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Does Reversing Your Ceiling Fan Direction Really Save Money in Winter?

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Our heating bills are astronomical this year, which makes us wonder, “Does reversing the ceiling fan help in winter?” Perhaps you’ve heard about this money-saving method and asked yourself, “What does reversing a ceiling fan do? As it turns out, this one simple trick can save you 10 percent on your monthly heating bill — here’s how it work.

Why do you reverse ceiling fans in the winter?

It’s best to have fans move in a counterclockwise motion during the summer because it creates a windchill effect. This means that the fan’s blades push colder air down so it brushes against your skin and wicks away sweat, leaving you feeling cooler. In the winter, you reverse the direction your ceiling fan rotates so it draws up the cold air and pushes down the warmer air. Pretty simple, right?

As for the question of how reversing ceiling fan direction saves you money, the answer is that it allows you to keep the thermostat at a colder temperature without feeling the effects. Instead, you’ll be nice and toasty thanks to your fan that’s pushing warm air down to your level. 

How much money will this save you in the end? A good rule of thumb is that you save three percent for every degree drop. That means you can lower your thermostat from a balmy 72 to 68 or 69 degrees and save roughly 10 percent on your bill without even feeling a difference in your home. Think about the gifts you can treat yourself to with that extra money. (We’ve got our eyes on a new jade roller!)

How to Reverse Ceiling Fans

You may want to check the instruction manual for your fan (if you still have it) to see how to reverse the direction it spins. There should be a switch on most models that allows you to quickly and easily change the rotation direction, but you may have to remove a few screws to reach it.

Another piece of advice is to leave your fan on the lowest setting so you don’t inadvertently create a windchill effect. However, you may need to up the power to the medium setting if you have a room with high or vaulted ceilings. 

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