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As the Ceiling Fan Turns: How Changing Directions Can Help Save Money Year-Round

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The key to making your home more comfortable and energy-efficient could lie in the way your ceiling fan blades spin. The simple act of switching its direction at the start of the heating or cooling season not only keeps your home comfortable under harsh temperatures, but it could also save you a bundle of money on your annual energy expenses.

Putting a New Spin on Home Comfort

When your fan spins counter-clockwise, it pushes the air downwards directly on you. This simple act creates a wind chill effect that helps you feel cooler without having to set your thermostat lower. In fact, you can raise your thermostat slightly and not lose any comfort. Since your AC doesn't have to work as hard to keep your home cool, you'll save money on cooling costs throughout the spring and summer.

When your fan spins clockwise, it pulls the air upwards and disperses it outward. With this setting, the warm air that naturally rises upward can be distributed equally across the entire room. This makes it much easier for your heating system to keep your home warm with just minimal effort.

If you're wondering how to set your ceiling fan to spin in the right direction, simply locate the small switch on the metal housing that controls the fan blade direction. Of course, you should make sure the ceiling fan is turned off and the blades have come to a stop before attempting to reach the switch.

How a Change in Rotation Improves Energy Efficiency

Using your ceiling fans smartly can have a sizable impact on your overall heating and cooling expenses, depending on how heavily you use your air conditioner and heating system throughout the year. Here's how the New York Times breaks down the overall energy consumption for the average A/C system versus a ceiling fan:

  • A high-quality window-mounted AC unit uses approximately 1,200 watts of energy and costs 14 cents per hour to run.
  • A three-ton central AC unit uses around 3,000 watts of energy and costs 36 cents per hour to run.
  • In contrast, the average ceiling fan uses just 30 watts at medium speed and costs a fraction of a cent to run each hour.

The humble ceiling fan could very well be your home's unsung hero when it comes to energy savings. Just remember to set it to run clockwise during the winter and counter-clockwise during the summer to maximize your comfort and save money on energy costs. For more tips or assistance, contact local services such as Omega Air Conditioning.