Don't Forget to Reverse Your Ceiling Fan Direction for Summer

This simple trick can lower the temperature on your porch or in your room by four degrees.

Did you know that your ceiling fan is designed to rotate in different directions for summer and winter. Look for a small switch next to the motor of your ceiling fan that directs your blades to run either clockwise or counterclockwise.

Counterclockwise Is The Correct Summer Rotation

Although the direction can vary by some manufacturers, check to make sure you have your fan set to the accurate warm weather rotation by standing below it. You should immediately feel a downward breeze blowing on you.

According to Consumer Reports, a ceiling fan with the blades rotating counterclockwise for summer can make a room feel 4 degrees cooler. And, Energy Star says that you save 3 to 5 percent on air conditioning costs for each degree you raise your thermostat. Keep in mind that a ceiling fan makes you feel cooler, not your room, to save energy and cost turn off the fans when you leave the room. Memphis, Tennessee-based Hunter Fans estimate that ceiling fans can cut summer power bills by $110.

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Photo by: Laurey W. Glenn, Styling by: Elizabeth Demos

Clockwise Is The Correct Rotation For Winter

The fan blades should send air upward to disrupt the warm air that collects near the ceiling and disperse it downward. This is particularly effective in rooms with high or vaulted ceilings and rooms with stoves or fireplaces. Heat rises, and that ceiling is going to do its best job to keep you warm in the winter, but only if you have it set properly.

Can A Ceiling Fan Fit My Style?

Do you think your personal aesthetic is hard to nail when it comes to choosing a ceiling fan? Think again! There are so many choices when it comes to ceiling fans these days. Forget the old wood and rattan throwback, and you don't need to choose one with a light. With the sheer amount of choice in material, fan blade shape, number of blades and the options in light fixture, the ceiling fan rabbit hole can be easy to fall into.

More Ceiling Fan Facts

  • Money Doesn't Matter: Consumer Reports found that a more expensive fan doesn't generally improve fan performance.
  • Less Blades, More Air: Our friends at Hunter Fans tell us that generally speaking, the fewer blades a fan has, the more air it moves. Five-bladed fans have become the norm from an aesthetic standpoint, but a three- or four-bladed fan with equal motor power will move more air.
  • Check Airflow Metrics: Look out for a higher number of cubic feet per minute on the fan's box – a higher number means more more air movement, but with more airflow you also get more noise.
  • Smooth Sailing: Fans with large and textured blades make more noise than those with smooth blades.
  • Size Accordingly: According to Lowe's, 52-inch blade fans work best for rooms that are 225 – 400 square feet. 42 to 44 inch models work better in rooms that are 144 – 225 square feet.
  • Clean Regularly: Dust and dirt can slow down the blades. Consumer Reports recommends waxing the blades with car wax to keep dust from sticking. Hunter Fans recommends cleaning with a pillow case to eliminate the dreaded floating dust. Wrap the blade inside of the pillowcase and slowly move it away from the fan.
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