Do Ceiling Fans Help in the Winter?

While many people know how ceiling fans work, fewer are aware that ceiling fans in winter can be used in a similar way as they are used in summer. Using ceiling fans in winter can help facilitate heating a room. In order to take advantage of them, you’ll need to first locate the switch on the fan that controls the direction of the blade.

In the summer, to get the wind-chill effect, the blades need to run in a counterclockwise fashion. This is the setting that most fans use automatically. Test your fan by turning it on and identifying the fan’s direction. If you need to, switch the fan to run in the clockwise direction to enhance heating.

How to Use a Ceiling Fan in Winter

In the clockwise direction, the blades push air up. This is key to facilitating a more comfortable room in the heating season. That’s because, when the blades push air down, they create the wind-chill effect, helping to facilitate evaporation. If you leave the setting in this mode, you will definitely feel cooler!

In the heating mode, however, the blades push air up, helping the fan to better distribute heat. Here’s how:

  • As the blades move, they draw in air from around the room and push it up toward the ceiling.

  • The force of the air pushes the air at the top of the room toward the walls, at the outer edges.

  • Then, the air moves back down to the ground.

  • Since air at the top of a room is warmer, the entire room starts to feel warmer as the air is pushed back down to the bottom of the room.

  • The process repeats.

  • The room gets warmer and warmer.

By some estimations, experts report that homeowners can save as much as 15 percent on heating costs when they run ceiling fans during the winter. Due to the improved distribution of heat in the room, thermostats can be turned down. When you do that, your heater runs less often, consuming less energy.

Unlike your heater or air conditioner, you shouldn’t turn ceiling fans on and let them run continuously. In most cases, to benefit from ceiling fan use, you need to be in the room to take advantage of the enhanced heating. You don’t want to work your way through the home, turning on ceiling fans, and then leaving the room. The fans won’t distribute heat throughout your home.

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