Which Way Should My Ceiling Fan Rotate in the Summer?

Which Way Should My Ceiling Fan Rotate in the Summer?

Ceiling Fan

You need to chill out. Literally. Summer is in full swing in the Phoenix area, and you’re looking to stay cool without using your air conditioner too much. Enter: The ceiling fan.

But some people don’t know that the ceiling fan has a function that allows the blades to turn two ways:

  • counter-clockwise
  • clockwise

(That’s “left” and “right” respectfully for those of you who haven’t looked at an analog clock recently.)

So which way should that sucker spin to cool you down?

Consumer Reports nails it: “During warm weather, you should run the fan so that the breeze blows downward. This wind-chill effect—the same cool breeze you feel when you roll down the window in a moving car—will cool you.”

Notice there’s no mention of clockwise or counter-clockwise. The right way is the way that produces a downward breeze. This breeze makes you feel cooler by accelerating the evaporation of sweat on your skin.

The way it needs to spin to produce that effect depends on which way the fan blades are angled.

But for most ceiling fans, the blades should turn:

  • counter-clockwise at higher speeds in the summer to move a breeze around
  • clockwise at lower speeds in the winter to help distribute heat around the room

Stand underneath your fan and experiment to find out for sure.

Changing the fan’s rotation

To change the fan’s rotation:

  1. Turn the fan off (please, before you hurt yourself)
  2. Do whatever you need to do get eye level with the ceiling fan’s base
  3. Look around the base to find a small switch that’s no bigger than a pencil’s eraser. Flipping that switch changes the fan’s rotation.

Lowering your summer utility bills…maybe

While ceiling fans can lower your utility bills, it requires some cooperation on your part. The fan doesn’t actually lower the temperature in your home. It just makes you feel cooler.

According to Energy.gov, “If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.”

So you need to make an effort to turn your thermostat up to get the savings. But you’ll get them nonetheless. So get those fans spinning my Phoenix friends!

Fountain Hills Air proudly serves the entire East Valley area in Arizona. To learn more about how to cut your cooling costs, check out our other blog posts