Do you let ceiling fans go untouched during the cold months? You might be missing out on both great comfort and lower energy bills.
Here’s the basic idea: switch the direction of your ceiling fan blades in the winter. Working counter-clockwise, the blades will gently push warm air toward you. Low speed work best for winter use.
By using your ceiling fan in reverse for the winter, home heating goes much further in terms of how warm you actually feel. Try it out — you probably can lower your thermostat a degree or two and cut your overall energy consumption.
How to adjust a ceiling fan for winter
Most modern ceiling fans feature simple switches to reverse the direction of the blades. Look for the switch on the main unit of the ceiling fan.
Tips for using the winter setting on your ceiling fan:
- For up/down switches: the switch usually needs to be down to push air down for winter use.
- For left/right switches: the switch usually needs to be to the left for winter.
- Got a remote? Grab and look for a reverse direction button so you don’t have to climb up on a ladder.
- Make it a habit. Change the direction of your ceiling fan at each daylight savings time, or at the spring and autumn equinox. Or simply note a reminder on your calendar or in a personal organization app, so you won’t forget.
Why a ceiling fan can help you keep warm
People associate fans with cooling, so using a ceiling fan in the winter might sound weird. The reason why it makes sense: heat rises.
In warm weather, fans cool you by helping draw heat away from your body. In its normal counter-clockwise motion, a ceiling fan draws air upward so heat rises even faster and you don’t have body heat lingering next to your skin. Higher fan speeds mean more cooling.
In cold weather, fans push air downward so that heat stays near you instead of rising away. Low speeds are best because you want the heated air to circulate without actually creating a breeze.
Using a ceiling fan in winter should be as simple as flipping the switch. If you have a broken switch or electrical problem — or if you just can’t seem to get the fan blades to go in the right direction — let us know!
A professional electrician can help install a modern fan with easy operation, or repair an older model. In the long run, you’ll enjoy lower energy consumption, lower bills, and the best comfort any time of year.