Little things, like setting the correction direction for a ceiling fan can make a huge impact on your energy bills and comfort levels. Although ceiling fans do not actually lower the room temperature, they do make you feel cooler by several degrees which allows you to raise the thermostat one or two degrees without a reduction in comfort. And while a typical central air conditioning unit uses 3,500 watts of energy when running, the average ceiling fan only uses 60 watts — even when running on high, you’ll not only feel more comfortable, but you’ll save big, too!
The best part? It’s as simple as flipping a switch.
What is the Correct Direction for A Ceiling Fan?
Most fans are reversible. One direction will push air down, one direction will suck air up. Are you ceiling fans spinning in the right direction? Let’s find out:
Feeling the Wind-Chill Effect in the Summer
In the summer, the airflow produced by the fan creates a wind-chill effect, making you “feel” cooler; use it in the counterclockwise direction. While standing directly under the ceiling fan you should feel that cool breeze, plus it also helps to pick up air from the air conditioning vents and circulate the cooler air throughout the room.
Balancing Temperatures in the Winter
But ceiling fans aren’t just for summer. Change the direction of your fan whenever you switch between AC and heat to keep rooms more comfortable all year long. According to Energy Star, the ceiling fan should be used in the summer and winter months. In the winter, reverse the motor and operate the ceiling fan at low speed in the clockwise direction. This produces a gentle updraft, which forces warm air near the ceiling down into the occupied space. The air will naturally go down the walls and over the floor to be picked up again by the fan, balancing the temperature in the room.
When it comes to the speed of your fan, choose higher settings in the summer and lower settings in the winter. In the warmer weather, you’ll definitely want to feel the air moving more to cool your body, so choose that high setting to increase the wind-chill factor. But in the cooler months, switch the speed to low so simply circulate the heated air in the room.
Adjust the Thermostat
And remember to adjust your thermostat when using your ceiling fan — the recommended temperature to keep your air conditioner running at is 78 degrees. Additional energy and dollar savings like this could be realized with this one simple step!
Turn it Off
One last energy efficiency tip, it’s important to remember that when running a ceiling fan, it only provides that wind-chill effect when someone’s actually in the room to feel it. Remember to save power by turning off the fan when you leave the room.