If you're looking to stay cool, think counterclockwise.


Ceiling fans can play a really big role in keeping your home cool (or warm), depending on the season (and that can help you cut your electric bills, too). But if you don't run your fan blades in the right direction, you could be making your home less comfortable in the process.

Fortunately, it's super easy to set up your ceiling fans for maximum effect. Here's everything you need to know.

ceiling-fan-direction: illustration of ceiling fan spinning
Credit: Getty Images

How to Change Ceiling Fan Direction

Depending on how your ceiling fan is set up, you may need to slide a switch on the main body of the ceiling fan to change it from clockwise to counterclockwise (or vice versa). Just be sure to turn it off first! Newer models may use a remote or an app to let you change the fan's direction without pulling out the ladder.

Once you know how to change your fan's direction, here's which way to turn it and when, plus tips on running your fan in general.

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Fans should turn counterclockwise in the summer.

Running your fan with the blades moving counterclockwise helps create a downdraft, pushing cooler air down toward you. That breeze is like a "wind chill," which can allow you turn up your air conditioning thermostat, but still feel comfortable. According to Hunter Fans, that can help you save 47 percent on your cooling costs.

RELATED: Best Fans to Keep Your Home Cool

Note: Running the fan only helps you save energy when people are in the room to enjoy the wind chill effect—so don't leave it running all day when people aren't home. 

Fans should turn clockwise in the winter.

You may not have thought of running a ceiling fan in the winter, but it can actually help you reduce your heating costs, too. Running a ceiling fan clockwise on a low speed during the winter moves warmer air back toward you. The fan blades should run from left to right when you're standing under it. 

Run your fans to help with other issues.

A ceiling fan can also help you clear away cooking smells and smoke—set it running clockwise, and consider opening windows to help exhaust the smoke out of the house. 

Outdoor ceiling fans can not only help you feel cooler when you're enjoying your patio or porch—if you run them counterclockwise on high, the breeze they generate can help keep mosquitos away.