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Here is another great energy saving article from my good friend James Gallett. I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to post any comments or questions.

Do you know which direction your ceiling fan should turn in order for it to do its job and be economically efficient?

Just the other day I had a friend of mine ask me thisquestion, she was wanting to know for her houseabout the direction of her ceiling fan. I thought I knew the answer, but did some research to verify.

My short answer was this:During the summer, you should run the fan so that the breeze blows downward. This will create a wind chilleffect, just like you get when you roll down your car windows while driving to cool you off.During the winter you should leave the fan off.

During my research I did however find someceiling fan manufacturers websites suggestingthat you run the ceiling fan soit blows downward in the winter. This ideais based onthe fan mixingthe warm air collecting at the ceiling and moving it back down to the perimeter of room in the winter, which would make the room warmer and need less heat from your furnace. But not trusting this advice, (remember ceiling fan manufacturers want the fans running continuously so they will eventually fail), I dug on and foundsome information on consumer reportsthat suggestthat the draft caused by the fan can have a chilling effect on people in a room, in the winter. This leads to them turning up the thermostat and usingmore energy. So they toorecommend that you not bother to reverse the motion of your fan—just leave it off during heating season. Note that there might be some situations where reverse operation would be beneficial, such as in a room with a wood stove running or a very high vaulted ceiling.

If you’re looking to lower your energy bills during the cooling season, use ceiling fans in rooms you are occupying and turnup the temperature on your A/C a few degrees and let the fan go to work. Remember that ceiling fans cool you and not the space you’re in, so turn them off when you leave the room for an extended time so as to not waste electricity.

Here is a ceiling fan shopping tip I ran across: Consumer Reportsfound that while the pricier fans did have fancier finishes, they didn’t necessarily provide better performance. What’s more, most fans performed similarly in theirair-movement tests. I will tell you though that my kids’ rooms have cheaper fans and very rarely get used due to the noise factor, where as my living room and bedroom fan gets used quite often and are very quiet in comparison.

Thanks Marsha for making me do some research; Ihope this is helpful.

James Gallet
Envirotech Heating, Coolingand Energy Solutions

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