Activate Staying Sharp and you can create a brain health plan that includes games, activities, recipes and more. Try it today!
Living on a Budget
by Joan Rattner Heilman, AARP Bulletin, July 13, 2010
To stay cool in one of the hottest summers on record and avoid an astronomical energy bill, take the Environmental Protection Agency’s advice: Create a refreshing breeze with a ceiling fan.
“If you raise your air conditioner’s thermostat by only two degrees and turn on a ceiling fan, you will feel just as cool and lower your costs by up to 14 percent over the course of a season,” says Karen Schneider of the EPA’s Energy Star program.
Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, one of the country’s largest energy providers, concurs, adding that to get maximum effect, the fan must be propelling air down (in most models, that means a counterclockwise direction for the blades). And spokesperson Elizabeth Clark says you can also save if you shut down the AC when you’re feeling comfortable and run the fan for a while.
When winter comes, your fan can reduce utility bills, too. Lower your thermostat a few degrees and reverse the rotational direction of the blades from the summer setting. Running the fan at low speed will produce a gentle updraft that forces the warm air near the ceiling down into your living space.
Joan Rattner Heilman writes on good deals and where to find them.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Featured AARP Member Benefits
See All >
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
You'll start receiving the latest news, benefits, events, and programs related to AARP's mission to empower people to choose how they live as they age.
You can also manage your communication preferences by updating your account at anytime. You will be asked to register or log in.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at