Experts and researchers disagree on benefits of using ceiling fans during the winter season. Some present us with proofs of significant energy savings while others say savings are insignificant. There are some common sense points to the use of ceiling fans during the colder months which home owners should know about, though, and those are listed and explained below.
Photo credits: Daria
1. SWITCH TO REVERSE MODE
With clockwise rotation (reverse mode) the air get forced up, toward the ceiling. That is supposed to warm the room because the warm air keeps being pushed toward the floor and the edges of the room.
The forward/reverse switch should be somewhere on the motor housing - if your fan has one.
2. TOP OF AN OPEN STAIRCASE IN TWO-STORY HOUSE
In a two-story house the even distribution of heat can become a challenge. An open first-floor plan and open staircase allows all the warm air to escape upstairs, under the high ceiling, leaving downstairs too cold.
This problem can be solved by mounting a ceiling fan at the top of the open stairway. A rotating fan blades will help with circulation of the warm air more evenly all around the house.
3. HEATED CEILING FANS
Heated ceiling fans have a heating element that can be turned off. They may be very useful to warm up just one room in your home. Without the heating feature on they work the same as all the other regular fans.
It is a common knowledge that heat rises naturally while colder air stays at the bottom. The higher the ceiling of your home, the bigger the difference in temperature near the floor versus temperature under the ceiling might be. That can easily be checked out with thermometers.
In case the difference in the temperatures between the floor and ceiling level is significant, circulating air will much improve the more even distribution of heat during the cold months.
Also, comparing to stagnant (not flowing) or stratified (layered) air - circulating air has many other benefits besides evening out the temperature or providing a refreshing breeze. However, that's a topic for another article.