Ceiling Fan Direction?

Ceiling Fan Direction?

When it comes to ceiling fans, ceiling fan direction and speeds are common discussion topics.  Which direction should your fan rotate during summer? Which direction should your fan rotate during winter? And how can you maximize the stagnant air already in the area?  There are high speed fans and low speed fans; ceiling fans made for commercial facilities with 100,000 square feet and smaller ones designed for residential spaces.  Ultimately, the science behind ceiling fans remains the same which is to circulate stagnant air in a room and hopefully changing the effective temperature for the occupants.

Which way should it turn?

To have a cooling effect for people below, your ceiling fan direction should be in a standard counter-clock wise motion.  This direction should push air flow down resulting in a lowering of the room temperature.

Summer ceiling fan direction: Counter-clockwise (Forward)

Through winter, heat typically rises to the top of a room.  To utilize the warm air above, push the air upward toward the ceiling which will not only draw the cold air from below but drive the warm air down the walls and raising the effective room temperature.

Winter ceiling fan direction: Clockwise (Reverse)

Ceiling Fan Direction


What speed should my fan rotate at?

After figuring out the ceiling fan direction, controlling the speed can also affect room’s temperature. If you’re using a high speed fan made for smaller spaces you’ll want to make sure the fan is rotating faster in a counter-clockwise direction during the summer and a slower speed in the clockwise direction during winter to prevent any potential wind chill effect.  Now with the need to circulate air in larger spaces, the invention of high volume-low speed fans creates an alternative to installing tens or hundreds of high speed fans in applications with high ceilings. Replacing several smaller ceiling fans with a single HVLS ceiling fan generates identical or increased air displacement with the same cooling affects at a much slower speed.

Proper forward ceiling fan direction should result in the movement of air like in the video above.

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