Ceiling fans with a reverse switch can work two ways to increase efficiency. In the winter, the blades rotate in one direction to assist your heating efforts, while in the summer, they should be switched to rotate the opposite way to take advantage of the wind chill effect. Here’s how it works.
Ceiling Fans in Summer
In the summer, ceiling fans can boost your cooling efforts. When humans perspire, feeling a breeze against the skin helps them cool off as the perspiration evaporates. This is known as the wind chill effect — you feel cooler than the ambient temperature because of moisture evaporation and the movement of air.
You can take advantage of this effect by installing a ceiling fan in every room where people congregate, or in bedrooms. When the blades turn counterclockwise, they create a current of air that helps the home’s occupants feel cooler, allowing the homeowner to keep the thermostat a few degrees higher than might otherwise feel comfortable.
The switch for blade rotation is usually located on the motor housing, or fan blades may be reversed by using a remote control. In addition to switching the blades so they run counterclockwise in the summer, you should also clean the blades and lubricate the fan before you start using it for the season. Always make sure you turn the fan off before you switch the direction of the blades, or before you clean it.
Using Fans Effectively in the Winter
In winter, fan should rotate clockwise. In this direction, the fan blades will lift up chilly air that sinks to the level of the home’s occupants, while the warm air is trapped near the ceiling. As the cooler air rises, it pushes the warm air from the furnace or other heating system toward the walls and downward so that it warms the home’s occupants.
Learn more about how ceiling fans can complement your air conditioner’s efficiency from the HVAC pros at Kearney and Sons Heating and Air Conditioning, or contact us today at 757-269-9589 for other home comfort issues.