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Ceiling Fan Direction Can Save Energy

Change the direction of your ceiling fan with the seasons to save money on energy

Although you can save money on your electric bill by using less electricity, sitting in a room that’s uncomfortably cool or warm is, well, uncomfortable.

Even if you have a ceiling fan spinning above, you may notice that it may help more in the winter and less in the summer, or vice versa. The problem may be that your ceiling fan is not set for the correct season.

To help make a room cooler in the summer, set your ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise. The resulting airflow below the fan will create a wind chill effect, resulting in a breeze that feels cooler. Conversely, during the winter you should reverse your fans to rotate clockwise. This will create a gentle updraft that forces warm air near the ceiling down into the occupied space.

By switching the direction of your ceiling fans, you’ll maximize your comfort by keeping all the cool air from collecting near the floor during the summer and all the warm air from collecting near the ceiling during the winter.

Setting your ceiling fan to spin the right way is easy, and, because running ceiling fans uses less electricity than running you air conditioner or furnace, it can help you start saving energy and saving money right away.

How to Switch the Direction of a Ceiling Fan

After you turn off your fan and let the blades stop, all you have to do is toggle a little switch between the lights and the fan blades that usually goes up and down. One sets the ceiling fan to spin clockwise, and the other sets it to spin counter-clockwise.

Set your ceiling fan to spin counterclockwise during the summer. The leading edges of the fan blades should point up, allowing the fan to move air down and create a breeze underneath the fan.

Set your ceiling fan to spin clockwise during the winter. The leading edges of the fan blades should point down, allowing the fan to pull cool air upwards and push warm air near the ceiling down towards the floor.


ENERGY STAR website, “Fans, Ceiling for Consumers.”

4/27/2011 8:14:00 AM
in Residential Energy Savings 
Tags: energy, money, saving