It’s Time to Switch Your Fan Direction

How to Be More Comfortable and Save $$ This Summer

You know all those trendy DIY videos on Facebook and Instagram? (Of course you do, because what else have we all been up to while social distancing?)

Most of those hacks lead to hours of cleaning up glitter and hot glue, never to produce a finished or useful project. But some hacks are really useful—like changing the direction of your ceiling fans.

Changing with the Seasons

The direction your ceiling fan spins affects the air flow in your home. Duh, right? But this simple fact has a big impact on heating and cooling your home. With your fan set to the right direction, you’ll be more comfortable in the extremes of summer and winter, and you’ll save money, too. 

It’s all about redistribution.

In the colder months, ceiling fans should direct cool air upward toward the ceiling. This forces warm air down to you, closer to the ground. In warmer weather, your fan should do the opposite, forcing cool air down and warm air up and away from you.

So how do you correctly direct the air? Set your fan to spin clockwise in the winter and counterclockwise in the summer.

The clockwise (winter) motion redistributes the warm air around the room, making it feel warmer. A counterclockwise (summer) motion brings cool air downward and evaporates the humidity in the air. This makes you feel cooler without affecting the overall temperature in the room.

The Ultimate Fan Direction How-To

Changing the direction of your fan is so easy you’ll wonder how it got mixed up in all those terrible DIY videos.

If your fan has a remote control, check to see if changing the direction can be handled by the push of a button! If not:

  1. Turn off the fan and wait for the blades to stop completely.
  2. Locate the switch on or near the motor of the fan.
  3. Flip the switch. The downward position is for the summer and upward is for winter. (If your fan doesn’t have a switch on the motor, carefully tilt the blades of your fan. Tilting the blades to the right will push cool air downward.)
  4. Turn on the fan and make sure you were successful in changing the direction.

Pro-tip: Before you turn the fan back on, give it a little wipe-down. Otherwise, you’ll fling dust bunnies all over the room.

To check your work, stand under the fan. If you feel air, it’s moving counterclockwise. If you don’t, it’s spinning clockwise. 

Can’t I just adjust my thermostat to stay comfy?

You could, but we don’t advise it. Changing the setting on your thermostat has big effects on:

  • Energy consumption
  • Wear-and-tear on your system
  • Monthly bills

You can heat and cool your home more efficiently without even touching the thermostat—simply by switching your fan direction. Also, be sure to turn off the fan when you don’t need it, just as you do with any other appliance in your home.

Boooo… it didn’t work for me!

If your fan is mounted on a vaulted ceiling, it’s probably too high to have a significant impact. In that case, it’s best to keep the fan running counterclockwise all year.

If your ceiling fans just aren’t doing the trick, it may be time to have your HVAC unit serviced. We’ve been providing expert heating and cooling services in Columbia for 30 years. We’d love to help you keep your home comfortable in every season. Give us a call!

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