You've been using your fan all wrong- simple mistakes to fix to keep your bills down | The Sun
AS scorching temperatures hit the UK this week, many people will be using fans to keep cool.
But as energy prices soar, struggling households should be wary of running the appliance for too long.
Energy bills rose by 54% in April meaning running any device will cost you more than it did last year.
The average annual household bill for gas and electric now stands at £1,971 a year if you're one of the 20 million people on a price-capped tariff.
And prices are set to rocket even further, with experts predicting the energy cap will rise to £4,200 this winter.
But if you need to use your fan for long periods of time, such as keeping it on at night, there are ways to keep costs down.
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We’ve looked at common mistakes people make when using a fan, so your bills don’t have to rise and fall with the hot weather:
It may seem obvious, but the best way to save energy with a fan is to turn it down to a lower setting.
“Fans are at their most efficient on their lowest power setting, so pick the slowest speed that gives you a decent cooling breeze,” said Sarah Broomfield, energy expert at Uswitch.com.
Before you go and buy a fan, you might like to test out the different speeds to see if the lower ones can still keep you cool.
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Remember, when you are out shopping for a fan, the most expensive model might not be the best.
The Sun tested the best fans for under £30 – and the winner was from a budget supermarket.
Keep it chilled
Fans don’t actually cool air down – they just make you feel cooler.
The air moving over your skin can lower your body temperature but won't do much about the heat inside a room.
But Uswitch's Sarah Broomfield told The Sun about a nifty trick to make your fan more like an air conditioner:
“You could place your fan in front of an open window to improve its cooling effect – although if it’s an especially hot day, this may mean blowing warm air through the house.
“A better trick is to place a bowl of ice cubes in front of the fan, which will give you a lovely cool breeze,” she said.
And remember, if you don't plan on being in the room there's no point of leaving the fan on as it won't do anything to the heat inside the room itself.
Choose the right position
One expert has revealed the optimum position for a fan to be in to keep rooms cool and airy.
"Pop them in the corner or on the floor where the air is coolest," one man said in a video on the Earthtopia TikTok account.
There are other clever tips that can help you keep temperatures down.
Energy provider Ovo said you can create a satisfying cross-breeze through the house by placing a fan so it points out of the window.
That might seem counter-intuitive, but it works by pulling cooler air in from outside, and pushing the warmer air out.
Dust it off
As the temperature rises you might find yourself searching desperately in the loft or shed for an old fan.
But it's important to make sure it’s clean and that the mechanism is in good working order.
“If you’ve just got your fan out of the garage or attic it may have accumulated a lot of dust, which can reduce the efficiency of the mechanism,” said Uswitch’s Sarah.
“Give your fan a good clean, removing any dust from the blades and any other surfaces.”
Dusting off the blades of your fan will also make the room less stuffy according to Emily Seymour, Which? sustainability editor.
“It will mean the fan doesn’t blow the dust around so you won’t wake up feeling bunged up if you do leave your fan on at night,” she said.
Oscillation is key
Oscillation Fans that oscillate (move from side to side) are best according to Ovo.
This is because they move air around a whole room, rather than just cooling down one specific spot.
The good news is that most fans, even the cheapest ones, should have this feature.
So if you are buying a new fan, make sure it oscillates.
How much energy does a fan use?
If you’d like to find out how much electricity your fan uses, you first need to work out its “wattage”.
Finding out the "wattage" of a fan will give you the answer and tell you the amount of power it's using.
Then you need to find the total output you will have to turn that wattage into kilowatt hours.
There's a bit of maths involved as first you divide the kilowatt hours by 1,000.
This will give you how much output is used in one hour.
So if your fan is 70 watts output on its high setting and you always use this, divide 70 by 1000 = 0.07.
Then multiply this number by the number of hours you've used the fan. For example, if you're using it for 12 hours at a time, then 0.07kW x 12 hours will mean 0.84kW output.
How much does it cost?
Now that you know your kilowatt output, you need to times it by the amount you pay for 1 kW of electricity.
There is no standard price for electricity cost per kWh in the UK, so to find this amount, look on your energy bill.
It's worth noting if you are on a default tariff and subject to the price cap, then your supplier can currently charge up to 28p per kWh.
With this in mind, you'd take your 0.84kW, and times it by 28 – equalling 23.5p.
The equation is: cost = power (kilowatt) × time (hour) × cost of 1 kWh (pence).
So if your fan costs 23.5p to have on for that long, and you have it on for a full week, that adds up to £1.64.
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If you had it on every day for that length of time over a month, that would be £7.28.
Of course, costs will vary depending on the type of fan you have, how long you're using it for and how much your energy costs.
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