Benefits of a Ceiling Fan in Winter | Stay Warm for Less

Did you know that you can use ceiling fans year-round to save money and energy on cooling and heating costs? That’s right, your fan can actually make you feel warmer in the winter.

Does a Ceiling Fan Actually Cool or Heat a Room?

While ceilings fans do NOT lower (or raise) the temperature of the room, we all know from first-hand experience that wind and circulating air makes us feel cooler. This is caused by a wind-chill effect on the skin.

A ceiling fan can also make you feel warmer, not with wind itself, but by using the fan to move warm air near the ceiling down to the living spaces below.

Remember, ceiling fans warm and cool people, not rooms. Turn off any fans when you leave the room.

How Does a Ceiling Fan Save Energy?

Compared to a furnace or air conditioner, a ceiling fan is basically free to run. Costing only a few cents at most per hour, it makes economic sense to use the cooling and warming powers of a fan all year. Everybody knows how fans make you feel cool in summer, but what about winter?

In the winter, the floors are freezing while the air near the ceiling and upper levels is warm. Likewise, in the summer, our bottom floors feel comfortable enough, but the upper stories and attic can be intolerable.

Reversing the ceiling fan makes the air go up and down the wall, helping to redistribute the heat down to the floor.

The Problem

When you turn on your heating system, whether it is a boiler, heat pump, or furnace, the heat gets transferred to the rooms in your home where it rises toward the ceiling. Think of a hot air balloon.

In addition to the “heat rises” problem, if you have air leaks in your home, when the air is rising out of the attic, the negative pressure inside the home compensates by pulling in cold air near the floor.

If you have very high ceilings, you know how long it takes to get warm. Homes with leaky ceilings and attics will have a hard time staying comfortable. Unfortunately, the heat that enters our homes heads to the ceiling, not near the ground where humans and pets are.

To fix the problem, we recommend air sealing and using ceiling fans. Speak with a professional about how to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home.

Counterclockwise in Summer, Clockwise in Winter

The angled blades of your ceiling fan will blow air downwards during the summer when it is running counterclockwise (forward). You will should feel the air blowing on you when you stand underneath the fan. According to the U.S. EPA, with a fan you can lower the thermostat around 4°F with no reduction in comfort.

In the winter, reverse the direction of the ceiling fan blades by flipping the little black switch on the base of the fan. This will cause the blades to turn clockwise, blowing air up towards the ceiling. Turn the ceiling fan to a low setting for a continuous and gentle updraft, causing warm air to move from top to bottom.

Some older ceiling fans don’t have the reverse switch. Consider upgrading your ceiling fan for year-round efficiency and comfort.

Ceiling Fan Benefits

  • Running ceiling fans in reverse can save you around 10% on heating and air conditioning costs.
  • Ceiling fans allow you to raise or lower the temperature of your thermostat (depending on the season) about 4°F with no reduction in comfort. This could be the difference between a running or a silent HVAC system. The less you use the HVAC system, the longer it will last.
  • Moving warm air downward reduces the amount of escaped heat in the attic. The less escaping air, the less of a stack effect. Sealing air leaks around your home, especially the basement and attic will help even more.
  • Ceilings fans improve airflow and your home’s indoor air quality. While ceiling fans should never serve as your only ventilation method, they can help circulate stale air and prevent moisture problems, such as mold.

If you're looking for home electrical service in Southeastern Michigan that you can depend on to get the job done right you've come to the right place! We're a family owned and operated business and have been serving homeowners throughout Southeast Michigan since 1925. We have the expertise you need and can be counted on for all of your home electrical needs. From regular maintenance, to repair and replacement, we offer complete electrical service.

Whether it’s home upgrades or routine repairs, AJ Danboise are the plumbing and HVAC experts you can trust! Call us at (248) 600-5048 to schedule an appointment today!

Categories: