A diagram showing the difference between a summer and a winter ceiling fan.

Changing the Direction of Your Ceiling Fans for the Seasons

Did you know your ceiling fan could actually be playing a bigger role in making your home cozy in every season? Your fan can even make your home warmer in winter, but it’s all a matter of which direction the blades spin. You’ll wanna make sure they spin counterclockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter.


Your ceiling fan could play a big role in keeing you cool this summer! #summer #diy #ceilingfan #carolina #hvac

♬ Lo-fi hip hop – NAO-K
Installed a ceiling fan in my room
Even with the best air conditioner around, you might still rely on your ceiling fan to help during the extra hot summer days.

Keeping Your Home Extra Cool in the Summer

When your fan is set to run counterclockwise, it helps push air from higher up in the room down toward the ground—otherwise known as a downdraft. This is perfect for summertime! The downdraft creates a breeze on your skin, so while it’s not technically lowering the temperature of your home, it creates better air circulation and makes things feel much more comfortable. To make things feel extra cool in your home, set your fan to the highest possible fan speed.

Keeping Your Home Extra Warm in the Winter

It might sound like a bad idea to turn your ceiling fan on in the winter. After all, wouldn’t that make the room feel even colder? That depends on the direction of your fan blades! If you set your fan to rotate clockwise in the winter and you keep it on the slowest setting, it’ll actually help push cool air toward the ceiling. This gets rid of any drafty feelings in the room and can overall make you feel comfy and warm!

Ceiling Fan Direction Graphic

How to Change the Direction of Your Ceiling Fan

There are different ways you may be able to change the direction your fan spins—it all depends on the style and age of your fan. And if your fan is old, there’s a chance you may not be able to change the rotation direction. If that’s the case for you, it might be a good idea to upgrade your ceiling fan.

Change Direction with a Switch

If your ceiling fan’s direction can be changed by a switch, you’ll likely find the little switch up around the motor (the big thing in the center of your fan). Sometimes, this switch is hidden inside a little switch cup (it looks like a cap that matches the rest of your fan), so be sure to give it a close look if you don’t see a switch out in the open. Your switch may be horizontal or vertical. If it’s a horizontal switch, flip it to the left side for downward airflow (counterclockwise) or right for upward airflow (clockwise). If it’s vertical, flip it up for upward (clockwise) airflow and down for downward (counterclockwise) airflow. Remember to turn your fan off before reaching for the switch!

Ceiling Fan Switch

Change Direction with a Remote

If your fan can be remote controlled, you might also be able to switch the direction it rotates by looking for a button labeled “fan direction” or “reverse direction.” Before pressing the button, just turn off your fan and give the blades a moment to stop moving. If you wanna check the direction of the blades, just watch from underneath the fan as they slow down.

Other Situations When You Might Change Fan Direction

While typically you should follow the advice of setting your fan to spin clockwise in the winter and counterclockwise in the summer, there are a few exceptions:

Ceiling Fan in the Dining Room

If you have a ceiling fan in your dining room, you’ll wanna set your fan to rotate clockwise (and at the lowest/slowest setting). This helps with air circulation but keeps from cooling off your nice hot dinner too fast!

Smoking in the Home

If you or someone in your home is smoking indoors, you can set the ceiling fan to rotate clockwise to help pull that smoke up and away! It might not be a bad idea to open up a window, too.

Vaulted Ceilings

If you have vaulted ceilings, your fan is likely too high up for it to create any kind of wind chill in the room. You can go ahead and just leave it rotating counterclockwise any time of year.

How HVAC Maintenance Is Your Best Bet Against All Weather

No matter if you use your ceiling fans or not, or if you change the rotation or not, you run the risk of an uncomfortable home when you don’t keep up with seasonal maintenance for your heating and cooling system. Let us make it easy for you! When you join Priority Advantage®, not only will you get spring and fall HVAC maintenance just for being a member, but you’ll get 10% off repairs, free drain cabling for all your plumbing, and access to giveaways. Join today to give your family comfort all year long!

HVAC Maintenance Is Your Best Bet Against All Weather

Latest Posts