Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Spring Is the Time to Change Ceiling Fan Direction for Maximum Cooling

Changing your ceiling fan direction should be an annual ritual. Don’t suffer halfway through a long, hot summer before your discover your fan’s been running in the “winter” rotation setting all along. For a ceiling fan to work in summer, air movement must be directed downward into the room. Most fans have a directional switch on the side of the motor or on the handheld remote control. During spring, make it a point to change your ceiling fan direction to the counter-clockwise or “summer” setting for optimum cooling during the hot days to come. When set correctly, you should feel a slight breeze when standing directly beneath the fan.

Perceived CoolnessSpring Is the Time to Change Ceiling Fan Direction for Maximum Cooling

Full disclosure: A ceiling fan won’t lower room temperatures by even one degree. The good news is, nobody will know it. The summer coolness generated by ceiling fans is a product of air in motion—the same “wind chill” sensation that makes a brisk winter day feel downright frigid whenever a gust of wind hits you. Running a ceiling fan can make a room feel up to 4 degrees cooler, even though there’s no change in actual temperature.

Energy Conserving

Today’s efficient ceiling fan motors consume very little electricity. On low speed, typical models draw as little as 15 watts and only 50 watts on high speed. Compare that to your central A/C that guzzles as much as 2,000 to 5,000 watts of power. The economic advantage of using a ceiling fan in combination with your air conditioner is that the cooling perception created by the fan allows you to bump the A/C thermostat up a few notches without any noticeable impact on indoor comfort. For every degree you set the thermostat above 72, you can reap energy savings of one to three percent. Just remember: Ceiling fans only make rooms feel cooler. If nobody’s in the room to feel it, there’s no advantage to running the fan.

Got your ceiling fan direction turning the right way for another hot Yuma summer? Contact the indoor comfort experts at Hansberger Refrigeration And Electric Company if you need assistance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ceiling fan direction and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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