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Ask the Expert: Ceiling fans – clockwise or counterclockwise?

By: Brad Goar

The direction a ceiling fan should turn can be confusing. Modern fans have a switch that enables them to blow the air either up or down. During the summer you want the fan to blow air straight down, so your ceiling fan needs to run in a counter clockwise direction as you look up at it so you can feel the breeze. But remember, fans consume energy, so the only way a fan will actually help lower your bill is to set your thermostat a degree or two higher when using ceiling fans. The breeze from the fan makes you feel cooler at a higher temperature. Just be sure to turn fans off after you leave the room since they do not actually lower the room temperature. 

Don’t choose a higher speed than necessary to feel comfortable. The higher the fan speed, the more energy it uses. A typical modern ceiling fan uses about 30 Watts on low speed, 55 Watts on medium speed and 95 Watts on high speed.

Do you still have any of these heavy-duty ceiling fans from decades ago? You know the ones; they seem to last forever. Did you know they can use up to 500 Watts on high speed? If you use that fan several hours a day, you should seriously consider replacing it with a modern fan to cut your energy costs up to 80 percent. 

If you were thinking of replacing the fan yourself, make sure that you do so safely by recruiting someone to help. You don’t want to fall off the ladder when you unhook a heavy fan from the ceiling and suddenly discover it is much, much heavier than you anticipated. When installing the new one, make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions or seek the services of a licensed contractor.

And now, for the first time ever, you can know what it really costs to run your A/C, appliances and devices, with the new FPL Energy Manager. Plus, you get personalized tips on how to save on your bill.

Do you have an FPL business account? Now, it’s easier than ever to take control of your energy use and your bill with FPL’s new Business Energy Manager