Ceiling Fan Direction for Summer and Other Fan Secrets

Did you know that the direction that your ceiling fan spins has a direct impact on whether it’s keeping you cool or warming things up? It’s true: These revolutionary fixtures hold a wealth of hidden potential—including a few features you may not know about.

As the world’s leading manufacturer of HVLS (high volume, low speed) ceiling fans, Big Ass Fans has been innovating the science and technology of airflow for 25 years. Whether you want to know the proper ceiling fan direction for summer or other tips to get the most out of your overhead fans, we’re here to provide you with a few helpful facts about these remarkable devices—so you can maximize their power to keep you comfortable and save you money throughout the year.

The Seasonal Spin on Cooler Summers and Warmer Winters

Most people associate ceiling fans with summer heat relief, but these versatile devices can also be your allies in winter—and blade direction makes a big difference in airflow. 

In warmer months, set your fan to turn counterclockwise, which creates a downdraft and pushes cool air down towards you. This air circulation provides a gentle breeze that creates a cooling effect (also known as a “wind chill” effect) over your sweaty skin and helps you feel cooler. 

But what about winter? By flipping the switch and setting your ceiling fan to spin clockwise, the fan creates an updraft. Because heat rises, the fan pushes warm air from the ceiling back down into the living space below. With the heat being distributed more evenly, you can lower your thermostat setting and save on your heating bill.

Pro tip: In both cases (clockwise and counterclockwise), keep your spin setting on low, as this provides a steady flow of circulation throughout the room. 

If you’re shopping for a new ceiling fan, look for models with longer blades, which are best suited for moving larger volumes of air, especially in larger areas like living rooms, retail spaces, or restaurants. 

In short: 

  • Ceiling fan direction for summer: counterclockwise
  • For winter: clockwise

Common Misconceptions About Ceiling Fans

Did you know that fans don’t actually lower the temperature in a room? They simply circulate air, creating a wind-chill effect that makes the room feel cooler. Here’s how it works:

  1. When you’re hot, your body produces sweat.
  2. As your sweat comes into contact with circulating air, it begins to evaporate.
  3. The process of evaporation requires energy, which is drawn from the heat around the sweat droplets. This heat comes from your skin, making you feel cooler.

Another common myth about ceiling fans is that it’s wasteful to leave a fan running in an empty room. After all, if it’s not lowering the temperature, why bother? While it doesn’t make the room cooler, it does keep the air from stagnating, which can be beneficial and more healthful in many climates.

Other Helpful Facts About Ceiling Fans

  • Did you know that today’s ceiling fans are incredibly energy-efficient, using as little power as a 60-watt light bulb?
  • Ceiling fans work great in conjunction with air conditioning. Even though ceiling fans don’t lower the temperature, they can help a building’s occupants feel cooler, requiring less AC and saving significantly on your electric bill.
  • Lower speeds are more efficient than higher speeds because they use less electricity. Big Ass Fans are engineered to use up to 70% less energy.
  • Larger fans with longer blades use less energy than smaller fans with shorter blades. They also circulate a higher volume of air, which is particularly helpful in bigger spaces.
  • Since the electric motor in a ceiling fan converts electrical energy into mechanical energy, it generates and releases some heat into the room. Highly efficient motors and engineering lessen this effect, which is why it pays to purchase a higher-quality ceiling fan. 
  • In addition to lighting, some models offer valuable features such as remote controls, timers, and the ability to integrate with a building’s systems like HVAC, fire suppression, and smart technology. 

Many Big Ass Fans models come with highly innovative features such as: 

  • Woosh—Varies the fan’s speed up and down to simulate a natural breeze.
  • Fan Eco—Automatically balances airflow with energy use.
  • SenseME™—Built-in sensors that monitor the room’s temperature and humidity and can sense when people are in the room. 

Turn to Big Ass Fans for All Your Ceiling Fan Questions

At Big Ass Fans, we are the world’s number-one manufacturer of HVLS (high volume, low speed) fans known for their premium quality, durability, and efficiency, including the number-one selling Powerfoil® X4 industrial ceiling fan and the new storm-ready Haiku® Coastal residential ceiling fan. 

Visit our website to discover a wealth of information about far more than the proper ceiling fan direction for summer. We’ve got a wide selection of indoor, outdoor, and industrial ceiling fans for virtually any air circulation need. 

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