to Choosing and Using Ceiling FansCeiling fans can help you save on energy bills during Portland summers, since a steady breeze in a room allows you to turn the A/C down a few degrees, or leave it off altogether.

Another benefit of ceiling fans, which many homeowners fail to take advantage of, is the reverse switch. Set the fan in reverse during the winter (most modern models have this feature), and the blades will gently draw cool air from the floor and redistribute warm air from the ceiling, allowing you to stay comfortable without having the heat on full blast.

Below are some things to consider when investing in ceiling fans. Continue reading

Sizing Ventilating Fans For Optimal Results

Sizing Ventilating Fans For Optimal ResultsLack of ventilation in your home leads to poor indoor air quality, increased levels of moisture, and elevated amounts of particulates and contaminants in the air. Installing and properly sizing ventilating fans helps alleviate these problems throughout your home. Continue reading

Is Your Attic Full Of Hot Air? An Attic Fan Can Help

Is Your Attic Full Of Hot Air? An Attic Fan Can HelpDo you want to keep your home’s air conditioner running efficiently and smoothly this summer? Consider installing and using an attic fan, which is an essential tool for keeping your home cool, and preventing unnecessary stress on your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system. Continue reading

Why Is Attic Ventilation Important? 3 Reasons To Consider

Having an attic can add to the resale value of your home. It can also be the source of problems if your attic doesn’t have proper ventilation. Many homeowners never consider the ventilation of their attic until they run into costly problems. Here are three reasons why attic ventilation is important: Continue reading