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Clockwise Vs Counterclockwise Fan – Which one Do You Need?

Fans, especially ceiling fans, are still some of the most preferred and traditional ways to provide air circulation and airflow inside a room. So, whether during the scorching summer or the freezing winter, a ceiling fan can help maintain the indoor atmosphere.

Well. Depending on the weather, you may have to adjust the fan speed, but it may not always help. The truth is that the fan blades’ blade direction also significantly impacts channeling the airflow. Surprising, isn’t it?

Well, most ceiling fans can go either in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. Each of these directions offers different types of airflow. Most fans have a switch that can interchange the blade direction. Here we will discuss how counter-clockwise and clockwise fans affect air circulation and which setting you must choose during different seasons.

How Can I Identify My Fan’s Direction?

It is easy to identify the fan direction with just a few things. Here are a few tests that you can conduct to confirm the direction of the ceiling fans in your home-

1. Checking the Fan Blade Pitch

The blade pitch is the angle often used by blades. It is mainly measured in degrees. First, take down the fan and place it in such a way that the fan engine faces the floor. Now, carefully look at the blade design. You can also refer to the blade that is perfectly in the 12 O’clock position to make the process easier. You will find that the blades have a raised design; while one side is closer to the floor, the other one is a bit raised-

  • If the left side of the blade is raised, the fan will be in the counter-clockwise direction.
  • If the blade has a raised design on the right side, it is a clockwise direction fan.

2. Confirming by Checking the Fan Speed

Inspecting the fan blades can also help determine your fan’s direction. You need to first number the blades according to their position to avoid confusion while measuring the direction. Start with the blade that is at the 12 O’clock position. Mark it as “1”, mark the blade on its right as “2,” and continue till you reach the blade where you started.

Now, come down and turn on the switch. Allow the blades to take the speed and then turn it off. Watch the blade as the fan slowly stops. Stand below the fan to get the best and most detailed view.

If the fan blades move from left to right, it is a clockwise fan. On the contrary, if the blade moves from right to left, it is in the counter-clockwise direction.

3. Feel the Airflow

Another way to confirm the fan direction is by feeling the airflow; stand below the fan and turn the switch on. Make sure that the fan is at its highest speed.

If you feel the cool breeze on you, the fan is in a counter-clockwise direction. On the other hand, if you do not feel any significant breeze, it is probably set in clockwise motion.

What is the Ceiling Fan Direction in Summer?

ceiling fansMost ceiling fans are set in a counter-clockwise direction for summer. During the summer, you need to get a cooking and comfortable airflow. The fan direction alongside the blade pitch helps push the cool air downwards in a column form and removes the warm air from the room. The cool air evaporates the perspiration and the water mist, creating a wind-chill effect with cool and fresh air. If a fan has proper speed, it can make the room temperature up to 5 egress cooler.

If a fan does not have two direction modes, it will only have the counter-clockwise direction as it is suitable for summer.

What is the Ceiling Fan Direction in Winter?

During winter, the ceiling fan should be in the clockwise direction. The clockwise blade circulation alongside the blade pitch creates an upward flow that collects the warm air from above and distributes it below. The speed also removes the cool air to circulate the warm air correctly.

How to Change the Ceiling Fan Direction?

1. Fans with a Switch

Well, modern fans often can be adjusted depending on the season. Most fans have a direction switch in the motor housing or inside the switch cup. While some fans have a horizontal switch, some models have a vertical one.

If the switch is horizontal and moves left to right, the left position is for the counter-clockwise flow. That means the proper position is for the clockwise airflow.

On the contrary, the vertical direction switches move up and down. The up position is for upward airflow, and the down position is for downward airflow.

Here is how to change the switch:

  • Shut off the fan and wait till it stops moving completely
  • Now, use a ladder or step stool and reach the motor part
  • Now, move your hand to locate the direction switch
  • Check-in which position the switch has and how it flips. Change the position of the switch to the opposite direction.
  • Get off the stool or ladder and turn the fan on again.

2. Fans Without a Physical Switch

If the fan is a smarty fan with a remote, it may not have the switch on its engine cup. In this case, you can use this method to change the fan direction-

  • First, turn off the switch on the wall that controls the fan’s light.
  • Now, hold the down button on the remote and, in the meantime, turn off the light switch.
  • Continue pressing the remote switch and then again turn on the light switch. After that, release the down button on the remote.
  • Now, turn on the fan again by using the remote.

Differences Between the Clockwise and Counter-Clockwise Fan

The main difference between the counter-clockwise and the clockwise fan is their purpose. The counter-clockwise fan is suitable for summer, while the clockwise fan is suitable for winter.

The counter-clockwise direction helps to channel the cool air under the fan with a downward motion. Hence it offers cooler and more comfortable; air circulation side the home. It can also lower the temperature to 4-5 degrees. On the contrary, the clockwise fan helps channel the warm air to keep yourself warm during the winter. It can offer a warmer atmosphere inside the room.

Why is it Necessary to Switch the Ceiling Fan Direction?

You need to change the fan’s direction to ensure optimal air circulation inside the room. Fans help to create better air circulation, and the switch helps to change the air circulation depending on climate and weather.

If you do not turn the fan counter-clockwise in summer, you will not get the cooling breeze as the fan will only deliver warm air. Hence, you will not get comfort. On top of that, the proper fan direction allows for circulating the cool air even when your room has an AC. It can even lower the temperature to 5 degrees when in a counter-clockwise direction.

On the contrary, the clockwise direction allows better heat distribution during winter and keeps the room warm. Hence, the warm air may not get adequately distributed if you do not change the switch position.

In short, if you want to get the desired airflow during different seasons and reduce the electricity cost, you must change the direction by occasionally flipping the switch.


These fans come with a switch that changes the fan direction from counter-clockwise to clockwise and vice versa. The counter-clockwise blade position maintains a cool breeze during summer. In contrast, the clockwise position delivers warm air circulation during winter. Hence, you should change the switch position to get optimal air circulation with the ceiling fan.

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