Ceiling Fan Direction in Summer and Winter

By Jennifer Merrigan

Did you know that your ceiling fan can save you up to 40% on your utility bill and make your rooms feel up to four degrees cooler? Along with these savings, ceiling fan direction can have a dramatic impact on how comfortable you are in your home. Keep reading to learn which direction your ceiling fan should blow during the summer and winter, along with a few tips regarding the fan direction in certain rooms of your home and how you can change your ceiling fan direction.

Ceiling fan direction in summer

If you’re experiencing a hot summer, you want your ceiling fan to push cool air down, creating a wind chill effect. For this to happen, you want to make sure that the fan is spinning counter clockwise. Standing under the fan, you should feel cooler air and notice air flow moving down toward the ground.

Ceiling fan direction in winter

You don’t want to feel a wind chill when it’s cold outside, so the best ceiling fan direction in winter would be clockwise. Set to this direction, your ceiling fan will move warm air up toward the ceiling and out around the walls.

Do ceiling fans actually help in the winter?

Heat naturally rises, so when you turn your fan settings to rotate clockwise, your fan will push warmer air from the top of your room and fill your entire space. Not only will this help you feel warmer, it will circulate air and keep you from feeling stuffy. Because of this feature, you could end up saving as much as 15% on your heating bill.

Ceiling fan direction in specific rooms of your house

Regardless of the temperature outside, you may want to change your ceiling fan rotation depending on the room you’re in to maximize air flow and be as comfortable as possible.

Living room

Because your living space tends to be large (and may have vaulted ceilings), you’ll want to have your fan set to a counterclockwise direction to keep the air circulating at full speed and keep the space comfortable, even in the winter months.


Depending on your sleeping preferences, you may want to feel the strong breeze of your ceiling fan at night to keep you from overheating, or you may feel that the draft from the ceiling fan is distracting. Try experimenting here to figure out the ideal direction your ceiling fan should be in.


Though your kitchen can get warm while cooking, you don’t want a strong breeze blowing on your food and turning it cold. Set your ceiling fan to a clockwise direction to keep the air circulating throughout the room without cooling down your food. Having your fan set in this direction will also help any smoke and moisture leave the room.


It’s very important to have the air circulating well in your baby’s room, but you may be worried about them getting too cold. Switch your ceiling fan direction to clockwise to keep the air circulating without your baby feeling a draft.

How to change the direction of your fan

Changing the direction of your fan is extremely easy and can be accomplished within minutes. All you need is a ladder (if necessary) to reach the top of your ceiling fan. Here’s a step-by-step look at how to change the direction of your ceiling fan.

  1. Turn off your ceiling fan completely and wait for the blades to stop moving. Some fans may have cords or chains that hang from the center of the fan and allow you to turn the device on or off. Some modern fans will let you turn the fan on or off through a wireless remote control.
  2. Using your ladder, climb up to reach the top of your ceiling fan where the motor is stored.
  3. At the top of the ceiling fan, you’ll see a small switch. Flip that switch in the opposite direction. 
  4. Carefully step down from the ladder and turn your ceiling fan back on. The blades should be rotating in the opposite direction they were originally in.

Note: Instead of a switch, some modern fans will have remote controls that include buttons for reversing ceiling fan direction.

Which direction should ceiling fan blades face?

The direction your ceiling fan blades face is solely dependent on the direction you want your ceiling fan to rotate. Take a look at your ceiling fan as it’s running: do you feel the air blowing on you or do you feel no air movement at all? Consider which way the ceiling fan blades are angled in relation to the direction the ceiling fan is blowing.

When your fan is rotating counterclockwise and the blades are angled toward the ground, this is the ideal rotation and angle to keep air blowing on you. You usually can’t change the angle of your blades, as opposed to the direction the ceiling fan blades rotate, so keep that in mind when determining which direction you want your ceiling fan to rotate.

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