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When temperatures become cooler in South Florida, area homeowners breathe a collective sigh of relief. At this time of the season, we welcome the cooler temperatures not only because it means a break from stifling, humid conditions, but it also means a vacation from high summer cooling costs. While you’ll likely use your furnace or heat pump infrequently to ward off the chill this winter, you can use it even less with strategic use of your ceiling fans.

When the weather is warm, homeowners generally know to use their ceiling fans to enhance cooling. Rotating in a counterclockwise direction, ceiling fans create a wind-chill effect that makes home occupants feel cooler, but only when they are directly beneath that draft of air.

You can also use your ceiling fans to stay warm when the temperatures become cooler. Most ceiling fans have a reversing switch located on the housing case for the motor that allows you to run the fans in the opposite direction. Here’s what happens when the fans run in clockwise:

  • The fan blades push air up toward the ceiling, where warmer air often gathers.
  • The upward breeze displaces that warm air, moving it outward and then downward along the walls. That warm air then mixes with cooler air in your living spaces.

As a result, you’ll experience an even distribution of heat, better air circulation and improved comfort. If you have a two-story home, you can place a ceiling fan at the top of the stairwell, and use it to redirect rising warm air down toward the first floor where it tends to be cooler than upstairs.

While you can use a ceiling fan, rotating clockwise, to supplement the work your furnace is doing, it will provide the same benefits even if your heat isn’t running. Warm air will still collect at the top of rooms, whether it’s conditioned air or just air heated naturally in your home. One thing to be careful about, however – don’t forget which way you have the fans set. If it’s a relatively warm winter, when you figure you’ll need the cooling effect of your ceiling fans more than the warming effect, then just keep them running counter-clockwise.

If you’d like more information about how to use ceiling fans for savings and comfort, please contact us at NisAir Air Conditioning & Heatingtoday. Serving homeowners in Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Indian River counties.

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