Ceiling fans circulate the air and cool your home on a hot summer day. They're more than a source of light and a cool breeze, though. Ceiling fans can also provide an economical way to keep your home comfortable all year round. In fact, when turned to the right seasonal setting, ceiling fans can lower the cost of your energy bill.
Ceiling Fans are Money Savers
All ceiling fans come with a switch to change their rotational direction. Using the right direction for the right season can help to better heat or cool your home. You can lower energy costs by using your ceiling fan's rotation to work with your heating and cooling system. Using a ceiling fan on the right setting can mean you're using less energy, lowering your power usage and saving money over time.
Clockwise in the Winter
Heat rises. When you turn on your home's heating system, the hot air rises towards the ceiling where it can stay. Having the heat accumulate over everyone's heads isn't helpful for keeping warm. Instead of raising the heat, try setting your ceiling fan to a clockwise rotation. At this setting, the fan pushes the heat down towards where people are. This makes more sense than having it hang at the ceiling where it doesn't do anyone any good. Not having to use as much heat saves on energy costs.
Counterclockwise in the Summer
Don't forget to change your fan's rotation for the warmer months. Hot air will continue to circulate in a downward direction unless you change the setting. Turning the fan to a counterclockwise setting produces a cooling breeze. This "wind chill" occurs because the cooler air causes perspiration to evaporate. As it evaporates, the fan turns the moisture into the cool air and pushes it back down. If the heat isn't too oppressive, your ceiling fan may be all you need to keep cool. The ceiling fan also works with your air conditioner to keep you cooler.
Setting Your Ceiling Fan to the Proper Rotation
Many newer ceiling fans come with a remote control. You can use this to change the fan's rotation at the push of a button. If you don't have a remote, you'll have to get a ladder so you're at eye level with the fan. Look for the toggle switch on the "stem" of the ceiling fan. It's usually located below the blade. Toggle the switch to the desired rotation.
If you're not sure if you're using the right setting, note the direction the fan is turning. If the fan is moving in the same direction as the hands of the clock, it's in the winter setting. If the blades are turning in the opposite direction, it's on the summer setting.
Your ceiling fan doesn't have to remain dormant while the heat or air conditioner is on. Use your fan to work with the hot and cold air, and watch your energy bill go down.
Deb Ng is a freelance writer and published author with over 17 years of experience in creating content for the web. Prior to her freelance career, she worked for over 12 years in traditional (print) publishing. In her spare time, Deb is an avid gardener who loves nothing more than bringing flowers and vegetables to life. She doesn't have as much time to spend outside as she'd like, however, because she's also assisting her husband with the DIY projects needed to complete their family home. See Deb's gardening and home improvement articles at LoveToKnow, Wisegeek, and Alloy.