The weather is beginning to get a little warmer. Now is the time to flip that switch on your ceiling fan.

By now there are two types of people out there. The ones who know about the switch and the ones who don't. If you don't know the purpose of the switch on your ceiling fan, don't worry. I'm not judging you. I'm here to help you.

For some this is common knowledge, but for those who don't know about the switch, here's the deal. If you look at the base of the fan (this should go without saying, but you never know nowadays- turn the fan off before you have your hands or head close to it), you will see a switch that you may not have noticed before. This switches your fan from a "warm air" setting to a "cool air" setting.

Retro Ceiling Fan
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Here's how it works: In the warmer months, you want your fan to spin counterclockwise to push cool air downward. During the winter months, you are going to want to flip the switch on there to spin the fan clockwise to pull air upward and push the warm air back down.  You should also run the fan at its lowest speed in the winter.

You might think that having the ceiling fan on during the cooler months is counterintuitive. However, most ceiling fans are  built for year-round use, and taking advantage of this can help homeowners improve their energy savings...and who doesn't like saving money, right?! According to The Home Depot:

When used in conjunction with air conditioning in summer, you can raise the thermostat 4 degrees with no loss of comfort and recoup up to 30 percent on your energy bills; in winter, you can expect to cut costs by up to 15 percent.


Okay, so let's sum this up: Your fan should spin counterclockwise when it's warm to circulate cool air and clockwise in the cool months to circulate warm air in your home.

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So take the time to turn on your ceiling fans tonight to see which direction it is spinning. You'll wan to flip the switch to make sure it's spinning counterclockwise since it's warmer out. If it's spinning in the clockwise position, you're pretty much wasting your time turning your ceiling fan on.

OHHH! And while you're taking the time to flip the switch, be sure to get a damp rag and some cleaning spray to clean off the fan blades. I'd be willing to bet that a lot of people haven't done that in a while and it's probably pretty bad!



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