A lot of homeowners take their ceiling fans for granted. Fans add decorative style to a room and circulate the air but otherwise just quietly do their job without anyone paying much attention. Learn, though, how your ceiling fan can help you feel cooler this summer and cut down your energy bill. This will only happen if you remember that reversing your ceiling fan blade rotation is necessary if you adjusted the blade rotation for winter operation last fall.
How Do Ceiling Fans Work?
Ceiling fans supplement the work of heating or cooling systems in your home in two very different ways. In winter, if the blade rotation is adjusted to clockwise, the fan will blow air upwards, where it pushes out warm air that collects near the ceiling. That displaced air moves downward and into the room where occupants can feel it (and the thermostat can sense it).
In the summer, reversing your ceiling fan to counter-clockwise blows the air downward, creating a “wind-chill effect” as it blows air across your skin and assists in evaporating the moisture on your body, helping to cool you down.
When the ceiling fan is operating for its cooling “wind-chill” effect, it doesn’t actually make the air cooler; it just makes it feel that way. You can turn up your A/C thermostat two to four degrees without losing any comfort. This will save you money on your electric bills while saving energy for the environment.
An additional way to save energy and lower cooling bills is to make sure that your HVAC system is well-maintained.
Reversing Your Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans usually have a direction switch housed near the bottom of the fan, on the motor housing. Before you move the switch, turn the fan on, stand underneath it and look up. If your fan is moving in a clockwise direction, it’s set for winter. Turn the fan off. Flip the switch in the opposite direction. Your fan should now turn in a counter-clockwise direction, which is the correct reverse setting for summer. This is also the default setting for most ceiling fans, and as a result, it’s the all-year setting for the majority of homeowners who don’t use their fans for winter operation.
Contact Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning to learn more about ceiling fans and other cooling systems in preparation for our hot San Joaquin Valley summer. We’ve been proudly serving the Fresno area for more than 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area 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.
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