Why Do Some Ceiling Fans Have A Reverse Switch?

Ceiling fans are widely used in most homes and offices today because of their numerous advantages and features. A ceiling fan is a great way to add comfort and style to any room in your home. In the summer, it can provide a comfortable breeze when you need it most. But, while having a ceiling fan is convenient, some things might surprise you about them! One of these surprises might be why do some ceiling fans have a reverse switch?

Some ceiling fans come with a reverse switch to change the direction of their spinning from counterclockwise to clockwise and vice versa. Depending on the direction of rotation the angled blades of the ceiling fan can push air downwards or upwards. This helps to cool down the house in the summer and heat up it in the winter.

This switch confuses many users, and it also results in the switch being used incorrectly at times. It happens because people often think that a ceiling fan’s only function is to push air downwards. To know why this reverse switch matters and know how they help to save energy, read on.

Ceiling fans can be used all year round

Ceiling fans are an effective and eco-friendly way to keep your home cool or warmed up according to the time of the year. They move air downward from overhead which is why they’re great for cooling things down during hot days. The blades of a ceiling fan are designed to push air downwards while also making a gentle breeze upwards thanks to their curved base shape.

On the other hand, one of the best ways to help warm up your home is also by using a ceiling fan correctly. The chilly winter months bring cold, dry the air inside of your home. But, the wind produced by ceiling fans can circulate warm air from your HVAC throughout the room. It assists the heating system in working more efficiently and making it feel significantly warmer.

Having a reverse switch in ceiling fans makes it convenient to be used during summer and winters. But what is the need to use a ceiling fan when we can easily adjust the thermostat? The answer is simple! 

Using a ceiling fan can significantly reduce your energy consumption as they don’t require much power to operate. Moreover, the proper use of a ceiling fan positively affects the efficiency of the HVAC system. Therefore, it not only takes an extra burden off from the heating system but also helps in reducing your energy bill. 

Selecting the direction: counterclockwise or clockwise

With the changing of the seasons, you may be thinking about changing the direction in which your ceiling fan rotates. Here’s the basic information that will help you select the correct rotation order for your ceiling fan according to the season!

Counterclockwise rotation for summer

ceiling fan counter-clockwise rotation for summer
Ceiling fan direction for summer

Spring is the ideal time for setting your ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise, pushing air downward and increasing air circulation. With warm temperatures outside, you’ll probably want a consistent temperature inside as well. Plus, summer is on its way, and it won’t be long before these temperatures start to rise! 

Counterclockwise rotation pushes air downward and increases air circulation. It creates a cooling effect that makes you feel more comfortable when outside temperatures are at their highest point. Adjust your thermostat to be 5 degrees cooler than the outdoor temperature. It will help ceiling fans to be more effective.

Clockwise rotation for winter

ceiling fan clockwise rotation for winter
ceiling fan clockwise rotation for winter

During winter, clockwise circulation is best. It helps push warm air trapped near the ceiling back down into other rooms in your home. When you heat an entire house, you’re circulating heat throughout, so heat ends up near the top of every room. By rotating your ceiling fan clockwise during winter, the surrounding air pulls upwards, which pushes the warm air back down where it belongs. In addition, if you don’t circulate warm air during cold months, it gets stale and doesn’t feel as cozy.

Read more about ceiling fan directions for summer and winter

How to Reverse a Ceiling Fan?

To change the direction so that your ceiling fan moves according to the weather, you need to turn the reverse switch on the fan to the desired position. However, it can be frustrating if you’re trying to reverse its direction and can’t figure out which direction is suitable for the current weather. Fortunately, it’s not as hard as you think. So let’s walk you through this simple process!

Locate the reverse switch

There are a few things you should keep in mind before reversing your ceiling fan’s direction. For one, not all fans have reverse switches. Most modern fans have it, but many older models don’t. 

Check your owner’s manual or simply look at your current fan’s motor housing. There should be a switch on or inside the housing. Unfortunately, if you can’t find the switch, your ceiling fan just doesn’t have that feature built into it. However, it is easier to find the reverse switch if your ceiling fan has a remote control. The reverse button is always present on the remote control of new fans! 

Select the right direction

The ceiling fans without a remote may have one of the two reverse switches located on the fan motor. The reverse switches my go from side to side horizontally or up and down vertically.

When you flick the horizontal switch over to the left, it will give downward airflow, while flicking it to the right will give upward airflow. On the other hand, if you flick the vertical switch downward, it will provide downward airflow, and flicking it upward will give an upward airflow. Therefore, keep the switch towards left or down in summer. In comparison, keep the switch towards the right or up in winters.

Flick the switch

For remote-controlled ceiling fans, it is as easy as just pushing the reverse button. But be careful and don’t press the button while the fan is turned on. Instead, make sure that the fan has stopped entirely before putting it in reverse motion. 

If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch on the fan motor, it eliminates the risk of accidentally putting the fan in reverse rotation. All you need is a ladder to reach the reverse switch when you wish to place the fan into reverse. Turn off the fan and just flick the switch in the other direction to reverse the rotation. Then, put away the ladder and turn on the fan. Make sure the fan is rotating in the desired direction.

Final thoughts

I hope that you’ve found this article helpful if you were looking for a way to find the reverse switch on your old fan. However, if you plan to buy a new ceiling fan, make sure the product has a reverse switch. You will be thankful to have a ceiling fan that works in both summer and winter temperatures!

Moreover, you should also locate and use the reverse switch on your new fan before installing it. This way, you don’t have to go through the trouble of finding the reverse switch later on.

Charles John

Experienced HVAC technician with 8 years of experience in the industry. Capable of handling all sorts of heating and cooling equipment as well as proficient in operational management, construction-related techniques such as preventative maintenance, electrical troubleshooting and AutoCAD

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