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Using Those Ceiling Fans to Help Heat Your Home

ceiling-fan-woodenThis is a piece of advice we like to give out in winter—and it often surprises homeowners. “Wait, I can use the ceiling fan to help with heating?”

We understand it goes against normal logic to use a fan for helping with warmth. After all, people think of fans as something used to cool down. Before there was such a thing as mechanical air conditioning, using a fan was one of the few ways available to help people cool off in the heat. Ceiling fans are usually installed because homeowners want to cut down on the energy use for their AC during summer.

It’s true that fans are a fantastic way to stay cool without going directly to the air conditioner. The breeze a ceiling fan creates in a room removes the heat envelope from around people’s bodies, allowing them to release more heat from their skin and feel cooler. The fan doesn’t lower the air temperature, but it does make it feel less hot.

Okay, but how can a fan help with improving warmth in winter?

First, take a look at your ceiling fan. Do you see a switch on the base of the fan? You almost certainly will, unless you have an extremely old ceiling fan. If you toggle that switch while the fan is off, the fan’s blades will rotate the opposite direction when it comes back on. If you look at the fan from below, you’ll see that the blades are now rotating clockwise, rather than the standard counterclockwise spin.

When the blades move this direction, the fan pulls air in a different way. Usually, a fan draws the air from the room upward, causing it to then spread out across the ceiling and down the walls. This creates the breeze necessary to feel cooler in hot weather. When the direction is reversed, the fan blades push air from the top of the room downward. This doesn’t create as effective a breeze in the room, but then you don’t want a breeze to cool you off in winter!

What this air pushdown does during colder conditions is push move the warmer air from the top of the room downward. Hot air rises, and when you have a furnace or heat pump running on a cold day, the air comes out the vents and quickly gathers at the ceiling—it can take a while for the warmth to spread downward. The fan spinning clockwise makes this process much faster, and you’ll enjoy a much more even spread of heat. The faster the warmth is spread through your living spaces, the less you’ll need your heater running. The rooms won’t have as many cold spots in them either.

This only one of the many ways you can make your heating better. If you live in Bucks County, PA, an HVAC company of professionals can handle all the services necessary to cut down on those pricey end-of-winter costs. Speak to our experts today to improve your home heating beyond just changing the direction your fans run.

Need help with your home heating and comfort? Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling is Always at your service!

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