Time to Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

Time to Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

April 15, 2014

In the spring, did you reverse your ceiling fans to counter-clockwise to ensure that the air is distributed throughout the room? Now that the cool, if not downright cold, weather is upon us, it’s time to reverse your ceiling fans again! With the chill in the air, you want your ceiling fans to be rotating clockwise.

If you’ve never reversed the ceiling fans in your home, these statements may have you wondering why you you need to do this and why it is it necessary for the air movement in your home? Find out from the heating and cooling experts at Lozier!

Why Reverse Your Ceiling Fans?

As mentioned, most ceiling fans can be adjusted to rotate their blades either clockwise or counterclockwise, with the latter the default setting. The movement of a room’s air depends on the direction that the blades are spinning. In the summertime, the counterclockwise rotation will ensure that air is blowing directly on room occupants, providing a cooling wind-chill effect.

When the winter months arrive, you’ll need to reverse your ceiling fan so that the blades rotate clockwise. This pushes warm air down into the room where people can feel it, rather than leaving it near the ceiling.

Save on Your Energy Bill

Homeowners are always looking for ways to save on their energy bill, but they don’t often think of their ceiling fan as a way to do it. With warm air naturally rising to the ceiling, reversing the way your blades turn pushes the warm air down. Since a home’s thermostat is t located at a mid-wall level, the thermostat will sense the warmer air and turn off your furnace or heat pump sooner than it would otherwise.

When you’re trying to cool your home, an air conditioner can use around 3,500 watts of energy to run a ceiling fan uses only around 60 watts. By having your ceiling fan running the correct direction (counterclockwise) and running it all day, you can cut down on your AC usage, which will save money over time. Furthermore, you can set the air conditioner temperature a few degrees higher in the cooling months as the fan will create the wind-chill effect.

How Does Ceiling Fan Reversal Work?

When a ceiling fan is spinning its blades counterclockwise, air is pushed straight down into a room. This process doesn’t cool the air, but a breeze from the counter-clockwise motion of the blades. The movement of air across the skin creates a cooling effect and speeds up the process of evaporation when you perspire. This produces a more comfortable feeling.

A fan that’s rotating clockwise, on the other hand, is drawing air upward. Because heat rises, air that has been warmed by your furnace will tend to gather near the ceiling. When air is pulled up by the fan, the heated air is displaced and forced back down into the lower areas of the room where occupants significantly benefit from the heated air.

In most cases, many models of ceiling fans will have a small switch on located the fan to reverse the direction of the blades. This technique will work in rooms of all sizes and works especially well in rooms that have vaulted or tall ceilings.

Does Ceiling Fan Size Matter?

Ceiling fan size can also play a role in how well air distributes through the rooms in both the heating and cooling months. The size of the fan needs to proportionate to the scale of the room. Why? If a ceiling fan is too large or too small for a room, you could end up paying a higher price for a fan and use more energy than necessary. For an average sized bedroom or kitchen, a 44-inch fan is a typical size. For large living rooms or great room, a fan that’s 50-to 54-inches is sufficient.

Contact Lozier Heating and Cooling!

Are you unsure if you have your ceiling fan blades going the correct direction for the season? Our expert HVAC technicians are available to help you. To learn more about why you should reverse ceiling fans between the heating and cooling seasons, please contact us at Lozier Heating and Cooling. We proudly serve the Des Moines area.

At Lozier Heating and Cooling, our goal is to help educate and assist our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area. We aim to learn about energy efficiency and home comfort issues unique to HVAC systems, and we aim to provide our customers and community with as much assistance as possible.