bedroom with ceiling fan

How to set your ceiling fan direction for each season

A simple switch to your high-efficiency ceiling fan can get you through the summer months – and the colder ones, too.

There’s a simple switch that can keep you comfortable in the heat or the cold, depending on the season – and it can save you money.

Nearly all ceiling fans have a switch located on the side of the fan base that lets you change the direction of the fan blades. Why? Setting the direction of your fan blades will help you control the temperature in your home, so you can save on both cooling and heating costs.

Why use a ceiling fan with my air conditioning?

To escape the summer heat, many people rely on air conditioning units to cool their homes. That can be an effective way to remove heat from warm air, but they can be expensive if they’re the only source of cooling in your home. On average, a standard high-efficiency central air conditioning unit uses 3,500 watts of power when it’s in use. A ceiling fan, on the other hand, uses approximately 50 watts. While it may not replace your air conditioning entirely, a ceiling fan will complement your air conditioning unit and help you save on air conditioning costs in your home. To maximize energy efficiency, pair your ceiling fan with an ENERGY STAR®-certified air conditioning unit, which uses eight per cent less energy than standard models.

Looking to upgrade your AC?

Know what to look out for when making your next purchase with our AC buying guide.


Which way should a ceiling fan turn to keep you cool in the summer?

During summer months, your ceiling fan blades should be set to spin counterclockwise. When your ceiling fan spins quickly in this direction, it pushes air down and creates a cool breeze. This helps keep a room’s temperature consistent throughout the day and reduces the need for an air conditioner to run constantly. A good ceiling fan can make you feel significantly cooler while saving energy.


Getting the right angle

The angles of your ceiling fan blades should be set to a minimum of 12 degrees for maximum cooling. You can adjust them to a larger degree, but any angle above 16 degrees may blow around loose objects. You should also consider installing more than one fan if the room you’re trying to keep cool is larger than 500 square feet.


How do ceiling fans work for colder weather?

Using a ceiling fan in the winter may seem counterintuitive, but it could save you as much as 15 per cent on your heating bills. Your ceiling fan can help distribute and maintain heat pumped out your furnace. In turn, you can adjust your thermostat to a lower setting, but still keep warm and save on your heating costs. 

In cooler months, your ceiling fan should be spinning clockwise at a low speed. Warm air naturally rises, and the gentle updraft created by this setting allows for the redistribution of warm air that tends to accumulate near the ceiling.

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