We can all appreciate the humble ceiling fan on a hot day, particularly when it’s coupled with a cold glass of lemonade. But the same fan that cuts summer electric bills by as much as 40% can also help out in the winter.
Fans today are made with a little switch that changes blade rotation. Counterclockwise produces that pleasant summer breeze we crave. Clockwise makes an updraft that sends the warmer air pooled near the ceiling back into the living space — cutting heating costs by as much as 10%. This is especially important in rooms with high ceilings.
In an article by Lauren Zerbey on apartmenttherapy.com, she explains how this works:
"In the summer months, the slightly angled blades of a ceiling fan turn counterclockwise to move air down, making people feel cooler due to a concept known as the wind chill effect. During winter, the warm air generated by your heating system naturally rises to the ceiling while cooler air sinks. By switching the direction that your fan blades turn, that cooler air is drawn upwards, which forces the warmer air near the ceiling back down into the space. How does this save energy? Since thermostats are typically located at human level, keeping the warm air low where it’s needed means you can turn the your thermostat down a few notches and still stay warm."*
Get to know your switch, and you’ll have a fan for all seasons.
*Lauren Zerbey, May 7, 2019, "Winter Tip: reverse your ceiling fan direction and save energy," apartmenttherapy.com.