Guide To Ceiling Fan Direction for Summer and Winter
Like sandy beaches and backyard barbecues, ceiling fans are often thought of as a summertime staple. However, as more homeowners search for cost-effective and energy-efficient ways to regulate their home temperature, many are using ceiling fans to cool and heat their homes year-round. Ceiling fans can cool and heat a home depending on the direction in which the blades are rotating. When purchasing a ceiling fan, select a unit with the option to reverse the blade rotation manually or with the use of a remote control.
If you are unsure of which direction a ceiling fan should turn in the winter and summer, you are not alone. One of the most common questions our customers ask is, “Which way should a ceiling fan turn in the summer or winter?” Here is a simple guide to ensure your ceiling fan is rotating in the correct direction for the season to maximize comfort and savings.
Counterclockwise Direction for Summer Savings
Homeowners are most likely familiar with using a ceiling during the warmer months. In the summer, ceiling fans should rotate in a counterclockwise direction when viewed from the floor, looking up at the blades. The counterclockwise rotation creates a cool downward airflow (see Figure 1) that accelerates the evaporation of perspiration, making users feel as if the room was few degrees cooler without actually altering the temperature. Users can then raise their thermostat two or three degrees without sacrificing physical comfort. Homeowners can also expect to enjoy the following benefits:
In the summertime, fan blades move counterclockwise to create a cooling a breeze.
- The "wind-chill effect,"
- Makes a room feel six to eight degrees cooler without changing the temperature
- Saves up to 40% on air-conditioning cost
- TIP: Leading edges of the fan blades should point up to move air down
Proper airflow is not limited to indoor spaces. Outdoor fans are a great way to remain cool in outdoor living areas during the summer season. However, owners should verify that an outdoor ceiling fan is UL-rated for wet or damp locations to ensure the longevity and performance of the ceiling fan. Homeowners using energy efficient ceiling fans with the option to reverse blade rotation may enjoy additional savings as these fans are 20% more efficient than standard fans.
Clockwise Direction for Winter Warmth
Many residents would hesitate to use a ceiling fan during the winter season. However, ceiling fans can be adjusted or winterized to provide warmth during the cold months. Winterizing a ceiling fan refers to act of reversing the direction in which the blades rotate so that they appear to spin a clockwise direction when viewed from the floor. The fan will recirculate warm air trapped near the ceiling back down to the floor (see Figure 2). The ceiling fan should operate at a low speed to prevent a wind chill effect. Using a fan during the winter season reduces the need for heating devices like space heaters or heating blankets, which pose health and injury risks as well as the cost of heating fuel. Residents can also enjoy the following benefits:
In the wintertime, fan blades move in clockwise direction to distribute warm air to the ground.
- Redistributes warm air located near the top of the ceiling to the floor
- Lowers energy use up to 15% during the winter months
- Reduces clutter of heating devices and cost of heating fuel
- TIP: Leading edges of the fan blades should point down to push warm air down to the floor
In the winter, a ceiling fan spinning in a clockwise direction adds warmth to a bedroom, kitchen or living room. Parents may install a whimsical kid’s ceiling fan to ensure their children are comfortable and warm as they sleep throughout the evening.
How to Change the Direction of Your Ceiling Fan
Manufacturers like Hunter ceiling fans and Minka Aire ceiling fans offer ceiling fans with remote controls that easily reverses the rotation of the blades with the touch of one button. A remote control is an all-in-one convenient option for changing speeds, direction or dimming the lights on a fan. However, if your ceiling fan does not have this option, follow these simple steps to change the direction of the ceiling fan's blades.
- Shut off the ceiling fan and wait for the blades to stop completely.
- Obtain a ladder or step stool to reach the ceiling fan.
- Find directional toggle switch on the motor housing, and flip the switch the opposite direction.
- Step down from the ladder or step stool and turn the fan back on.
- Stand below the ceiling fan to confirm the blades are rotating in the correct direction for the season.
If the blades are rotating correctly for the season, you should feel cool air during the summer and warmth during the winter. In addition, listen for odd noises and watch for any unsteadiness. Wobbling or shaking is a sign that a fan needs to balancing afterward. For assistance, see our step-by-step instructions on how to balance a ceiling fan. If you encounter any additional difficulties, see our troubleshooting guides with answers to common ceiling fan problems.
Benefits of Seasonally Changing Your Ceiling Fan Direction
Changing your ceiling fan's blade direction during the summer and winter seasons provides year-round comfort and reduces energy consumption, which can lower utility bills. Some homeowners have reported an annual savings of $500; however, this may vary depending on location, housing characteristics, and energy cost in your area. Select a new ceiling fan from our bestselling selection of remote controlled, reverse from the motor ceiling fans below.
Article Written by +Colby Harris
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