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How to Reverse Your Ceiling Fan - Step by Step

As temperatures drop during the fall and winter months, energy costs begin to rise just as steadily. Call it coincidence. Call it symbiotic. Call it what you will, but the additional energy used to heat a home can quickly add up to a hefty bill. Read our Del Mar Fans & Lighting’s guide to proper ceiling fan direction to see which direction your fan should be going and how ceiling fan direction can save you money on your energy bill.


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Hi. I'm Colby with Del Mar Fans and Lighting and I'm here to show you how to reverse your ceiling fan.

Reverse direction for a ceiling fan is a clockwise motion producing an updraft. In the winter, when your heater is running, reversing your ceiling fan moves warm air near the ceiling down to the floor. This greatly reduces your energy use and can lower your energy bills by as much as 15 percent. You will need a ladder or a step stool to reach the motor housing. Turn off your ceiling fan and locate the direction switch on the motor housing. This one is here, sometimes they are on the top of the motor housing. Make sure your fan has come to a complete stop before flipping the direction switch in the opposite direction. Now turn your fan back on and enjoy. Many ceiling fans include remote controls with the reverse button. Other fans include wall controls with the reverse function.

Leave a comment below with any thoughts or questions. Thanks for checking us out. Head over to our Facebook page and like us for exclusive fan and lighting giveaways. See you next time.

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MATERIALS

Step Ladder

PRODUCTS USED

For this video, we used a Minka Aire Fan.

How to Change the Direction of Your Fan

Locate the direction switch on the motor housing (in some cases, the switch may be located inside the switch housing or switch cup), and flip the switch in the opposite direction. Directional switches may move vertically (up and down) or horizontally (side to side from left to right).

How To Switch Your Ceiling Fan Blade Direction

For vertical direction switches, flip the switch down for downward airflow or flip the switch up for upward airflow.

For horizontal direction switches, flip the switch to the left for downward airflow or flip the switch to the right for upward airflow.

Use the steps below to change the direction of your ceiling fan:

  1. Shut off the ceiling fan and wait for the blades to come to a complete stop
  2. Using a ladder or step stool to reach the motor housing, locate the direction switch
  3. Flip the switch in the opposite direction
  4. Step down and turn the ceiling fan back on
  5. Verify the ceiling fan blades are moving in the right direction

If the ceiling fan blades are rotating correctly, you should feel a cool downward airflow in the summer. However, you should feel no air movement in the winter. You can reverse the direction of your outdoor ceiling fans, as well as your low profile ceiling fan.

If you have an older ceiling fan without a reversible motor, you could adjust the blade pitch to reverse the airflow. Adjust the blade pitch to the right to push air down. Adjust the blade pitch to the left to pull air up.

How to Reverse Your Ceiling Fan with a Remote

Reversing your fan using your remote control is pretty simple. View the infographic below for more details.

How To Correctly Reverse A Ceiling Fan From A Remote Control

Reversing the direction of your ceiling fan is a budget-friendly and eco-friendly way to make your home feel warmer in the fall and winter months. An easy way to remember is to reverse your fan during Daylight Savings Time when you reverse your clocks.

