Ceiling Fan Direction For Summer: Which Way Should Ceiling Fan Turn in Summer

While you may not be aware of it, ceiling fan direction (the direction which a ceiling fan rotates) is adjustable.  And, depending on the time of year will determine on how you have your ceiling fan’s direction adjusted.  Simply put, ceiling fan direction during winter is different from ceiling fan direction during summer.

Ceiling fans are fairly simple to operate.  The trick is to know when to set them in the proper direction.  For those of you who still have your owner’s manual to the fan, the manual will explain thoroughly how to set the direction of the fan and what direction for the specific time of year the fan should be set to rotate.

When ceiling fan direction is set in the forward or clockwise position (which will look as though it is rotating the opposite direction when you look up at the fan) then the fan is pushing or drawing the air downward into the room.  By circulating the air downward, a downdraft is created which then helps to cool the room- although it is not cooling the air.

When ceiling fan direction is set to rotate in the reverse or counterclockwise position (which will look as though it is rotating in the opposite direction when you look up at the fan) then you are creating an effect in which moves the warm air that tends to sit or gather on the ceiling and circulating it back into the room.

This helps to bring the heat back into the room and saves on the energy bill.  As the fan rotates, it pushes the warm air back into the room and down the walls of the room.

Obviously, when the ceiling fan direction is adjusted to rotate in the forward or clockwise position, this is a setting that is used for the summer months and when a fan is adjusted to rotate in the reverse or counterclockwise position, this is a setting that is used during the winter months.  There is one exception, however, and that is if your fan is located over a stairway.

In cases where your ceiling fan is located over a stairway, you will want to adjust the fan so that it rotates the opposite.  Meaning, that in the summertime, instead of adjusting the fan to the reverse or counterclockwise position and in the winter months you will want to adjust the fan so that it is set in the forward or clockwise position.

Adjusting ceiling fan direction is fairly simple and can be done by simply pulling on the cord which is attached to the fan.  Thus, only choose the best ceiling fan when buying a ceiling fan, one that can be adjusted with ease.

Ceiling fans are commonly found in many places including homes, restaurants, hotels, and others. Some people find the convenience they emit quite negligible. They are, however, completely wrong.

An air conditioning unit paired with a ceiling fan can be a good way to decrease energy consumption.


Because the ceiling fan has the power to turn down the thermostat by a degree or more. Imagine your savings! Ceiling fan direction is very crucial for comfort, especially in the extremely hot and cold seasons, summer and winter.

Which Ceiling Fan Direction For Which Season?

There are only two available options for ceiling fan direction – “counter-clockwise” or  “forward” and “clockwise” or “reverse”.

These may be changed through flicking a little switch (which is usually found on the “stem” of a ceiling fan).

But what are the directions needed for the different seasons?

The rule to follow is fairly simple. “Counter-clockwise” or “forward” is used to cool the air in a room, and “clockwise” or “reverse” warms it.

Therefore, the first ceiling fan direction must be used during summer months and the latter during winter months (though this is usually the case, one must remember that there still are exceptions).

ceiling fans direction for summer

The former cools since it causes a downdraft of cool air to inhabited areas (the air hits people directly) while the latter warms since it causes subtle updrafts that move warm air near the ceiling towards your walls.

In winter months, aside from turning the direction to reverse, one must remember to put the fan on “low” (unless you have a very high ceiling, then let it remain on “medium” or “high”) to consistently warm the room.

fan direction in winter

You may also put the fan on “clockwise” during summer if you don’t want the wind to hit you directly. Another exception would be during summer, in the dining area, you wouldn’t want a “forward” orientation. You wouldn’t want your food to be cold right after serving, right?

Which Direction is My Ceiling Fan Turning?

How would you know which direction the blades are turning? Simply put the fan on “low”, and observe. You can then change the ceiling fan direction if necessary.

Finally, if ever you can’t remember which direction is for which: just remember, “counter-clockwise cooling”. This is easy to remember since it has three C’s. Now you know your ceiling fan direction. Remember these and you’ll have a much more comfortable life during summer and winter!

When home air conditioning first became widely available to the average consumer in the 1970s, one of the first casualties in the home and business cooling devices market was the ceiling fan.

Why Do Ceiling Fans Have Reversible blades

While many ceiling fan manufacturers scrambled and successfully re-invented their fans with innovative technologies and improved aesthetics, they still had to fight to maintain a decent piece of the home cooling market.

Their redemption would come rather unexpectedly. It would be greatly driven by energy concerns. The constantly rising costs of cooling and heating homes has given many homeowners a new appreciation of their ceiling fans.

Unlike air conditioning systems, ceiling fans are amazingly energy efficient and a lot of home-owners use them to supplement, or occasionally to supplant entirely, their main home climate control systems.

Ceiling fans have reversible blades, and by changing the directions those blades (either manually or simply by pushing a button on your ceiling fan’s remote) you can make the fan which was irreplaceable over the summer be an equally big help in heating your home during cold weather.

The secret to this duality lies in the physical science of ceiling fan direction. The same cool wind which fans your brow on hot days is also circulating the cool air in a downdraft to the rest of the room. If your ceiling fan direction in the summer is counter-clockwise, as it should be, you will be experiencing a miniature “wind chill” which cools you, without actually lowering the air temperature of the room.

You can save money in energy costs by operating the ceiling fan only when the room has occupants. But what is refreshing in the summer can be unpleasantly chilly in the winter. The simple act of reversing the ceiling fan direction will turn that summer downdraft into a winter updraft, and the ceiling fan will be pushing the warm air which has risen to the ceiling down towards the floor of the room.

You will get a much more effective distribution of the heat from your main climate control system; some homeowners have been able to achieve as much as a 95% change in air flow when their ceiling fan direction is clockwise, and their fan is running at low speed.

With the warm are being distributed more evenly, many homeowners how have changed ceiling fan direction are able to lower their thermostats and save money on energy costs, in spite of the fact that the ceiling fans themselves require energy.

The manufacturers of ceiling fans have done their best over the decades to make their products effective at home climate control. With a better understanding of how ceiling fan direction can make a difference in their energy costs, more homeowners will be drawn to these very simple, attractive, and efficient devices.

Jay Green
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Counted as Cast