Ceiling fans can be an integral part of your home’s cooling and heating strategy, as long as you understand the role that the fan’s blade rotation plays in household energy efficiency. In all seasons, home ceiling fans can help save energy and increase comfort. To help with heating the house, the blade rotation should be set to clockwise. To aid with cooling, it should be counterclockwise.
The Cooling Effect
On the fan housing, you’ll probably find a switch. The default position is for counterclockwise blade rotation, and the great majority of households never switch the blade rotation from that direction. When spinning counterclockwise, home ceiling fans blow air downward. This creates a cooling wind-chill effect for any person or animal in the way of the blowing air. It doesn’t actually lower the room temperature, but the cooling effect will allow you to raise the A/C thermostat a few degrees without noticing any reduction in comfort. On mild days, you can leave the air conditioning off altogether.
Circulating Warm Air
When spinning clockwise, a ceiling fan will blow air upward, which pushes warm air that has collected near the ceiling out toward the walls. Eventually, it circulates down into the room where people can feel the warmer air. Your thermostat also can feel the warmer air, and as a result, won’t trigger the furnace to come on. This saves energy and money on your utility bills.
If you’re one of the minority of Americans familiar with the warming capability of home ceiling fans, remember to change the blade rotation back to counterclockwise when spring arrives. And once your ceiling fans are again helping to make your house feel cooler, don’t forget that they serve no purpose when operating in an unoccupied room. The cooling effect is no effect at all if nobody’s around to feel it. Turn off ceiling fans in empty rooms, unless they’re serving a role in home ventilation.
For more advice on how home ceiling fans and other improvements and upgrades can help save energy in your Cleveland area home, please contact us at Stack Heating & Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio 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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