What Way Should My Ceiling Fan Turn During Summer?

Ceiling Fan

Your ceiling fan will save you hundreds of dollars if it rotates in the right direction. The proper use of the fan provides better air circulation and also enhances the device’s efficiency. During summer, ensure that your blades turn counterclockwise because this creates a breeze that leads to more cool air in your home.

How Counterclockwise Rotation Creates a Cooler Space

When the blades of a fan rotate in reverse, or counterclockwise, they create a breeze that cools your skin. This reverse rotation gives the same effect as when you use a paper fan to cool yourself.

Perhaps you’re thinking to yourself that cooling the air is the job of your air conditioner. That’s true, of course, but properly circulating the air you’ve paid to cool makes a world of difference. It will even reduce the expense of cooling it in the first place. The ceiling fan doesn’t produce the cool air itself, but it enhances better circulation of that air in your space to make a room more comfortable. When the fan rotates in the correct direction near the ceiling of your home, the cooling air circulation is maximized. This will greatly assist your air conditioner in accomplishing its task, and that reduces your energy bills overall.

Changing the Rotation Direction of Your Fan

Every ceiling fan functions on this counterclockwise rotation principle, and almost all those sold in the US and Canada have the capability of reversing the direction of rotation. The manufacturers follow the same set of consistent guidelines to make their fans effective in different seasons.

Nearly every style or design of ceiling fan accomplishes this change in the same way. Your ceiling fan probably has two hanging chains. One of them is to turn the lights on and off. The other is used to adjust the speed of the fan from high to medium to low. Each pull of the chain alters the speed. You don’t want to reverse the direction of your fan while it is moving because this could damage the mechanism. Pull your fan’s speed chain to slow it down, and continue until you hit the stop position. Allow the fan to completely cease moving before you proceed.

If you look on the side of the fan, you should find a small switch. Simply shift it to the opposite setting. You’ll then be ready to turn the fan back on by pulling the speed chain again. It should now be rotating in the opposite direction. The procedure is really quite simple. Be sure to check that the direction is counterclockwise and that the air is being pushed down.

Some ceiling fans come with a remote control. These are easier to reverse. Just as with the usual procedure, turn off the fan and allow it to come to complete stop before pressing the reverse button. Most units will show a blinking light when the reversal is successful.

Smart fans allow you to control them from your smartphone. To reverse a smart fan, you also need to switch it off and allow it to come to a stop. Follow the directions on your smartphone to reverse the rotation of the blades. Some smart fans come with a manual switch that you can use if the app on your smartphone or the network fails you.

Angle of the Blades Matters

If you notice, the blades of your overhead fan are set at an angle. This facilitates its function. To produce the maximum cooling effect, the blades should be set at a minimum of 12 degrees. You can adjust them to a greater angle, of course, but above 16 degrees, you may find the sharp air movement uncomfortable. At this setting, items may be may be blown about.

For the best results, your ceiling fan blades should be at least 12 inches below your ceiling. If you have a high ceiling, you need to hang the fan such that it is about eight feet above the ground.

If you find it challenging to change the direction of your fan or adjust the angle of its blades, you can always consult a technician. If you’re in Kirkland or anywhere else in the Seattle area, the experts at Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning will be happy to help you out.

Why Do I Need to Change the Fan Seasonally?

If you set your ceiling fan to rotate counterclockwise at a fairly high speed during the summer, it pushes air down and produces a cool breeze, enhancing your comfort. You obviously won’t benefit from this arrangement in the wintertime.

Warm air tends to rise, and your ceiling fan can aid this process in cold weather. Setting it to rotate clockwise at a slower speed will help circulate warm air throughout your living space. This movement will draw warm air up and move it down your walls. It may seem illogical to have your fan turned on in the winter, but using it properly can save you as much as 15% on your heating bill.

Are There Exceptions to the Summer Counterclockwise Rule?

When the ceiling fans rotate counterclockwise in summer, they will meet most of your cooling needs. In winter, they offer the best air distribution when running clockwise. However, based on the location of your ceiling fans, you can have them run counterclockwise all year. This is true in rooms with cathedral ceilings, for example.

There are also some reasons to leave a ceiling fan in the clockwise setting. In certain scenarios, you may find that this works best.

In the dining room, for example, you might be better off with the fan rotating clockwise. When the ceiling fan rotates counterclockwise, it blows air straight down. This could disturb your napkins, and the wind chill from counterclockwise rotation can cool your meals too quickly. After dinner, you could reverse the setting, of course.

In your office, you might encounter a similar problem. Most people find it difficult to work with papers blowing all over.

Another area that calls for special consideration is the bedroom. Some people get too hot when they sleep. For them, a cool breeze blowing over them is preferable, so a counterclockwise setting makes sense. They just snuggle deeper into the blankets. However, if cold air makes your sleep uncomfortable, you might want to decrease the speed of the ceiling fan in your bedroom and leave it on clockwise even in the summer.

Here’s another consideration. If you need to air out a room, you’ll want to run the fan on clockwise. Remember this if you burn dinner. A clockwise rotation is ideal when there is smoke or a foul smell that you need to remove from your space. When the fan runs in this direction at medium speed, the smoke or foul smell is pulled up and out toward the walls. You need to keep your windows and door open to help remove it.

Rely on the Professionals

Regardless of your heating, cooling, or indoor air quality questions, you have a local resource for information and assistance. At Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer installation, maintenance, and repair of heating and cooling systems for homes and offices. Our team also deals with air purification systems. We can show you products from Mitsubishi, Bryant, and Aprilaire. They include air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps, thermostats, evaporator coils, fan coils, and packaged systems. We also offer financing on installations with approved credit. Call Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning in Kirkland today and ask for a free quote.