Correct Ceiling Fan Direction

Correct Ceiling Fan Direction

How to Stay Comfortable and Save Energy

Did you know that the direction your ceiling fan spins actually makes a difference in your comfort and energy costs? In the summer, the correct fan orientation will blow air downwards and create a chilling breeze, while in the winter the right fan orientation will force warmer air to circulate down to the floor and throughout the room. So which way is correct for each season? And how do you change the fan direction?

Ceiling Fan Direction in Summer — Counterclockwise

In the summer season, your fan should be set to spin counterclockwise. This will cause air to be pushed downwards, creating a cooling draft that passes through the room. It will also allow you to keep your thermostat higher while still feeling cool. According to the US Department of Energy [1], if you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat by about 4 degrees with no reduction in comfort. And since ceiling fans are much less energy intensive than AC units, you will end up saving money on your long-term energy costs.

Fan Direction in Summer

If you're not sure if your fan is spinning counterclockwise, simply stand directly beneath the fan and turn it on. If you immediately feel a breeze, it is most likely set correctly for summer.

Keep in mind that you will want to turn off a ceiling fan when you are not in the room. Fans cool people by creating a wind chill effect on the skin. If no one is in the room, the ceiling fan will only be wasting energy.

Ceiling Fan Direction in Winter — Clockwise

In the winter season, your fan should be set to spin clockwise on low speed. Although at first it may seem counterproductive to run a ceiling fan in the cooler seasons, it will actually help keep your rooms warmer while allowing you to lower the thermostat and save money. Warm air naturally rises towards your ceiling, so a ceiling fan spinning clockwise will pull cool air upwards, displacing the warmer air and allowing it to spread more evenly throughout the room.

Fan Direction in Winter

How Do I Change Ceiling Fan Direction?

Most ceiling fans come with a small button or switch on the base of the fan that will change the fan's direction. Make sure that the fan is fully off and stopped, and then simply flip the switch to the opposite position to change the fan's direction. Some ceiling fans also come with a remote control or a wall control unit that can change the fan's direction.

Location of Fan Switch

Being mindful of your ceiling fans year-round will increase your comfort and spare your pocketbook.


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