ceiling fan

You may not know how to change your ceiling fan direction, never mind that you should change it. Would you be surprised to learn that this little detail can significantly change your comfort in your home? If you want a more comfortable home, every summer you should change your ceiling fan direction and every winter you should switch it back. Let us explain why and how.

Why Change Your Ceiling Fan Direction?

In the summer, your air conditioner works hard to pump out cool air to refresh you. However, it has a hard time dispersing upward through the house. Warm air naturally rises and takes it’s place. Which means that your ankles and knees may be at a nice temperature, but your face may not.

You’ll experience a cooler home, without having to adjust your air conditioner settings, if you use your ceiling fan to move the cold air up. If you run your fan counter-clockwise you can advantage of the angle of its blades to generate a breeze that pulls air up.

The result is more cool air on your face, and a home that feels more refreshing, without using extra energy. In fact, you may find you need to turn your air conditioner down after you start running your fan in the right direction.

In the winter, your home has the opposite problem. Your furnace generates the heat you need, but it rises quickly, over your head. By switching your ceiling fan direction so it pushes air down, you can move that hot air to where you can feel it.

Ceiling fan direction really can make your home feel more comfortable, without demanding any extra power from your HVAC system.

How to Change Your Ceiling Fan’s Direction

If you’re convinced about the benefits of changing your ceiling fan direction, you may still not know how to go about it.

1. Find the Switch

First, inspect your fan to see if you can locate a chord or switch marked “forwards” and “reverse.” Some fans have these switches on remote controls, or installed on a wall nearby the fan so you don’t have to get on a ladder.

2. Turn the Fan Off

Some fans can’t change direction until they are turned off. In fact, trying to switch the fan direction while it’s on can damage some models, so turn it off first.

3. Flip the Switch

Once the fan is off, simply flip the switch. Although, this may be easier said than done if you have a vaulted ceiling. If your step-ladder isn’t enough to get you to fan height, you may need an extension ladder. If you don’t have one or aren’t comfortable at heights, you can always ask your HVAC technician to switch your fans while they’re performing maintenance on your system.  

When you’re changing your fan direction for the summer, it’s a good idea to take the time to set a reminder in your calendar to change your ceiling fan direction in the winter too. That way, you can benefit year round from a more comfortable home.