Ceiling fans are a convenient way to cool your home on hot days, but did you know they can also help keep you warmer on cold days? With a simple process, you can easily change your ceiling fan direction to alternate between summer and winter modes. This keeps you comfortable while letting you reduce use of your HVAC system, potentially lowering your utility bills.
Keep reading to learn about when to use clockwise vs. counterclockwise fan directions.
Which Way Should a Ceiling Fan Turn in the Summer?
During hotter months, your ceiling fan should spin counterclockwise. Choosing the right ceiling fan direction for summer creates a refreshing breeze by pushing cool air down and circulating it throughout the room, lowering your home’s temperature and reducing your reliance on air conditioning. And who doesn’t love saving energy?
Using the right fan rotation for summer can help so much with cooling that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says, “you can raise your thermostat setting by 4 degrees without a change in comfort” by running your ceiling fan at the same time as your AC. If you live in a climate that regularly sees 90- to 100-degree weather, those few degrees can make a major difference in your utility cost.
Related: Ways You Can Save Money at Home
Which Way Should a Fan Turn in the Winter?
To keep things cozy when it gets cold, reverse your ceiling fan direction for winter. When your fan is set to turn clockwise at a low speed, it doesn’t create a breeze —instead, the fan pulls down the warmest air trapped at the top of the room. A clockwise-spinning fan creates an updraft that forces cooler air up, allowing warmer air to make its way back to your living area. Choosing the right fan rotation for winter could save you as much as 15% on your winter energy costs.
Related: Tips to Help You Get Through Winter
Need a Visual?
This diagram illustrates the airflow patterns created by each direction your ceiling fan can spin:
Other Reasons to Change Your Ceiling Fan Direction or Speed
While ceiling fans are a great tool for climate control in indoor spaces, they can serve other purposes, too. Choosing the right direction for your fan can help with a variety of situations:
- Control Odors: Setting your fan to spin clockwise creates an updraft, pulling odors from food, pets, or smoke away from nose level.
- Insect Repellant: If you have an outdoor space with a ceiling fan, set it counterclockwise to create a downdraft and keep pesky insects away.
- Keep Food Hot: Keep your dining room ceiling fan on a low speed to prevent any downdraft from cooling off your dinner.
Bonus tip: If you live in a space with high ceilings (10 feet or more), you can keep your fan running counterclockwise year-round.
How to Change the Direction Your Fan Rotates
Have you ever found yourself asking, “what is the switch on my ceiling fan for?” If so, you’re in luck. Most fans have a simple switch on the side of the motor housing unit that allows you to change the direction of rotation. If you have a remote-control fan, you may find a reverse button on the remote.
More Ceiling Fan Tips
- Turn off your fan when you leave the room to save energy.
- Keep your fan running smoothly by cleaning fan blades regularly.
- If your fan is rattling or wobbling, you may need to rebalance it or call a professional.
Ceiling Fan Repairs or Replacements
When adjusting your ceiling fan direction, you may notice it needs a repair or replacement. First American home warranty plans can cover attic, ceiling, and exhaust fans when they break. Get a free home warranty quote today to keep your home comfortable and running smoothly.