Stephanie Burchett
What about a fan with a remote but no reverse/forward button and no visible switch? Thanks for your help!
October 6, 2013 at 11:01 pm
Mara Bermudez
Hi Stephanie, Thank you for your recent question. If the reverse switch is not visible on the exterior of the motor housing, it may be located inside of the lower switch housing. In that case, you would need to remove the switch housing cover to access the reverse switch. To better assist you, do you know the make and model of your ceiling fan? Best regards, Mara Content Writer at Del Mar Fans & Lighting
October 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm
Charles Catekista
i have a concept 1 52. The remote is a UC 7084 T. How to reverse mode, Fan has no slide switch
January 15, 2014 at 11:53 am
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Hello Charles, Thank you for the question. If your Minka Aire Concept I includes a full function handheld remote, you should be able to reverse the ceiling fan by pressing the direction button on the keypad. If your fan does not include a full function remote, you should be able to reverse the ceiling fan by flipping the manual switch, located on the motor housing between the blades and the light kit.
January 17, 2014 at 1:49 pm
Becky Maciel
My remote doesn't have a reverse button. Does that mean it doesn't reverse?
November 20, 2014 at 11:42 am
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Hi Becky, Thanks for the great question. If your remote does not have a reverse button, there should be a manual switch on the motor housing, just above the blades. We hope this helps!
November 20, 2014 at 3:51 pm
Mona Depew
My fan won't reverse. We replaced the wall control WC210 with a new one and it still will not reverse. I do not see a switch on the fan itself. This fan is very decorative and was here when we purchased the home. I can't find a model number on it. Would it be under the plastic protective cover on the top of the fan? Thank you, Mona
November 27, 2014 at 8:24 am
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Hi Mona, Thank you for the great question. The location of the reverse switch can vary depending on the ceiling fan model. Some ceiling fans contain the switch in the lower switch housing. If you ceiling fan has a light kit, you may need to remove it to access the lower switch housing. We hope this helps.
December 1, 2014 at 9:58 am
Thanh Nguyen
I don't have a problem locating my reverse button. it's on the wall next to the light switch and fan on/off button. but the reverse button doesn't work half the time. and sometimes my fan will spin clockwise and then counter clockwise, as if someone is playing with the reverse button. any thoughts?
July 15, 2015 at 8:56 pm
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Hi Thanh, It seems to be a problem between the wall reverse switch and the fan receiver. Not all switches are compatible with all fans. To get more specific answers based on your ceiling fan and switch combination contact our customer service department at 1-800-724-5501!
July 16, 2015 at 9:44 am
Leticia Bristol
I currently don't have any heat can I use the ceiling fan? Until my heating is turned on
November 23, 2015 at 10:41 am
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Hi Leticia, Although the ceiling fan itself won't produce an abundance of heat, the warm air circulating throughout your home will help you stay warm. I hope this helps!
November 23, 2015 at 11:26 am
Brianna Lynn Cuzzort
I don't have a reverse on a remote or a switch on the fan what do I do?
January 31, 2016 at 7:04 pm
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Hi Brianna, Although you may find a few ways to modify a ceiling fan motor, the cheapest way to stay safe will be to purchase a new ceiling fan that includes a reverse switch. Depending on your size and location ceiling fans with reverse switches can be as cheap as $70. I hope this helps.
February 1, 2016 at 9:09 am
Kelly Franks Henderson
for some reason my fan won't reverse anymore. It pauses when I press the reverse button, but then resumes the same direction./..thoughts?
March 7, 2016 at 3:32 pm
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Hi Kelly, Technology can do amazing things nowadays. Be sure to stop the ceiling fan completely prioir to pressing the reverse button. You can contant the manufacturer to ensure the ceiling fan is capable of reversing, as well. I hope this helps!
March 7, 2016 at 5:03 pm
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Hi Kelly, Technology can do amazing things nowadays. Be sure to stop the ceiling fan completely prior to pressing the reverse button. Many fans have safety features preventing further issues. You can also contact the manufacturer to ensure the ceiling fan is capable of reversing, as well. I hope this helps!
March 7, 2016 at 5:05 pm
Kelly Franks Henderson
Del Mar Fans & Lighting it's capable of reversing. I used to reverse. Now it doesn't. Did it break?.who do I contact for repairs?
March 7, 2016 at 5:24 pm
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Kelly, Contacting the manufacturer is usually your best option. If you would like help finding the manufacturer or the contact information feel free to contact us at sales@DelMarFans.com or 800-724-5501.
March 8, 2016 at 8:45 am
Wendy Fitzgerald
Hi, I actually have the Minka Aire style ceiling fan with the wall controls. It is currently going in reverse (was installed that way) and I cannot seem to undo it for summer. I let it stop and hit the reverse button. And then when I hit one of the speed buttons to start it, it continues in reverse. The speeds and light adjustments work so it IS sending signal to the unit. Any ideas?
April 2, 2016 at 3:48 pm
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Hi Wendy, If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch you'll have to flip that to the other side. Stop the ceiling fan speeds and once the blades stop flip the switch and use the speeds 1-3 to control the ceiling fan in the other direction. I hope this helps!
April 4, 2016 at 10:10 am
Wendy Fitzgerald
Del Mar Fans & Lighting - Perhaps I'm misunderstanding. The fan has a 'button' (not a switch) control on the wall plate exactly as shown in your video above. The button has the two arrows in a circular shape. When I hit that and start the fan again using any of the fan speed buttons, it doesn't change the direction. Would there still be a switch on the fan even with the reverse button on the wall? I apologise if I'm not getting it.
April 4, 2016 at 11:46 am
Del Mar Fans & Lighting
Wendy Fitzgerald, If there is a switch, like in the picture with the arrow, that switch will have to be changed before the motor will allow the ceiling fan to circulate in the opposite direction. If you need further assistance please contact our sales department @ 800-724-5501
April 4, 2016 at 12:35 pm
Wendy Fitzgerald
Del Mar Fans & Lighting -Thank you.
April 4, 2016 at 5:15 pm
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