Changing Ceiling Fan Direction: An Easy Way To Save And Stay Cool

Changing Ceiling Fan Direction: An Easy Way To Save And Stay CoolYour great-grandparents probably knew all about the advantages of changing ceiling fan direction along with the seasons. Ceiling fans were the must-have home comfort device of the early 20th century. Before the advent of air conditioning, the low-speed paddle blades gracefully moving large volumes of indoor air kept households comfortable during long hot summers past. Today, we can adjust our indoor climate from thousands of miles away with a WiFi-enabled thermostat, yet the humble old-school ceiling fan still has an important role in helping your modern air conditioner maintain household comfort, while reducing energy consumption. 

Changing ceiling fan direction to the “Reverse” or “Summer” setting on the fan motor switch or remote control pulls air from the ceiling and directs it straight down onto room occupants. The sensation of moving air across the skin reduces the physical perception of heat on both humans and pets – the same phenomenon responsible for the wind-chill factor that makes a breezy winter day feel much colder than the reading on the thermometer. When a ceiling fan rotates counter-clockwise, the cooling effect of the downward breeze allows you to bump your central air conditioner thermostat up three or four degrees without causing any loss of cooling to people in the room. For every degree you can increase the thermostat setting above 72, you take some of the cooling load off the A/C and reduce your electricity costs by up to three percent.

Remember that this cooling effect is only perceived – a room thermometer will register no actual difference when a ceiling fan is running. Therefore, continuing to operate the fan when everyone’s left the room only wastes electricity and may actually offset the savings you receive from using it when the room is occupied.

Paitson Bros. Heating and Air Conditioning has been an established presence in Terre Haute and Wabash Valley communities since 1922. Call us if you need advice about changing ceiling fan direction to help your air conditioner cool the house this summer.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about ceiling fans and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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