Ceiling Fans: How do they Work?

Within an enclosed environment, a ceiling fan works much like the tilted blades of an airplane propeller to push the air in a room either up or down. A ceiling fan typically has three speeds and can either operate in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction.

Ceiling Fan Benefits

The main function of a ceiling fan is to move air around in an enclosed environment. This movement both creates a breeze and mixes the warm air at the top of the room with the air at the bottom to achieve a more balanced temperature.

Hot Weather Function

In hot weather, ceiling fans help to keep rooms and people cool by moving the air around. By pushing air down from the ceiling, they also increase the efficiency of a central air conditioner by mixing warmer and cooler air in the room for a more accurate thermostat reading.

Also, with a breeze blowing on you, drying the perspiration on your skin and carrying away excess body heat, you feel cooler. As a result, you may even be able to set your air conditioning thermostat to a higher temperature as a result.

Cold Weather Function

On most ceiling fan models, you can find a reverse switch that changes the rotation of the ceiling fan blades. The opposite rotation pulls air up from the ground toward the ceiling. As more air is pushed up to the ceiling, the warmer air that naturally accumulates there will be forced to move outward, down the walls and into the enclosed environment of the room. Again, this mixing of warmer and cooler air gives the central heating system a more accurate temperature reading. It may also help reduce heating costs by moving the warm air at the ceiling down into the room.