I treat most mechanical things this way: flip a switch, it starts running, I’m happy. Then I go about by business never giving the mechanical thing another thought. Well, today, I learned that sometimes you need to know what it really means when you flip a switch.
For example, the direction a ceiling fan should turn in wintertime vs. summertime actually makes a difference in the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems. Now, that cooler weather is here in Hilton Head, I reversed the direction of my ceiling fan in my four season sunroom but it didn’t seem to help warm the room so I’m thinking, this is not a four season room after all. Actually, I was now on the path to running my fan in the wrong direction all winter long just like I had unknowingly done all summer. Except…
I called my trusted Hilton Head heating and air conditioning specialist. He set me straight as he has often had to do about mechanical things and I now understand how the direction of ceiling fans works in relation to warming or cooling. Of course, I am lamenting over my fan turning in the wrong direction all summer in Hilton Head but what’s done is done. At least, I’m going in the right direction now for wintertime.
If you are mechanically challenged such as myself, here’s an easy tip to remember:
Most ceiling fans have a switch so you can change the direction of your fan from “warming” to “cooling”by running the fan either clockwise or counter-clockwise or forward and reverse as stated in some fan manuals. The tiny switch might be just above the fan blades (between the blades and the ceiling) on most ceiling fans; however, I have a fan where the switch is just below the fan blades, (between the fan and the floor). The direction the fan blows is fairly important because the fan will move air differently depending on the direction. It’s a simple thing to do once you know which direction to use because the switch is usually just a matter of flipping it up or down, which is where my area of expertise begins and ends at flipping a switch.
The way to tell which direction your fan is blowing is to turn it on low and see if the blades spin to the right or to the left. To the right, of course is clockwise and to the left, is counter-clockwise. Simple so far but which direction do you use to cool or warm?
Fans spinning clockwise makes your Hilton Head rooms warmer because it creates a gentle updraft which pushes the warm air near the ceiling down along the walls and into the room. (Warm air rises to the top.) You should not feel much of a breeze from the fan when it’s running clockwise.
Fan blades spinning counter-clockwise makes a room cooler (CCC) by blowing air downward. You should feel a cool breeze coming down and around the room. (Cold air falls to the bottom.)
So remember, to get the most energy efficiency out of your Hilton Head heating and cooling system, take advantage of your ceiling fans, and remember CCC = Counter-Clockwise = Cooler.