Ceiling Fan Tips & Tricks to Save Energy

Ceiling Fan Tips & Tricks to Save Energy

Everyone knows ceiling fans help keep you cool in the summer, but it’s less known that they can help you stay warm when winter winds blow. Also, changing the rotation of your ceiling fan may enable you to adjust the thermostat saving you money on energy bills. See below for info on changing the direction of your fan:

Three Good Reasons to Use Your Ceiling Fan in the Summer
  • Helps minimize the use of central or window A/C units. You’ll save up to 40% on your electricity bill.
  • The cooling breeze (downdraft) you’ll feel makes the room feel up to 8 degrees cooler.
  • If you have a porch ceiling fan, you’ll enjoy more time outdoors in comfort.
Three Good Reasons to Use Your Ceiling Fan in Winter
  • Helps minimize indoor heating bills, saving up to 15%.
  • The warm air movement (updraft) makes the room feel more comfortable.
  • Reduces the use of potential electrical hazards such as space heaters or heated blankets.

ceiling fan parts

In the summer, set your ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise which pushes cool air downward, reducing the sensation of hot or cold spots in the room. Moving air against the skin creates a cooling effect which makes you feel cooler without adjusting the thermostat. You can set your thermostat a little higher and still remain comfortable.

How to tell if your ceiling fan is set to summer mode:

Turn on the fan and stand directly under it. Look up and see which direction the fan blades are rotating. If the blades are rotating clockwise, like the hands on a clock, change the fan’s setting to rotate counterclockwise. When you have the correct setting you’ll feel air movement. Likewise, in setting the fan to winter mode check to see if the ceiling fan blades are rotating counterclockwise. If so, change the fan’s setting to move the blades clockwise.

In winter, setting your fan on low will pull cool air up from the floor. The gentle updraft forces warm air, which naturally rises to the ceiling, down along the walls and over the floor. The air is picked up by the fan again, which balances the room’s temperature. This makes the room feel warmer which allows you to lower the thermostat, saving energy. Using your ceiling fan during colder months can save you as much as 15% on heating bills.

Note: One exception to the above rules: if your ceiling fan is mounted to a high vaulted or cathedral ceiling, the fan is too far up to create a detectable wind chill. If so, leave the fan set on counterclockwise rotation, year round.

Adjusting ceiling fan direction/rotation-

If your ceiling fan is relatively new it may have a remote control or a wall control that allows you to adjust the rotation of the ceiling fan. This makes changing the blade direction as easy as pushing a button. Press the “forward” button to set your fan to spin counterclockwise for summer. Press the “reverse” button to the fan to spin clockwise when it’s cold outside.

If your ceiling fan doesn’t include a remote or wall setting, look for a horizontal  (left-right) toggle switch or a vertical (up-down) switch on the side of the fan’s motor housing. The switch is usually below the blades. Flip this switch to change the fan blade’s rotation.

For vertical switches, flip the switch down for summer (downward air flow) and up for winter (upward air flow). For horizontal switches, flip the switch left for summer (downward air flow) and right for winter (upward air flow).

After the ceiling fan is set, adjust your thermostat to save money on your cooling and heating bills.

ceiling fan direction

Optimum Ceiling Fan Speed

Set the speed higher (faster) in summer and lower (slower) in winter. In the warmer months, you’ll want to feel the air moving so a medium to high speed is best. In fall and winter, a breeze can feel uncomfortable so set the ceiling fan speed to medium or low. The medium to the low setting will gently circulate the heated air about the room.

Enjoy the Outdoors With a Porch Ceiling Fan

Enjoy a nice summer breeze by installing an outdoor-rated ceiling fan. A fan installed on your covered porch, deck or patio will help keep you cool. The constant air flow makes it difficult for insects to hang around, rewarding you with a comfortable, bug-free outdoor space.

Interested in more energy saving tips? Click here.


Keep your home cool this summer with our ceiling fan tips!