Which Way Should My Ceiling Fan Spin?

A ceiling fan essentially has two functions. It can push air down or draw air up. By setting a ceiling fan to run clockwise in the winter, warm air that rises to the ceiling is pushed down. The motion sets up an updraft that pulls cool air upwards, forcing warm air down along the walls to the floor, closer to where people are.

The proper setting can save you as much as 15% on heating costs because of the lower demand on heating devices. To reduce energy usage and costs, set the thermostat temperature lower. Another benefit to setting your ceiling fan to run clockwise is you don’t need heating blankets and space heaters.

In the summertime, set your ceiling fan to run counter clockwise to push cooler air down. You can therefore set your air conditioner thermostat higher, yet still get a significant cooling effect. The wind chill effect also makes your skin feel cooler than it is. In fact, you may feel 8°F cooler than what the actual room temperature reads. You can also reduce cooling costs by as much as 40%.

Most newer ceiling fans allow you to set their direction with a remote control. You can reverse a ceiling fan remotely or by using a wall control if one is available. Even if the fan does not have a remote or wall control, you can still change its direction. The motor housing should have a toggle switch. Located just below the blades, the switch can be flipped down to start a counter clockwise motion, if it’s in a vertical configuration, or to the left if it’s a horizontal switch. Flip the switch up or to the right for a clockwise spin.

You can check the fan’s motion by looking up at it. Also feel for air movement. If you don’t feel any air, the fan may be spinning in the wrong direction, the motor may be failing, or the blades may be too flat. First, try turning off the fan; when it stops rotating, change the rotation setting, and restart the unit.

If it still doesn’t seem to be working, contact Express Electrical Services to troubleshoot, repair, or upgrade your ceiling fan. We are a Los Angeles based electrician, with electricians in Santa Ana & Riverside, serving all of Southern California. Call 323-727-7799 or request service online!

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