The image of a ceiling fan slowly rotating to cool a sweltering hot room is common in the movies and our imaginations. It is definitely true that ceiling fans provide excellent supplemental cooling during the warm months. However, ceiling fans are also useful for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your heating system when temperatures drop along the Coastal Bend.
When used during the summer, ceiling fans produce a downdraft that cools the occupants of a room when the air contacts them. Downward-flowing air from the fan also helps recirculate cool air that has settled near the floor, which improves air distribution and makes your air conditioner more effective.
In the winter, ceiling fans can be equally effective in improving indoor comfort through better distribution of heat. During heating season, ceiling fans should be reversed – from counter-clockwise to clockwise – to send air upward toward the ceiling. This updraft moves and recirculates warm air that naturally rises to the upper part of the room, sending it to the walls and down where people can feel it.
To be effective, ceiling fans must be the correct size. Larger fans or fans with bigger blades produce more circulation. Fans between 35 and 44 inches work well in rooms up to 225 square feet in size. Rooms larger than that may need fans of 52 inches in diameter or larger. More than one fan may be needed in very large rooms or rooms longer than 18 feet.
Granted, in our mild-winter climate, it can be a bit tricky deciding when to reverse your fan direction, since one January day you might actually need a cooling breeze, and the next one might turn chilly and require supplemental heating. But remember, on a cool day during the heating season, a ceiling fan with clockwise fan rotation can still displace and recirculate warm air that collects at the top of your rooms, whether your heating system is operating or not.
CCAC, Inc. is dedicated to providing quality HVAC sales and service to Corpus Christi and the surrounding area. Contact us today for more information on how using ceiling fans can help keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ceiling fans and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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