Most people think of ceiling as only being useful in the scorching summer months. Almost all ceiling fans have a top secret feature that allow them to be useful even on chilly days. Using this secret, you can save money in both the summer and winter with your ceiling fans by reducing your use of air conditioning and heating.
The Secret Switch
See that tiny switch in the picture above? It controls which way your fan spins, clockwise or counter-clockwise. Why should you care which way the fan spins? First you have to understand how ceiling fans circulate the air. Ceiling fans are designed so that spinning counter-clockwise pushes the air under the unit downward.
When the ceiling fans spin in reverse, or clockwise, they pull the air under the unit upward which then circulates the warmer air near the ceiling.
The Effects of Ceiling Fan Airflow
On hot summer days, you set your ceiling fan to spin counter-clockwise changes the airflow downward creating a wind chill effect. The wind chill effect will not change the temperature of your room, however, it will feel significantly cooler. Many people use ceiling fans throughout their home and as a result are able to raise their thermostat. This saves money and energy because ceiling fans will use less energy than your A/C unit.
It is surprising how many people are unaware of the directional switch on their ceiling fan. As a result these same people believe ceiling fans are only useful in the warm months. Setting your ceiling fan to spin clockwise will pull cooler air upward. As we all know hot air rises, and thus air near your ceiling is warmer than the rest of your room. As the cool air rises it also circulates the warmer air downward which will help the room have a more consistent temperature. Your feet won’t get as cold in winter if you use your ceiling fan properly.
To warm your room, you will only want to use your ceiling fan on low speed. Use a higher fan speed can produce a wind chill effect which you don’t want in the winter. Some ceiling fans will include a directional control on the wall or remote control that comes with the unit.
Final Ceiling Fan Tips
If you have high ceilings, even when you want to warm your room, you will need to use a higher fan speed than the lowest setting to properly circulate the air down to the floor.
If you have a ceiling fan over a desk and you don’t want your papers blowing around, you may want to set it to spin clockwise. You will want to use a higher speed though so that you will still get the wind chill effect. This will only work if you do not have high ceilings.
Now you know how useful your ceiling fan can be all year long. These tips can help you save money on heating and cooling, but if you really want to save money, consider getting an Energy Star rated ceiling fan. Our fans will have an indication in the description if they are Energy Star rated or not. If you need help, be sure to read our Ceiling Fan Buying Guide or feel free to contact us by phone or instant chat.