You go to turn the ceiling fan on and pull the chain. What direction is it going in? Didn’t someone tell you that if the fan should draw the air up in the summer and blow down in the winter? Does it really even matter? Let’s take a look at your ceiling fan and see if having it on, as well as what direction it is turning in, has any effect on your heating and cooling.
Heat Rises; Cool Air Falls
The truth of the matter is, direction does have an effect on how you feel in your home. Hot air rises to the ceiling of a room. If your fan is set to draw that air down, it can recirculate already warm air in the room that is sitting at the top back down into the room so the room feels cooler in the winter months.
The same is true in the summer. Cool air sits near the floor, so if a fan is set to draw that cool air up, then the room temperature will be more comfortable, as that cool air is circulated around the room.
The real question is, does running the ceiling fan have any effect on the efficiency of your HVAC system, and does it help to reduce the energy bills that your HVAC system produces?
The Heating and Cooling Effect
Like we said above, if you want to get that pesky hot air trapped up near your ceiling down to where it is doing some good, you want to have your fan do that. What you might not be doing is getting the direction of the fan right.
Think of how in the winter weather forecasters talk about wind chill factor. This is the how cold the temperature feels as the wind blows the cold air over you when you are standing outside. That effect is known as convection cooling. Air that moves over you will feel cooler than air that is sitting still. This is even the case with warm air. Think of the “cool” breeze on a hot summer day.
Taking that into account, while in the winter you do want to draw the hot air down from the ceiling, you really don’t want to do it by setting the fan to blow down into the room. Even though the fan will be drawing warmer air down, the convection of the air will make the room feel cooler than it is.
If you set the fan to blow up, however, it will still recirculate the air. Doing this will prevent the furnace from kicking on nearly as much and will help you to save on utility bills. The same is true in the summer. Setting the fan to blow down will, in some cases, mean you don’t even need to turn the AC on.
Contact Executive Air Conditioning to make sure that your AC unit is ready to handle the coming summer heat!