Skip to main content
Which way should my fan spin in summer or winter? Baby, it's cold outside: Which way should my fan spin in winter or summer?

Baby, it's cold outside: Which way should my fan spin in winter or summer?

Does it Matter What Direction a Ceiling Fan Turns?

Yes, it certainly does matter which direction a ceiling fan turns!  Ceiling fan direction may not be something you think about on a regular basis, but it can make a big difference in the comfort of your home and impact the number on your energy bill.  The reason is that the clockwise and counterclockwise rotations push the air in opposite directions, which aligns with the way your airflow needs change in the summer and winter seasons.  So, if you can't feel air from ceiling fan the way you want to, it may be going in the wrong direction for that time of year.

Which Direction Should Your Ceiling Fan Spin for Summer and Winter?

Changing your ceiling fan direction seasonally is a simple way to SAVE YEAR-ROUND. The ceiling fan direction in summer should be counterclockwise to help create a downdraft, which creates that direct, cooling breeze. Your fan direction in winter needs to be clockwise to create an updraft and circulate warm air around the room. By recirculating the warm air and distributing it back into the living space you can improve the average room temperature and keep your furnace from working overtime. This winter is predicted to be a cold one! Make sure you are doing everything you can to stay warm without overusing costly energy sources.

How do you change the ceiling fan direction? It’s easy whether you use the ceiling fan switch, push button control on the fan remote, or use voice commands with your smart fans.

Ceiling fan direction infographic

What Happens When You Reverse a Ceiling Fan?

It breaks down like this:

  • Ceiling fan direction winter = clockwise (updraft)
  • Ceiling fan direction summer = counterclockwise (downdraft)

Ceiling fan direction in winter

    updraft

    In the winter, ceiling fans need to spin clockwise on low speed (any faster and you’ll start to feel a cool breeze). This creates an updraft that helps move warm air trapped near the ceiling back out and around the room, changing the average temperature in the living space. This is especially helpful in rooms with vaulted ceilings. You and your thermostat will feel the difference from recirculating the warm air, and this will help your heating unit run less often. 

     

    Check if your fan is in winter mode by standing under it and watching the blades spin. The blades should be rotating from left to right (clockwise). You can also stand directly under the fan while it’s on high speed; whichever way you feel the least amount of cool air is the correct direction.

     

    Ceiling fan direction in summer

    To keep cool in summer, your ceiling fan should spin counterclockwise. The counterclockwise direction combined with the blade pitch on fans creates downdraft, which you feel as that welcoming, cool breeze in summer. Our SureSpeed® high velocity ceiling fans are optimized with our SureSpeed Guarantee to deliver an even more powerful breeze, performing at over 33%  higher air velocity than leading competitors*.

    downdraft

    How can you tell which direction your ceiling fan is spinning? Stand underneath the fan and look up to watch the ceiling fan blades spin. If it’s in summer mode, the ceiling fan blades will be moving from right to left (counterclockwise). You’ll be able to feel the coolest, most direct airflow if it’s spinning the correct way.

     

    Ceiling fan direction with air conditioning

    Having your ceiling fan spinning in the right direction in summer is important for your comfort and energy bill. Ceiling fans cause what our engineers and technicians refer to as the “wind chill effect.” Basically, when the air hits your skin, it speeds up evaporation of moisture on your skin and makes you feel cooler. It’s a lot like when you have an open window in a moving car.

     

    Because of the wind chill effect making you feel cooler, simply using your fan while you’re in the room allows you to turn up the thermostat four degrees. For example, if your thermostat is set to 80 degrees, the fan can make you feel like it’s around 76 degrees. Your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard when a ceiling fan is used, meaning you can save up to $38 per month on your cooling costs.

     

    How to change the ceiling fan direction

    how to change ceiling fan direction

    Depending on your fan model, there are a few ways for how to change your ceiling fan’s direction. Regardless of fan type, you want to turn your fan off and let it come to a complete stop before changing its direction.

     

    Switching direction for pull chain fans

    What does the switch on a ceiling fan do? Fans with pull chains have a reversing fan switch that you’ll use to change the direction.

    1. Turn off the fan and let it come to a complete stop.
    2. Check the fan body or light fixture for the fan switch.
    3. Slide the switch to the opposite direction.
    4. Turn the fan back on; replace any light glass you had to remove to get to the fan switch.

    We offer ceiling fan remotes sold individually and in kits with receivers to convert your pull chain-operated fan to one you can operate remotely.

    Switching direction for ceiling fans with remotes

    Hunter fans with handheld remotes have an innovative push button reverse option that makes it easy to change the ceiling fan direction without a ladder. Make sure your remote is paired to your ceiling fan.

    1. Turn off the fan and let it come to a complete stop.
    2. Press and hold the fan button on the handheld remote control. The light on the control will blink when it’s successful.
    3. Turn the fan back on.

     

    Switching direction on smart home ceiling fans

    Our SIMPLEconnect® WiFi® smart fans let you change your fan direction using your smart home devices (our smart fans come with a handheld remote as well for those in your family who aren’t as technically savvy). SIMPLEconnect technology makes it easy to operate your smart fan with your smartphone, tablet, or even your voice!

    1. Turn off the fan and let it come to a complete stop.
    2. Toggle the ceiling fan direction option in the SIMPLEconnect app or use a voice command to reverse your ceiling fan on your smart device like Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, or the Google Assistant.
    3. Turn the fan back on (by voice command or through the SIMPLEconnect app).

     

     

    Like the rule for changing the batteries in your smoke detector, a good reminder for when to change your ceiling fan direction during Daylight Savings Time. When we “spring forward,” make sure your fan is spinning counterclockwise. When we “fall back,” change your fan direction to winter mode and have it spinning clockwise.

     

     

    So, does reversing the ceiling fan help?  You know that it does, but to really feel the benefits of changing your fan direction, you need to make sure you have the right ceiling fan size for your room. If the fan is too small, you won’t get enough air; too big and you’ll have papers blowing everywhere. Make sure to choose the right fan size to help get the most out of your ceiling fan year-round.

     

    *Based on testing conducted January 2021 comparing the average high-speed airflow velocity of Hunter SureSpeed ceiling fans and the best-selling online models for leading competitors.
    Loading...