Dec 31, 2012

Ceiling Fan Directions for the Seasons

A while back, I made entries about Thermostat Settings and Utility Bills as ways the air conditioner and furnace perform the best, and how to save some money. Another inexpensive way that helps are ceiling fans. Current ones are required to have a way to "reverse" the rotation of the fan blades. During summer counter-clockwise and in winter, clockwise.

How can I tell which way it is spinning? Stand under it and look up at the spinning blades. Make sure you have some space above your head so it doesn't whack you. Use the lowest speed setting so you can actually tell which way the blades are going. Here’s why I recommend using the ceiling fan and reversing it for different seasons.

Summer - Counter-Clockwise
  1. When spinning counter-clockwise, the fan blows air down on the area covered by the fan.
  2. This creates a draft that makes you feel about 4-6 degrees cooler by making your perspiration evaporate more. 
  3. Making you feel cooler, you can set your thermostat for the air conditioner a few degrees higher, which save electric usage on the utility bill.
  4. A ceiling fan uses less electricity than the air conditioner and furnace (yes, the furnace blower is running in the summer to move the cool air through the house). 
Following this recommendation, I was able to keep my thermostat set at 78 F this summer. This reduced my electric bill tremendously by making it feel like it was actually at 72-74 F. Another suggestion... when you leave for the day, turn the fan off. Ceiling fans do not actually "cool" the air, they cool you. I leave mine on when I go out because I have 2 dogs here, and they need it.

Winter - Clockwise
  1. When spinning clockwise, the fan pulls the air UP from the area right under it.
  2. Pulling air UP in winter helps because heat rises, so guess where there is more heat? On the floor or along the ceiling? Pulling the cooler air up better combines it with the warm air, when it is circulated down along the walls.
  3. Use the slowest speed, you want to circulate the air, now create a draft that will make you feel chilled.
  4. A ceiling fan uses less electricity and natural than it takes your large furnace to keep you warm.
Following this recommendation, I was able to keep my thermostat at 55 F this year. Again, my electric bill remains low, but my natural gas bill is almost non-existent. Sure, I still have to bundle up a little more than in July, but I'm comfortable.

Anyway, just wanted to share some thoughts on how you can save some too... it has worked well for me. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I had no idea there was such a thing as ceiling fan directions depending on the season. But the explanation makes sense, so I might give this a try. How did you know about this saving trick? Thanks for sharing, anyway! Staci @