Which Way To Turn a Ceiling Fan in Winter vs Summer?

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It happens every year: the weather changes and you stare at your ceiling fan trying to remember which way it’s supposed to spin.

This is which way to turn a ceiling fan in winter vs summer:

In the winter, you should turn your ceiling fan clockwise to push warm air down from the ceiling. Clockwise is left-to-right. In the summer, you should turn your fan counter-clockwise to create a breeze and cool the air. Counter-clockwise is right-to-left.

In this article, we’ll also show you how to change your fan’s direction using a switch on the fan motor, a remote, or a smart app.

Which Way To Turn a Ceiling Fan in Winter (or Other Cold Weather)

Spinning ceiling fan—Which Way To Turn a Ceiling Fan in Winter vs Summer
Image by the author via Canva—Which Way To Turn a Ceiling Fan in Winter vs Summer?

In cold weather, you want the warm air near the ceiling to circulate down into the living space.

Since warm air rises, reversing your ceiling fan will help push that warmth down into the room. Set your ceiling fan to spin clockwise at a low speed and you’ll feel a gentle updraft, which can help distribute the warm air from the ceiling without creating a breeze.

This is why you should always turn your ceiling fan clockwise in winter (or other cold weather).

By circulating the warm air near the ceiling, you can make your home feel more comfortable – and save on your energy bill. So don’t forget to adjust your ceiling fan direction as seasons shift from hot to cold.

You might be surprised at the difference you feel.

Which Way To Turn a Ceiling Fan in Summer (or Other Warm Weather)

Most ceiling fans are capable of running in either direction, but many people don’t know that there is a difference. In the summer, you should always run your ceiling fan in the counter-clockwise direction.

This produces a subtle cooling breeze that can change the temperature up to 10 degrees.

Counter-clockwise spinning fans create what’s called an “air pool.”

This air pool forms around the blades and pushes air straight down into the room. The clockwise direction does the opposite, pulling air up towards the ceiling.

Here is a good video about the correct ceiling fan direction during winter or summer:

YouTube video by HomeServe—Which Way to Turn a Ceiling Fan in Winter vs. Summer

How To Change the Direction of a Ceiling Fan

There are three main ways to change the direction of your ceiling fan:

  1. Use the switch on a fan with a pull chain
  2. Use a remote control
  3. Use a smart app

Change the Ceiling Fan Direction With a Switch

It’s easy to switch the direction of your pull-chain ceiling fan using a switch.

After turning off your fan, find the switch on your fan or light fixture.

On most ceiling fans, you’ll find a switch somewhere on the motor housing. This switch determines the direction the blades rotate. You can usually find this switch near where the motor connects to the fan blades.

There are usually two positions for the switch. One position turns the fan blades in a clockwise direction and the other turns the blades in a counterclockwise rotation.

Just align the arrow with the appropriate setting.

Your ceiling fan will be spinning in the right direction in no time.

Change the Ceiling Fan Direction With a Remote Control

Changing the direction of your fan with a remote control is easy.

First, make sure that your fan is turned off and the blades are not moving. Next, locate the switch on your remote that determines which way the fan rotates.

It is usually a small switch that is labeled “blade direction.”

Once you’ve found the switch, simply toggle it to the opposite setting. For example, if the blades are currently rotating clockwise, toggle the switch to the counter-clockwise position.

Your fan will now spin in the reverse direction.

Change the Ceiling Fan Direction With a Smart App

If you have a smart ceiling fan, you can change the direction with a smart app.

First, open the app and locate the fan you wish to control. Next, click on the “settings” or “options” icon.

This is usually represented by three lines or dots in the corner of the screen.

From here, select “blade direction.”

Now you can toggle through the different settings to find the one that corresponds to the direction you want your fan to rotate.

Your ceiling fan will now spin in the direction you selected.

Which Way To Turn a Ceiling Fan on a Vaulted Ceiling

If you have a ceiling fan on a vaulted ceiling, the recommendations are a little different. I suggest that you keep your ceiling fan turning counter-clockwise throughout the entire year.

Yes, regardless of winter or summer.

The reason is that the high ceiling means you probably won’t get any real benefit in that room from changing the fan direction.

Which Way To Turn a Ceiling Fan on a Low Ceiling

If you have a ceiling fan on a low ceiling, I suggest rotating the blades in the clockwise direction during the winter to help circulate warm air and in the counter-clockwise direction during the summer to help circulate cool air.

This will help make your home more comfortable during different times of the year.

How to Tell Which Way Your Ceiling Fan Is Running

If you’re not sure if your ceiling fan is running in reverse, there are a few ways to tell.

An obvious approach is to look at the blades. In the reverse direction, the fan blades will spin in the opposite direction of the standard rotation (counter-clockwise).

You can also check your ceiling fan’s switch.

If the switch is in the reversed position, it means that your fan is running in reverse (clockwise).

Finally, you can check your fan’s remote control or a smart app.

If the fan is set on “reverse,” it means that your fan is running in reverse (clockwise).

Does Changing Your Ceiling Fan Direction Really Help?

There is some debate over whether or not changing your ceiling fan direction really helps.

But, the bottom line is that it doesn’t hurt to change the direction of your fan and it might help improve the comfort of your home during different times of the year.

So, why not give it a try? You can always switch back if you don’t like the results.

What To Do If Your Ceiling Fan Won’t Change Direction

If your ceiling fan won’t change direction, it may be because the switch is in the wrong position.

If this is the case, move the switch to the opposite position and your fan should start working correctly.

If your ceiling fan still won’t change direction, there may be a problem with the wiring or the fan itself. In this case, you’ll need to contact a professional to help resolve the problem.

Final Thoughts: Which Way To Turn a Ceiling Fan in Winter vs Summer?

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you invest in smart apps or remote-controlled ceiling fans.

It makes changing the fan direction so much faster and more convenient.

Here is some ceiling fan gear that can help with this transition:

Ceiling Fan GearPrice
Reiga 52-in Ceiling Fan (Indoor)Check the current price
Tangkula 52″ Ceiling Fan (Outdoor)Check the current price
Ceiling Fan Remote Control KitCheck the current price
Recommended ceiling fan gear (chart)

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Sources

Energy and Buildings Journal