Does Reversing Your Ceiling Fan Help During Winter?

ceiling fan

Did you know that you can use your ceiling fan to feel warmer in the winter? Read more about it!

Which way should your fan rotate in the winter?

Clockwise.

If you’re looking straight up at your ceiling fan, the blades should look like they’re moving to the right, like so.

clockwise

Why does the direction of my ceiling fan matter?

According to Apartment Therapy, running your ceiling fans during the cold winter months can help you save as much as 10% on your heating costs. How is this possible?

The blades of a ceiling fan are angled slightly. During the summer, when your fan is spinning counterclockwise, those angled blades help move air down. You know it’s working because you can feel a cool breeze when standing directly underneath the fan. This is called the wind-chill effect and it makes you feel cooler.

Things change a bit during winter once your heating system kicks on.

Warm air always rises (which is why attics and upper levels of homes are so much warmer than lower levels), so the warm air generated by your furnace naturally rises up to the ceiling while cooler air sinks toward the floor. When you switch the direction that your ceiling fan’s blades turn (so that they’re spinning clockwise), that cold air is drawn upward. This updraft forces the warmer air back down toward you and your family.

Why does changing the direction of a ceiling fan save money and energy?

Your thermostat is located closer to the ground so that you can easily monitor it and adjust the setting. Since the thermostat detects the temperature of the air near it, keeping warm air closer to your thermostat allows you to set it at a lower temperature while still staying nice and toasty.

How to change the direction of your ceiling fan

Most ceiling fans have a small switch that allows you to change the direction the blades spin. You may need to poke around a bit and remove some screws to find the switch on your model, but it’s there!

For the best results, run your fan on a low setting to stimulate air movement and stay warm all winter long. And, while you’re at it, don’t forget to give your furnace a quick check and perform some basic winter maintenance, like changing the air filter.

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