Ceiling fans are such simple home gadgets that they're easy to overlook. You flip a switch or press a button on a remote to turn them on when it's hot -- and then forget about them until the warmer months return. But did you know there's a simple trick to make yourusable year-round?
Most ceiling fans are designed to rotate clockwise and counter-clockwise. A clockwise direction draws cool air up and forces warm air down, which is great for winter or anytime you're cold. A counterclockwise direction creates a downward airflow to cool you -- that's great for summer or anytime you're hot. A downward draft from a ceiling fan can make you feel up to 8 degrees Fahrenheit cooler, which means you can rely less on air conditioning in the peak season.
But there's even better news: It's super easy to switch the rotation of your ceiling fan. Here's how to make the most of your ceiling fan in any season.
Change the direction your fan rotates
There should be a switch on your ceiling fan's motor housing below the blades. Make sure your fan is turned off and flip the switch to reverse the direction of your fan. This quick and easy adjustment makes your fan usable no matter the season.
If your fan has a remote, it might have a button to reverse the direction of the fan blades.
In the winter, you don't want cold air blowing on you. Because of this, most people instinctively turn their fans off. But did you know a ceiling fan, set to rotate in the right direction, can actually make you feel warmer? (I didn't.)
When you want a warming effect, your fan should be rotating in a clockwise direction. Instead of pushing cool air down, it pulls it up, which forces the warm air near the ceiling (remember, heat rises) back down. Again, stand underneath your fan while it's turned on to check the direction. If it's rotating the wrong way, turn the fan off and flip the switch.
In the hottest months of the year you want your fan to cool you. For that to happen, you need your fan to push air down. This downward airflow causes a cooling, wind-chill effect that's perfect for summer.
To confirm your fan's current setting, stand underneath it while it's running and check which way the blades are rotating. If they're rotating clockwise, turn the fan off, wait for it to stop spinning and flip the switch. If your fan is rotating in a counter-clockwise direction, you're all set.
An important thing to remember
This trick doesn't have to be used only in the summer or winter -- and you don't have to rotate it counter-clockwise all summer and clockwise all winter.
If you ever want to make a room feel warmer or cooler, simply reverse the direction of the fan to feel a little more comfortable without having to rely on your heat or AC quite so much.