No Central AC in Maine? Here’s How to Get the Most Out of Your Ceiling Fan
I made the decision around the start of 2022 to dive head first into the Maine real estate market and have searched feverishly (legit probably have visited around 100 properties, and that's a minimum) for a home to buy so I can permanently change my status from "from away" to "Mainer."
Not many Maine homes have Central AC
And through every single property I've looked at, other than the few that had heat pumps installed to essentially create the feel of having Central AC, I noticed that not many homes had Central AC installed, or even window units on hand. Granted multiple Mainers, especially on the interwebs, will point to the fact that you really only need an air conditioner a handful of days out of the year at maximum.
Central AC is expensive to install
There's also the fact to consider that, like everything in 2022, installing Central Air is mucho expensive. According to HomeAdvisor, the typical range for installing Central AC is anywhere between $3,800 and almost $8,000. Hardly seems worth it (especially when you factor in that your utility bills will go up from using it) if the average Mainer only uses their AC a handful of days a year.
Save money by oscillating your ceiling fan in the correct direction
It seems like such a mindless thing, but by doing something as simple as making sure your ceiling fan is rotating in the correct direction can not only cool you down on the rare summer scorcher in Maine. (And I call it mindless, but I was today years old when I learned there are actually correct directions to have your ceiling fan rotate for maximum use.)
According to legendary home improvement icon Bob Vila, during the summer months, your ceiling fan should be rotating in a counter-clockwise direction. By rotating the blades counter-clockwise, the air is forced down and out which then sends the hotter air up the walls and keeps the cooler air closer to the floor (since we learned hot air rises back in grade school.)
And if you're questioning whether or not it's as simple as doing the opposite thing to warm up a bit during winter, the correct answer is YES. You can actually warm yourself up a bit during the cooler weather by having the blades turn clockwise, which pulls the cold air closer to the ceiling and prevents cold air pockets from forming.
Of course, if CBS 13's report last year on climate change creating hotter summers in Maine and creating a bigger need for air conditioners, the time may come where a counter-clockwise ceiling fan won't matter much...