Can Ceiling Fan Direction Affect Your Home’s Cooling Efficiency?

Can Ceiling Fan Direction Affect Your Home's Cooling Efficiency?Without looking up, which direction is your ceiling fan rotating? If you answered counter-clockwise (as you’re looking up at the fan), you’re correct — most of the time. However, ceiling fans usually are equipped with a switch on the fan housing that allows you to change ceiling fan direction from the default factory setting, counter-clockwise, to clockwise. The first setting helps you feel cooler in warmer seasons, and the second aids in recirculating warm air during the heating season. Either strategy, used in the correct season, will help save energy and money in your Portland area home.

Ceiling Fan Heating

In most rooms, warmer air collects near the ceiling. In the winter, this can be a problem since people don’t spend time in the tops of rooms. They need that warm air down where they’re standing or sitting. A ceiling fan set to clockwise blade rotation will blow air upward, displacing the warm air near the ceiling, and force it toward the walls and then down into the room. When your thermostat senses the warmer air, it won’t kick the furnace on quite so soon, and you’ll save money on utility bills.

Ceiling Fan Cooling

When set to rotate counter-clockwise, a ceiling fan will blow air downward, creating a wind-chill effect for anyone who feels that air movement. This will make the room feel cooler, and allow you to turn up the thermostat as many as four degrees without starting to feel uncomfortable. During mild days, ceiling fans may allow you to keep the A/C off entirely. This provides energy savings, since it costs substantially less to operate a fan than it does an A/C or heat pump.

It’s important to remember that ceiling fans don’t actually cool a room; it’s all about the cooling “effect.” If no one is in the room to feel the air current, it’s not doing any good. Turn off ceiling fans in empty rooms.

Remember, the right ceiling fan direction can save you money in all seasons. For more helpful ideas for saving money on energy in your Portland area home, please contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Amy Walters/Shutterstock”