Ceiling Fans: When and How to Change Rotation Direction

Ceiling Fans: When and How to Change Rotation Direction

Ceiling fans serve as functional features of your home that can add aesthetic appeal while saving money in energy costs. The types of ceiling fans available give you an array of options to fit your home’s decor as well as your satisfying your specific needs for cooling the house.

One way to maximize the energy-saving benefits of ceiling fans is to alternate the rotation direction of the fans during different times of the year. By alternating the rotation direction, you can maintain a comfortable temperature in your home and reduce your energy costs in the process.

Pay attention to these factors in determining how and when to alternate your ceiling fan’s rotation direction.

Choosing the Correct Rotation Setting

The direction of your ceiling fan’s blade rotation will cause the air to either be forced downward toward the floor or upward toward the ceiling. Knowing this difference helps you determine which direction is best given the season.
Fan direction tips
The forward rotation direction, where the blades move counterclockwise (and the leading blade is pointing upward), is used in the summertime. This setting cools the room via the wind-chill effect, as the air is forced down on you. With a ceiling fan running in this direction, the temperature will feel about eight degrees cooler than it actually is.

The reverse setting, where the blades move clockwise (and the leading blade is pointing downward), pulls cool air upward, forcing the warmer air near the ceiling downward to heat the room. The fan should be set at a low speed in this direction.

By manipulating the rotation direction you can affect the room temperature without having to adjust your thermostat. Similarly, you can use the benefits of smart rotation direction to reduce the reliance on your heating and cooling system alone. Not having to use your home heating and cooling systems as much will reduce your energy costs and help you to be more environmentally conservative.

Changing the Direction of Your Ceiling Fans

switch on ceiling fan
Changing the direction of your ceiling fan is accomplished in a few different ways depending on the type and model of fan. One of the common methods for switching the ceiling fan rotation direction is by flipping a switch, which is often located on the base of the fan’s main motor housing. Since the precise rotation switch lever varies among makes and models of ceiling fans, in order to tell which setting triggers which direction, turn on your ceiling fan and observe the direction in which the bases rotate.

Other models can be switched by way of pulling the pull chain hanging from the fan. In such cases, there are often more than one pull chain—one for turning the fan on and the other for changing the direction of the blades. An additional pull chain to operate an accompanying light fixture may also be present. Check your ceiling fan’s user manual or determine the purpose of the respective pull chains through trial.

Other Ways to Reduce Heating and Cooling Costs

An energy-efficient home will allow you to lower your home’s heating and cooling bills. One of the most effective ways to enhance your ceiling fans’ cooling and heating effects is to insulate your home through window coverings. If you don’t utilize proper window coverings in the winter that will keep the heat inside, the fan’s benefits will be wasted.

The harder your home’s heating and cooling systems have to work to maintain a comfortable temperature, the more expensive your heating and cooling costs will be. By taking steps to warm your home in the winter and cool it in the summer—especially through efficient ceiling fan rotation and effective insulation practices such as window coverings—you will reduce your home’s energy demands, resulting in a dramatic reduction of your family’s bills.

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About the Author: Alicia Graham

Alicia Graham is the Product Manager for BlindSaver.com. She is also an experienced set designer and interior painter, with a broad knowledge of painting techniques that ranges from faux painting to alternate tools that save time and headaches. She is dedicated to making the imagination work in step with the budget and turning hobbyists into artists. Alicia Graham believes that anyone can be an artist in their home with a little help and information.