Using Your Ceiling Fan to Its Full Potential

April 28, 2015
Ross and Witmer

If you only run your home’s ceiling fans occasionally, you’re not taking full advantage of their potential. Simply by changing blade direction twice a year, you can operate a ceiling fan whether it’s heating or cooling season and reap year-long benefits.

Blade Direction Basics for Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are designed and built to run in two directions: forward and reverse. Changing blade direction is easy; you just need to adjust a small button located on each fan’s housing. Before you do so, make sure the fan is shut off to avoid injuring your hand. You’ll generally only need to change blade direction in the spring and fall.

  • At the start of the cooling season, set the fan blades to rotate counterclockwise. When they’re moving in this forward direction, the blades produce a cooling wind chill effect that helps perspiration evaporate faster, so the body feels more comfortable.
  • In the fall, put the blades in reverse. During heating season, any warm air produced by the furnace naturally rises up to the ceilings in the home. When the fan is turning clockwise, you won’t feel much air movement from the blades, but it will re-circulate the warmth back down into your living space.

To know for sure whether a fan is set on forward or reverse, switch it on at the slowest speed setting, stand underneath and look up. From there, it’s easy to see which way the blades are spinning and judge whether you feel any downward air movement.

Benefits of Running Ceiling Fans Year-Round

Changing blade direction seasonally and running your ceiling fans in conjunction with the furnace and air conditioner offers some major advantages. The added comfort you’ll feel will allow you to adjust the thermostat temperature setting up or down several degrees to save on your heating and cooling costs. And since your heating and cooling equipment isn’t working as hard to maintain comfort, it’s under less strain. This can extend the life of your HVAC system.

Learn more from Ross & Witmer about ceiling fan usage and other cooling solutions, or give us a call at 704-392-6188 to schedule a visit to your Charlotte home!

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