How Ceiling Fan Direction Impacts Cooling Efficiency and Home Comfort

You’ve probably never bothered about which direction your ceiling fans are rotating. Like nearly all fans, the default setting is counterclockwise, which can help keep your home cool. However, the clockwise setting can also benefit your household budget by circulating warm air during the winter.

Ceiling Fan Direction: Cooling

When ceiling fans are rotating counterclockwise, air is being blown downward. Anyone in the room will feel a cooling, wind-chill effect. This can make your room feel three to four degrees cooler than the thermostat setting, letting you give your A/C a break. This means energy is being saved and that more money is left in your pocket.

Ceiling fans can’t actually lower the temperature in your room – it’s all about the cooling “effect.” In this case, perception is reality if the effect makes you feel cooler.

Ceiling Fan Direction: Heating

During the winter, if you adjust ceiling fan direction to turn clockwise, the rotating blades will push air upwards. This forces warm air that collects near the ceiling out toward the walls and down into the room where people can feel the breeze. Your thermostat will also “feel” the warmer air and won’t kick on the furnace or heat pump quite as soon as it might otherwise.

This process is a bit different from ceiling fan cooling. A ceiling fan operating with clockwise rotation doesn’t merely provide a “warming effect,” but it actually helps warm the air lower in the room. So, there’s no need to adjust the thermostat downward.

One thing to remember when using ceiling fans for cooling is that they should be turned off if nobody’s in the room. Since they provide a cooling effect, they don’t serve any useful purpose if nobody’s in the room to feel the effect.

For more information on ceiling fans and other aspects of home cooling and heating, please contact Overland Park Heating & Cooling, Inc. We serve the Greater Kansas City area.