When home air conditioning first became widely available to the average consumer in the 1970s, one of the first casualties in the home and business cooling devices market was the ceiling fan.
While many ceiling fan manufacturers scrambled and successfully re-invented their fans with innovative technologies and improved aesthetics, they still had to fight to maintain a decent piece of the home cooling market.
Their redemption would come rather unexpectedly. It would be greatly driven by energy concerns. The constantly rising costs of cooling and heating homes has given many homeowners a new appreciation of their ceiling fans.
Unlike air conditioning systems, ceiling fans are amazingly energy efficient and a lot of home-owners use them to supplement, or occasionally to supplant entirely, their main home climate control systems.
Ceiling fans have reversible blades, and by changing the directions those blades (either manually or simply by pushing a button on your ceiling fan’s remote) you can make the fan which was irreplaceable over the summer be an equally big help in heating your home during cold weather.
The secret to this duality lies in the physical science of ceiling fan direction. The same cool wind which fans your brow on hot days is also circulating the cool air in a downdraft to the rest of the room. If your ceiling fan direction in the summer is counter-clockwise, as it should be, you will be experiencing a miniature “wind chill” which cools you, without actually lowering the air temperature of the room.
You can save money in energy costs by operating the ceiling fan only when the room has occupants. But what is refreshing in the summer can be unpleasantly chilly in the winter. The simple act of reversing the ceiling fan direction will turn that summer downdraft into a winter updraft, and the ceiling fan will be pushing the warm air which has risen to the ceiling down towards the floor of the room.
You will get a much more effective distribution of the heat from your main climate control system; some homeowners have been able to achieve as much as a 95% change in air flow when their ceiling fan direction is clockwise, and their fan is running at low speed.
With the warm are being distributed more evenly, many homeowners how have changed ceiling fan direction are able to lower their thermostats and save money on energy costs, in spite of the fact that the ceiling fans themselves require energy.
The manufacturers of ceiling fans have done their best over the decades to make their products effective at home climate control. With a better understanding of how ceiling fan direction can make a difference in their energy costs, more homeowners will be drawn to these very simple, attractive, and efficient devices.