Ceiling fans are the must-have home appliance for summer, but did you know that ceiling fans are also handy in the fall and winter? Changing the direction of your ceiling fan in the summer and winter not only makes you feel comfy, but it also allows you to adjust the thermostat and give your AC or heating unit a much needed break (your wallet will also get some much-needed rest, trust us). Here's everything you need to know about changing your ceiling fan direction and how it can help you save.
Ceiling Fan Direction for Summer & Winter Video
Counterclockwise Fan Direction for Cool Summer Savings
In the summer, ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down to the floor. The cool air evaporates perspiration and creates a wind chill effect, which makes you feel cooler without affecting the room temperature. This allows you to set the thermostat at a higher temperature without forfeiting comfort.
So, how you can you tell if your ceiling fan direction is set for summer? Turn on the fan, stand directly under the fan blades and watch the blades rotate. The blades should move from the top left, then down to the right, and then back to the top. Looking for a more telltale sign? You should feel air movement while standing under the fan. If you do not feel air movement, the fan is spinning clockwise.
Cooling comfort is just a small benefit of using a ceiling fan in the summer. Homeowners who use ceiling fans during the summer can save as much as 40 percent on air conditioning bills.
Don't confine your comfort to the indoors. If you enjoy spending a sunny summer afternoon outside, choose an outdoor ceiling fan for your patio, porch, or favorite outdoor spot. An outdoor fan not only helps you keep cool, but it also keeps insects and other unwanted pests at bay.
Clockwise Fan Direction for Warm Winter Comfort
In the winter, ceiling fans should rotate clockwise at a low speed to pull cool air up. The gentle updraft pushes warm air, which naturally rises to the ceiling, down along the walls and back the floor. This makes a room feel warmer, which allows you to lower the thermostat temperature and decrease the use of heating devices. Homeowners who use ceiling fans during the winter can save as much as 15 percent on heating bills.
So, how can you tell if your ceiling fan direction is set for winter? Turn on the ceiling fan, stand directly under the fan blades and watch the blades as they rotate. The blades should move like a clock's hand - from the top to the right, then down to the left, and back to the top) at a low speed to pull cool air up.
Exception: If your ceiling fan is mounted on a two-story cathedral or a vaulted ceiling, the fan is too high to create a discernible wind chill, and therefore, can stay in a counterclockwise setting all year round.
How to Adjust the Direction of Your Fan
Today, most ceiling fans include remote controls or wall controls that adjust the direction in which the fan blades rotate, which makes reversing your ceiling fan as simple as pressing a button. Press the forward button to set your ceiling fan to spin counterclockwise for the summer. Press the reverse button to set your fan to spin clockwise for the fall and winter. Remember to adjust your thermostat in order to save money and energy.
If your ceiling fan does not include a remote or wall control, look for a toggle-switch on the motor housing just below the blades. Flip the switch to change the direction of the fan blades. For vertical switches, flip the switch down for summer direction (downward airflow) or flip the switch up for winter direction (upward airflow). For horizontal switches, flip the switch to the left for summer direction (downward airflow) or flip the switch to the right for winter direction (upward airflow).
Changing the direction of your ceiling fan not only guarantees year-round comfort, but also savings.