When Should I Change the Direction of My Ceiling Fan?
Pictured: Emerson Carrera Grande ECO
Did you know that ceiling fans spin in two different directions? Your ceiling fan direction can actually impact your energy savings and comfort level in the summer—and in the winter, too. Since their invention in the late 19th century and their introduction to homes in the 1920s, ceiling fans have been keeping us cool during the hot days of summer. Even with the introduction of air conditioning, ceiling fans still provide instant satisfaction in a stuffy room, making it feel cooler even though the actual temperature of the room hasn’t changed. Many people have ceiling fans installed to beat the heat, but never think to turn them on in the winter. That’s because most people don’t realize that ceiling fans can also make a cold space feel warmer. It may seem a little strange to use your ceiling fan in the wintertime, but most fans are designed for year-round use. Whether you have a ceiling fan at home or use an industrial ceiling fan in your warehouse or manufacturing facility, if you want to get the most efficient use out of your fan then it’s important that you know when to change the direction of your ceiling fan, why it matters and how to do it.
Ceiling Fan Direction in the Summer
In the summertime, your ceiling fan should spin in a counterclockwise direction. A counterclockwise rotation drives warm, stagnant air out and pushes cool air down to the floor. Circulating the air in the room creates a cooling sensation and makes you feel comfortable even though the actual temperature of the room doesn’t change. This also means that leaving your ceiling fan on when you’re not in the room won’t do very much to keep you cool since you’ll need to be in the room for the full effect.
Ceiling Fan Direction in the Winter
In the winter, you’ll want your ceiling fan to rotate clockwise. You’re probably familiar with how heat rises. When your ceiling fan moves in a clockwise direction, it will actually draw cold air away from you and pull it towards the ceiling where it will mix with the warmer air. Then, through a process of heat transfer known as forced convection, that air will be pushed out across your ceiling fan and down the walls, evenly spreading the warm air around your room.
Pictured: Emerson Midway ECO
How to Change Your Ceiling Fan Direction
Most ceiling fans have a switch that changes the blades’ direction from counterclockwise (the standard setting) to clockwise and vice versa. When the temperatures change, check your wall panel for a reverse-direction setting, which will be the easiest way to swap your ceiling fan direction from counterclockwise to clockwise and vice versa. Switch the setting once and look up at your ceiling fan to make sure the blades are moving in the right direction.
If you don’t have a wall panel, then you’ll have to change your ceiling fan’s direction by flipping the switch that’s located on the motor housing. First, make sure your ceiling fan is turned off. Then, you’ll have to climb a ladder to be able to reach the switch on the motor housing. Once you’ve switched the setting, climb down and turn your ceiling fan on low and make sure it's moving in the right direction.
Pictured: Emerson Penbrooke Select ECO
How Changing Ceiling Fan Direction Saves Money
When it comes to changing the direction of your ceiling fan, you’re not just improving your comfort. You’re also improving your home’s energy efficiency, which could help save you money. So, how much can you actually save by using your ceiling fans correctly? By changing the direction of your ceiling fan to help your room feel cooler in the summer and warmer in the wintertime, you don’t have to rely on your HVAC system as much to keep you comfortable all year long and can set your thermostat accordingly.
Have a question for us or need help selecting the right ceiling fan for your needs? Hansen Wholesale is here to help. We offer an impressive selection of residential and industrial ceiling fans, including Emerson DC EcoMotor fans that make it easy to reverse the direction of your blades when the time comes. Contact us today or use our “Shop with an Expert” feature to receive expert advice from one of our professionals and get on your way to finding the perfect ceiling fan for your needs.