What Direction Should a Ceiling Fan Turn? Summer & Winter

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Ceiling fans are the most versatile home appliance, no matter what season it is. What some folks don’t realize, is that a ceiling fan can provide both cool and warm air for your home. This is done by changing the direction of your ceiling fan during the summer and winter months. Doing so helps make you feel comfy, and allows you to adjust the thermostat, giving your air conditioner, hvac unit and energy bill a much needed break. Here's everything you need to know about changing your ceiling fan direction and how it can help you save.

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Ceiling Fan Direction for Summer & Winter Video


Reasons to Use Your Ceiling Fan In The Summer

  • Cool air and wind chill effect on your skin makes a room feel up to 8 degrees cooler.
  • Save up to 40% on air conditioning energy costs.
  • Reduce use of central or window air conditioning units.
  • Spend more time outdoors during summer months without sacrificing comfort.

Reasons to Use Your Ceiling Fan In The Winter

  • Redistribution of warm air makes a room feel warm and more comfortable to you and your family.
  • Save up to 15% on heating costs in winter mode.
  • Reduce the cost of heating fuel during winter months.
  • Reduce clutter and electric hazards due to space heaters and heating blankets.


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Counterclockwise Fan Direction for Cool Summer Savings

Summer Ceiling Fan Counter Clockwise Direction

In the summer the correct ceiling fan direction is counterclockwise to send cool air down to the floor. The high speed air evaporates perspiration and creates a wind chill effect. This air circulation makes you feel cooler without affecting the room temperature. You can then 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 ceiling fan spin. The blades will spin the opposite direction of a clock. Looking for a more telltale sign? You should feel a cooling breeze while standing under the fan. If you do not feel air movement, the fan is spinning clockwise.

Don't confine your comfort to indoor spaces. If you enjoy spending a sunny summer afternoon outside, then choose an outdoor ceiling fan. They are available for your patio, porch, or favorite outdoor spot. An outdoor fan not only helps keep climates cool, but it also keeps insects and other unwanted pests at bay.

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Clockwise Fan Direction for Warm Winter Comfort

Winter Ceiling Fan Clockwise Direction

In the winter the correct ceiling fan direction is a clockwise direction at a low speed to push warm air down. The gentle updraft pushes warmer air down along the walls and back to 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 the same direction as a clock's hand. You also want the blades to move at a lower speed, which helps to push warm air down.

To some it may seem to be counter intuitive to use a ceiling fan during the winter months, but the savings won’t lie. The more you use this great appliance, the more money you will save. Just be sure to use the seasonal features as much as possible!


How to Adjust the Direction of Your Fan

Blue Arrow Pointing At Ceiling Fan Direction Reverse Switch

Today, most ceiling fans include remote controls or wall controls that adjust the direction in which the fan blades rotate. This makes reversing your ceiling fan as simple as flipping a switch. Press the direction switch to set your ceiling fan to spin counterclockwise for the summer, and press the button in the opposite direction to set your fan to spin clockwise for the fall and winter. Remember to adjust your thermostat to take advantage of those energy savings.

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If your ceiling fan does not include a wall or remote control there is usually 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 airflow or flip the switch up for winter airflow. Changing the direction of your ceiling fan not only guarantees year-round comfort, but also year-round savings.


If you would like to talk to one of our experts to help you find the perfect ceiling fan for your home, call us at 1-800-724-5501. We would be more than happy to help! Do you change your ceiling fan direction for summer and winter? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Do you change your ceiling fan direction for summer and winter? Tell us about it in the comments below.

August 30, 2013
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