Use my ceiling fans in the winter…Really?

Surprisingly the answer is yes. While most people think of using ceiling fans in the summer, the use of your ceiling fans in the winter can actually make your home more comfortable and reduce your heating bills.

As your home’s comfort system puts out that warm cozy air, it naturally rises. This warm air then settles at your ceiling. Your comfort system will continue to operate until the air temperature at your thermostat reaches the desired temperature setting. This means that the air temperature at the ceiling is much warmer than the air in the room. In fact, the air in some vaulted ceilings may be 90 degrees or more while the air at the thermostat is at 68 degrees.

Don’t just crank those ceiling fans up quite yet. You must first change the direction that your ceiling fan turns before using it in the winter. In the normal summer setting your ceiling fan turns counter clockwise, which pushes air down towards the floor. While this will help distribute the warm air at the ceiling, it will also make you feel colder as the air currents pass over you. The proper way to move all that energy saving warm air is to reverse the direction of the fan. When you reverse the fan direction, it will turn clockwise and subsequently push air up toward the ceiling. This upward force pushes the air from the ceiling level and then outward toward the walls. The air then naturally follows the contour of the wall. This helps to distribute the warm air without pushing air currents across the room occupants.

How do you reverse the rotation of your ceiling fan? It’s actually quite simple. Just follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Turn off your ceiling fan. You can either accomplish this by pulling the speed chain until the fan stops or by turning the fan off at the power switch located on the wall.
  2. Wait for the fans blades to stop turning completely. Never reach up and stop the fan blades from turning as this can cause the blades to be thrown out of balance.
  3. Find a ladder or step stool that you can stand on to reach the fan motor housing. Make sure the ladder or stool is stable and recruit an assistant to hold the ladder while you climb.
  4. Search the fan motor housing for a small toggle switch. On most fans, this is a small black plastic switch that is mounted vertically on the motor housing.
  5. Click the toggle switch in the opposite direction. The switch should click as you move it and it should stay firmly in the new location.
  6. With your assistant still providing a steady hand on the ladder or stool, climb down and move it to the side.
  7. Turn on your ceiling fan again either by pulling the speed chain or by turning on the power switch at the wall.
  8. Pay attention to the direction that the fan blades are turning; the blades should turn in the clockwise direction during the winter.
  9. Double-check your fan by checking for a breeze. You should not feel a breeze from the fan while you are standing directly below it.
  10. Set your fan to the lowest speed setting and let it run continuously to keep the warm air circulating in the room.
  11. Enjoy the new comfort and energy savings!

In the spring when the weather begins to warm again, simply reverse the above directions to place your ceiling fan back in the summer setting.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Empire Heating & Air Conditioning at 404-294-0900.  Click here to schedule an appointment online.

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