Right now, there are many regions where one day is rainy but 60 degrees and the next is 20 degrees lower but sunny. It's unpredictable, but that's the nature of seasonal shifts. It's also a good time to start pulling out the room fans in case you find yourself in a midday heat burst, no matter how brief.
Even if you're glad to see the sun after months of grayer skies, you may not be looking forward to the hot, sticky weather that's just down the road. Anticipating the rise in your electric bills if you have to use air conditioning may also fill you with dread, but it doesn't have to be that way. Fans can keep you cool on their own, and in tandem with air conditioning when it's really necessary.
According to the San Antonio Express-News, the magic number to keep in mind is 78 – that's the thermostat number you should set once spring weather gives us a preview of what summer will be like. It sounds high on its own, but it's an energy-efficient setting that's comfortable with the use of electric fans. If you consider that fans can make you feel as much as 5 degrees cooler than with AC alone, that makes 78 the new 73. Larger fans can cover a lot of territory and have that result.
Maximize fanning effect
Turn fans on only in the rooms you're using – much like space heaters in winter – and you'll be cool where you are without wasting energy in parts of the house that aren't occupied. Be sure to have one in the kitchen for times when the stove is turned on, preferably a window-mounted fan that can exhaust hot air from the room or send in cool air from outside. For the amount of comfort they deliver, fans consume a minimal amount of energy.
This is a good rule to follow throughout late spring into summer and early fall. Whenever you're cooking dinner at the stove, running the dishwasher or drying clothes in a laundry room that's on the same floor as other rooms, you'll heat up your house. Sending a fan-driven breeze through the heated area will bring the temperature back to a comfortable level.
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