You've likely heard that you should change which way your home's ceiling fans rotate when the season's change, but if you're wondering which direction is correct for summer or winter, here are the answers.
Stay Cooler in the Summer
By default, your ceiling fan will turn to the left (counterclockwise) and push air down. This is the direction ceiling fans should turn during summer months. Even though pushing cooler air down won’t actually cool the room, it will create a breeze that helps evaporate moisture from your skin and makes you feel cooler. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “If you use a ceiling fan and air conditioning unit simultaneously, you can raise your thermostat setting by 4 degrees without a change in comfort.” Just that small difference in your thermostat setting can help lower your energy use in the warmer months.
Circulate Warmer Air in the Winter
In the winter, you can reverse the direction of your ceiling fan and run it on low. Because warm air rises, your ceiling fan will now pull cooler air up to mix with and push down the warmer air trapped at the ceiling. This can help you save on heating costs and keep your house more comfortable when it’s cold.
How to Change the Direction Your Fan Rotates
Not sure which direction your fan is moving? Stand directly underneath it and if you feel a breeze, its turning in the counterclockwise (default) direction. If you don’t feel a breeze, the fan is rotating in reverse mode (clockwise).
If you have a remote control for your ceiling fan, check to see if it has a reverse button. If so, problem solved! If not, almost all fans have a switch on the side of the motor housing that allows you to change the direction it rotates.
Cool Ceiling Fan Energy Tips
A ceiling fan uses about 2% of the energy that a central air conditioner uses (an average of 75 watts vs. 3,500 watts)
It costs less than a penny per hour to run a ceiling fan.
You won’t feel the wind chill effect of the fan when you leave the room, so turn off your ceiling fan to save on energy.
Keep your fan running smoothly by regularly cleaning the dust off the tops of the fan blades. This will help prevent blade imbalances that can stress the fan motor.