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Are Ceiling Fans Good for Energy Efficiency?

Ceiling fans would seem, at first glance, to be a smart tool in the overall mix of your home's energy efficency equipment. But too few know that their real value is when they're blowing on people--and many experts say they're essentially worthless and counterproductive if people aren't present in the home. 

Carl Seville, a Green Building Consultant and expert from Atlanta, wrote a provocatively named post recently: Ceiling Fans are Evil on the Green Building Advisor blog.

Here's a direct quote: "I am not suggesting that we should not use ceiling fans — just that they shouldn’t be on if no one is in the room. If people only use them when necessary and set their thermostat a bit higher, then the extra heat is a small price to pay for the comfort and energy savings."

Do you leave your fans on when noone is home?

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