I recently performed a home inspection for a client, and I let them in on a little secret about ceiling fans. They had no idea.
Did you know that using your ceiling fan properly can reduce your energy cost in both summer and winter? Most every home has a ceiling fan or two, but most homeowners don’t know how to use them efficiently.
Many homeowners are under the impression that ceiling fans are only useful during the hot summer months. And they certainly are. It’s been discovered the wind chill on your skin produced by ceiling fans can help the room feel 8 degrees cooler and save you up to 40% on your AC expenses.
But here’s a fact, ceiling fans can provide both cool air and warm air for your home. Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Just as ceiling fan can be used to redistribute cool air during the summer months, they can be used to distribute warm air during the winter months. And redistributing the warm air your heater creates can save you up to 15% on your heating cost.
Here’s how it works. Ceiling fans are equipped with a tiny toggle switch that is often difficult to see. This switch allows you to change the direction that your ceiling fan rotates during winter and summer months. Most of my clients have no idea this switch exists.
So, what direction should the fan rotate?
In the summer, the correct ceiling fan direction is counterclockwise to move the cool air down to the floor. The high air speed creates windchill that makes you feel cooler without affecting the room temperature. This enables you to set your thermostat higher to save energy cost without sacrificing comfort.
In the winter, the correct ceiling fan direction is clockwise at a slow speed. The clockwise motion of the fan creates an updraft that directs warm air back down the walls and along the floor.