Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ceiling Fan Operation Through the Seasons

Ceiling fans circulate the air in a room, adding to temperature comfort and a reduced need for usage of air conditioning or heating units. Depending on the season, there are tips for maximizing ceiling fan operation so that you get all the comfort and efficiency your fan can offer.

Ceiling Fan Rotation: Counterclockwise Versus Clockwise
Determine ceiling fan direction by standing under the fan and looking up. If the blades are moving counterclockwise, the fan is moving in a forward direction. In the summer, a ceiling fan should run in this direction. In winter, the direction should be switched so that it moves clockwise (backwards). The mechanics of this seasonal rule are as follows:

  • Counterclockwise: This direction forces air straight downward, creating a wind chill effect that cools the room below.
  • Clockwise: By changing the direction of the fan to clockwise, or backwards, the rotation creates an updraft of room air. Hot air rises naturally, so the goal is to push warm air gently back down into the room without creating the wind chill effect. This direction circulates warm air outwards so that it doesn’t blow straight down.

Ceiling Fan Speeds
Have you ever wondered why ceiling fans feature so many different speeds? In the summer when you need to cool off, high speed rotation offers the most “wind chill” effect. In winter, lower speeds in the reverse direction allow the warmer air to move away from the ceiling, down and out towards the rest of the room, without the wind chill effect created by excessive, downward air circulation.

Why, then, is the ceiling fan still able to run at a high speed in the clockwise direction? There are some instances where you might want to create the wind chill effect in reverse rotation. One example includes those who sleep under the ceiling fan who want to cool the room but not have the cold air blowing directly on them. For rooms where a table that is set up directly under a ceiling fan, it might be more comfortable to cool the room using the clockwise rotation in high speed, rather than eating or playing cards or board games with the cold air blowing straight down on the table.

Ceiling Fan Troubleshooting
If your fan isn’t creating the directional effects you want, the blades may be too flat to make a seasonal difference. You also might need a fan with a more powerful motor, or more speeds. The bottom line is that you should be able to feel cool air blowing downward on you in summer when you stand under the fan. If you don’t, it’s time to troubleshoot.

Wheeler’s Heating and Air Conditioning is a family-owned and operated business providing furnace, heat pump, and air conditioner service and repair in Ozark, Missouri. We offer the most affordable rates around, as well as emergency service at no up-charge for after hours or holiday work. Visit our site or call (417) 839-9240 today to find out more!