Ceiling Fan Direction Winter Vs. Summer

Setting your ceiling fan direction correctly saves energy.
Setting your ceiling fan direction correctly saves energy. (Image: rotating ceiling fan image by Yali Shi from Fotolia.com)

Ceiling Fans can help increase energy savings in your home when operated in a manner that optimizes their efficiency. Changing the fan direction for summer and winter months improves air circulation and temperature. To optimize these energy savings, however, it is important to take the appropriate steps to weatherize your home.

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Fan Direction for Winter Months

To optimize air flow during the winter months, the fan direction needs to be set to the reverse setting. This will cause the hot air to rise and circulate, so that the air feels warmer.

Reverse Setting Adjustment

The reverse setting for ceiling fans can be oriented differently for each manufacturer. The best way to check is to stand directly under the fan while it is operating to see if the right setting has been selected. If you cannot feel any downward air flow, the setting is correct. Typically this setting causes the fan to rotate in the clockwise direction.

Fan Direction for Summer Months

To optimize air flow during the summer months, the fan direction needs to be set to the forward setting. This will cause the air to flow downward, causing a chilling effect by allowing moisture to be evaporated from the skin. With this effect, the thermostat can be set at a higher setting, which saves energy.

Forward Setting Adjustment

To check the forward setting, stand directly under the fan while it is operating. If you feel downward air flow, the setting is correct. Typically this setting causes the fan to rotate in the counterclockwise direction.

Additional Energy Saving Tips

To optimize energy savings from a ceiling fan, additional steps must be taken to weatherize the home. These steps include weather stripping/caulking windows and doors, changing air filters every two to three months, properly insulating exterior walls and attic spaces, and adjusting the thermostat at least 5 degrees lower in the winter time when you're sleeping or away from home. Each degree the thermostat is lowered, for example, during winter, can realize a reduction in heating costs from 3 percent to 5 percent.

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