How Ceiling Fan Direction Impacts Your Comfort and Cooling Efficiency

Published on: April 22, 2015
Ceiling fan | AC Southeast®

For maximum comfort and lower energy costs, changing ceiling fan direction when the seasons change is a must-do. Ceiling fans are one of the best ways to reduce the burden of your HVAC system, but unless you set the appropriate blade direction, you won’t benefit.

Using Ceiling Fans for Increased Comfort

During the spring and summer, the blades need to turn in a counterclockwise direction. If the reversing switch says forward and reverse, choose forward.

When the blades rotate counterclockwise, they create a wind chill effect on your skin. When the human body gets warm, it perspires. With the wind chill effect, that moisture evaporates faster thanks to the air movement. Keep in mind, though, that the fan is cooling the skin, not the temperature of the room, so turn the ceiling fans off in empty rooms to minimize energy waste.

When you change the ceiling fan direction, you may be able to delay turning on the cooling system or at least raise the thermostat a few degrees, all thanks to the wind chill effect.

When it’s unquestionably too hot to do without the A/C, you may be able to turn the temperature up without sacrificing your comfort. Ceiling fans use a fraction of the energy that cooling systems do, and using the A/C less prolongs its lifetime.


  • When switching ceiling fan direction, make sure the fan is off and the blades have stopped spinning. It may look like a gentle spin, but getting hit with a blade can cause painful injuries.
  • If you’re installing fans, make sure that the ceiling can support them. You may want to use a contractor to install the blocking and wiring they require. Even the lightest weight fan needs solid ceiling support.

Learn more about ceiling fan direction or other cooling solutions available from AirConditioningSouthEast.com, or contact us today to find a contractor near you!