When used properly, running your ceiling fans in conjunction with your heating or cooling system can optimize your comfort level while saving a little bit of money on energy bills. This method is best only while people are in the room; there’s no added benefit to leaving them on all the time as this is more about your personal comfort.

In the Winter Set the fan to run clockwise as seen from the floor looking up at the underside of the fan. This will redirect the warm air from the ceiling and down the walls and into the living space where the people actually are. In a house, you would run the fan at a low speed so that you don’t actually cool the warm air that you are moving downward. If you have a high ceiling, or are trying to heat a hall or a church, you may want to increase the fan speed so that the warm air will reach the living space as long as the fan speed does not create an unwanted downdraft at the people below.

In the Summer In a room with ceiling height of 8-10 feet, set the fan to run counterclockwise as seen from the floor looking up at the underside of the fan. This causes a downdraft, especially with the fan running slightly faster. This creates a wind-chill effect because the skin evaporates slight amounts of water from the sweat glands and thereby provides cooling through the skin’s surface. However, the air is only moved – not cooled! You may find that you can turn your thermostat down a degree or two and save more money on energy costs. The air blowing down won’t actually cool the room though, so you should turn the fan off when there are no people (or animals) in the room.