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Which Direction Should a Ceiling Fan Blow?

Ceiling fans can spin clockwise or counter-clockwise. In one direction the air will be pushed downward and in the other, the air is pushed upward. The direction should be changed as the seasons change.

In the summer, a breeze is a welcome relief from the heat. A downward draft will move air toward people and pets beneath the fan. The movement of air across the skin will help draw away heat. The fan doesn't make cold air, a common misconception, it is the breeze that makes you feel cooler. For that reason, there is no point in leaving a ceiling fan on when people or pets are not in the room. Leaving the fan on all day, while you are at work doesn't make your home any cooler when you get home. Unless you are keeping a pet comfortable, just shut the ceiling fan off until you get home.

In the winter, a breeze is not welcome, in fact we call it a draft instead. Just as in the summer, a draft will draw away heat and make us feel cooler. By changing the direction of airflow, the fan will direct air movement upward. Why not just leave the fan off in the winter, you might ask. Good question. Because warm air rises, it accumulates up by the ceiling. A ceiling fan that gently directs air upward will cause the warm air to move toward the walls in the room and then follow them down to the floor. Moving the warm air gently around the occupants of a room will make the room more comfortable. Plus, you will reduce energy consumption for heating. Without a ceiling fan, the warm air must fill the top of the room first and continue filling until it reaches you on the floor. A ceiling fan circulates the warm air and so you don't have to run the heater for as long.

Ceiling fans have a switch that allows you to change the direction of rotation of the blades. Some models allow you to do this from a remote control. Stand under the fan and turn it on. In the warm season, you should should set the direction of airflow so that you feel a breeze. In the cold weather season, the direction of airflow should be directed upward so that you feel little or no airflow.

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