Bob Vila Radio: For a Warmer Winter, Run Your Ceiling Fans in Reverse

Ceiling fans are synonymous with summer, but they can also be a blessing during the winter. Continue reading to find out why.

By Bob Vila | Updated Jan 8, 2016 4:17 PM

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Everyone knows that ceiling fans provide low-cost cooling in summer. But did you know you can also use ceiling fans to distribute heat throughout your home during the cold months?


Photo: Zillow Digs

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Listen to BOB VILA ON CEILING FANS or read the text below:

Warm air rises, so if you run your ceiling fans clockwise, at slow speed, they gently nudge hot air up toward the ceiling, and then toward the walls, and finally down to the chilly areas below.

To reverse the direction in which your ceiling fan rotates, simply flip the switch on the motor housing. Remember to always run the fan on low speed in winter, as the goal is to recirculate air, not to create a draft.

To save energy, turn off the ceiling fans in any rooms you’re not occupying—except if it’s an area near your thermostat. Here, a running fan helps the thermostats more accurately gauge the indoor temperature.

Lastly, note that if you have an open stairway, a ceiling fan there can work to transfer warm air from the stuffy second floor back down to the chilly ground level.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!