Which Way Should Your Ceiling Fan Turn in Summer?

The wrong direction could make you even hotter.

Ceiling fan spinning at high speed
Image: jajaladdawan/Shutterstock

Most fans are reversible: One direction pushes air down, creating a nice summer breeze; the other direction sucks air up, helping you distribute heat in winter. There's normally a switch on the motor to change the fan's direction.  

Is Your Fan Turning in the Right Direction for Summer?

A dual shot of ceiling fans with arrows showing what direction the fan should be turning for Summer.
Image: Michael Spreitzer & HouseLogic
  • Stand beneath the running fan, and if you feel a cooling breeze, it’s turning correctly.
  • If not, change directions, usually by flicking a switch on the fan’s base.

Typically, it's counterclockwise or left for summer and clockwise for winter, but the best method is to follow the steps above.

Funny note: We read about a clever person who used bubbles to see which direction his fan was blowing.

Housing And Real Estate Expert Lisa Kaplan-Gordon
Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Lisa Kaplan Gordon is an award-winning, Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer who contributes to real estate and home improvement sites. In her spare time (yeah, right!), she gardens, manages three dogs, and plots to get her 21-year-old out of her basement.