Ceiling fans are mostly known for their use during the cooling season. When a fan is running in a room, it creates a wind-chill effect that makes the room feel cooler. But did you know that you can also use your ceiling fans during winter to make your home more comfortable and save a bit of energy? Today we’re going to talk about how changing the direction of your ceiling fans can have some surprisingly useful effects during the heating season!
How can you use your ceiling fans during winter to improve home comfort levels?
The key to making use of your ceiling fans during winter is to reverse the direction that they spin in. Most ceiling fans have a switch on them that, when flipped, will change the direction that the blades spin in. When you want to use a ceiling fan to cool a room, it should be spinning in a counter-clockwise direction when you’re staring up at it. When you want to use a ceiling fan to warm a room, it should be spinning in a clockwise direction.
So what exactly does a ceiling fan do when it’s running in reverse? You’re most likely familiar with the fact that heat rises. When your furnace provides warm air to your rooms, that warm air tends to float up and hang around your ceilings. When a ceiling fan is running in reverse, it pushes that warm air back down to the floor where you can feel it much better. This has the overall effect of making your rooms feel a couple of degrees warmer.
How can running your ceiling fans in reverse during winter save energy?
As we mentioned above, running a ceiling fan in reverse can make a room feel a couple of degrees warmer. Because of this, you can lower your thermostat by a couple of degrees without noticing a difference in comfort. This will ease the load on your furnace and reduce the amount of energy and gas that your heating system consumes.
When you are trying to save energy during winter, every degree counts. The more often you use your ceiling fans to make your rooms warmer, the more often you can use a lower, energy-saving thermostat setting. This can add up to some nice savings on your heating bills over time, especially during the coldest days of the year. Just remember that this energy-saving trick is only useful when you are in the room to feel it, so shut off your ceiling fans whenever you exit a room so that you don’t waste energy on running the fans themselves.
If you have any questions about when to replace your furnace, or if you’d like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, your St. Louis area furnace installation and repair contractor. We provide service to the St. Louis area, including towns like Clayton, Cottleville, and Creve Coeur, MO.
photo credit: The JH Photography via photopin cc