Which Way Should Ceiling Fans Turn to Stay Cool?

An Asian man in blue cargo shorts and a white t-shirt with red trim jumping on a bed. His body is stretched out with his left arm stretch in front of him as though he is flying. He's above a bed with tan sheets, and there's a white ceiling fan above him.

Every summer’s a little bit hotter. Whether you have air conditioning or not, you need ways to stay cool. Today, we’ll give you some tips on how to stay cool this summer, starting with one of the most commonly asked questions: Which way should ceiling fans turn to stay cool?

So, Which Way SHOULD Ceiling Fans Turn in the Summer?


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


Making ceiling fans turn counterclockwise allows them to push cooler air down toward you. That creates a local wind-chill effect on your skin, making it feel cooler in the room. (However, ceiling fans don’t actually make the room cooler like air conditioning does.)

Changing a ceiling fan’s direction isn’t too difficult. Usually, ceiling fans either have a switch on the fan itself or allow you to change directions using a remote control.

On top of helping you stay cool, ceiling fans can save you money. When you use a ceiling fan instead of your air conditioning, you can become more energy efficient. That could mean smaller electricity bills.

The downside of using ceiling fans to stay cool is that they only work in the immediate area. For example, a ceiling fan in your living room won’t help you stay cool in a kitchen on the other side of the house.

Fortunately, there are ways in addition to ceiling fans that can help you stay cool.

Shut Exterior Doors and Draw Your Drapes

During the hottest times, you want to keep sunlight out as much as possible. Keeping exterior doors shut can help trap cool air. Drawing your blinds keeps the sun out and reduces the amount of heat it brings into your house.

The best kinds of drapes for keeping sunlight out are blackout drapes. But if you’d rather not have black drapes on your windows, medium-colored drapes—darker tans, grays, and even reds—can absorb enough sunlight to help the room stay cool.

Make Sure You’re Using Efficient Light Bulbs

Older, incandescent light bulbs can add a ton of heat to rooms. If you have incandescent light bulbs, consider replacing them with LED or CFL light bulbs.

LED and CFL light bulbs are more available than ever before. You can often find them at your local supermarket, along with places like hardware stores. They not only give off less heat but also are energy efficient. So, they can help you stay cool and reduce your energy bill.

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A/C Unit

Bathroom Fans and Kitchen Exhaust Fans Can Help

In addition to any ceiling fans you may have, running your bathroom fan and kitchen exhaust fan can help pull some of the hot air up and out of your house.

However, bathroom fans and kitchen exhaust fans can be very loud. What are some quieter ways to stay cool?

Create a Makeshift Air Conditioner Using a Standup Fan

If you don’t have an air conditioner (or just want to use it less), you can create a makeshift air conditioner. All you need is a standup fan and a bowl of ice.

Place the bowl of ice in front of your standup fan. Then, let the fan blow over the ice. It’ll help you stay cool in the immediate area.

A cute hound dog wearing an apron and yellow gloves on her front paws. She's leaning on an oven as though she's cleaning it

Avoid Using Your Oven During the Hottest Parts of the Day

This can be a little challenging, especially if you have kids or family members who like a hot lunch or want dinner before 9 p.m. However, avoiding oven use during the hottest parts of the day reduces the amount of hot, stale air in the house.

Tips for Using an Air Conditioner or Swamp Cooler

If you have an air conditioner or swamp cooler, here are a few tips for getting the most out of them.

  • For centralized air conditioning:
    • Make sure your outdoor unit is free of debris. Leaves, grass, and nests can reduce its efficiency.
    • Change your air filters regularly to allow the coolest, cleanest air to distribute around your house.
    • For a good mix of energy efficiency and comfort, set your thermostat to 78°
  • For swamp coolers:
    • Keep water pads damp but not soaked.
    • Crack windows to allow for stable air pressure. You should be able to close a door without forcing it or without it slamming.

A Black man with short, cropped hair giving a piggyback ride to a Black woman with braces and long wavy hair. They're both in blue jeans and white t-shirts, smiling, and giving a peace sign, the man with his left hand and the woman with her right hand.

Stay Cool With 2-10

In addition to these tips, a Home Service Plan from 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty (2-10) can help you stay cool this summer.

With a 2-10 Home Service Plan, you can protect major systems, like your air conditioner or swamp cooler, and appliances like your fridge against breakdowns caused by routine wear and tear. That can save you money when something major breaks down.

Though a Home Service Plan won’t cover smaller breakdowns like ceiling fans, it can go a long way in helping you stay cool and keep your home humming this summer.


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