Should You Run Ceiling Fans in Your Home During the Winter?

Running ceiling fans in winter may not be the first option you think about when considering ways to enhance indoor comfort as outdoor temperatures plunge. Of course, most are familiar with the benefits of those big, slowly rotating ceiling fans that make rooms feel cooler in summer. However, many people never take advantage of the fact that these highly efficient fans are reversible with just the flip of a switch, making the use of fans in winter a very useful option.

Changing rotation from a counterclockwise direction that blows air downward during summer and cools occupants of a room to clockwise rotation that pulls room air upward can make the fan a useful supplement for your furnace. Here’s the heating rationale behind running a ceiling fan in the winter season.

  • Inside a structure, air naturally rises and forms a continuous reservoir of warmth collecting near the ceiling. In winter operation, room air from below is drawn upward by the ceiling fan and pushes this layer of warm air outward and against the walls.
  • Warm airflow is diverted downward by walls and into lower portions of the room, where it continuously boosts both the temperature and comfort level of occupants.
  • The flow of warm air circulating back down into living spaces by the ceiling fan also permits you to lower the thermostat setting and take some of the load off your home furnace without compromising comfort. Studies show that strategic use of ceiling fans in winter can reduce heating costs by as much as 10%.
  • Because running a ceiling fan in winter only supplements warmth inside a single room, running the fan in winter is only useful when people are present in the room. If the room’s not occupied, turn the fan off.
  • The slide switch that changes the fan’s rotational direction is typically located on the portion of the motor housing that extends below the blades. Looking upward into the blades, counterclockwise fan direction is correct for summer, and clockwise is for winter use.

Get more information about ceiling fans in winter to lower heating costs while boosting comfort. Contact Paitson Bros., now marking 100 years of service to the Wabash Valley.

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