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Ceiling Fans And Your Furnace: A Surprisingly Good Duo

Posted on October 11, 2012

It’s common to see ceiling fans used to improve home cooling in the summer. Surprisingly, ceiling fans are also useful as a supplement to your furnace in the winter. In combination with your heating system, a ceiling fan can keep your home warmer and more comfortable than your furnace by itself.

  • Reverse fan direction: For summer cooling, you want the fan to direct air downward. In the winter, flip the switch to reverse the direction the fan turns, from counterclockwise to clockwise. This will send air upward toward the ceiling. This updraft will disperse warm air that rises and gathers near the ceiling, circulating it back downward into your home’s living spaces where it can do the most good.
  • Install the correct size: A bigger ceiling fan will produce more circulation. Air circulation will also be improved by using a ceiling fan with larger blades to create more air movement. In rooms up to 225 square feet, a fan between 35 and 44 inches will produce an adequate amount of air circulation. Bigger rooms may need a fan of 52 inches in diameter or more. Consult with your local trusted HVAC contractor for help determining the best size fan for your needs.
  • Put one at the top of the stairs: In a two-story home, the warm air produced by your furnace will rise to the second floor as well. This means that the upper floor of your house will likely be warmer than the first floor, creating inconsistent heating. If the thermostat that controls the furnace is installed on the first floor, the problem will be even worse. A ceiling fan at the top of the stairs will combat this problem. With the fan’s direction set to blow air upward, it will help disperse the warm air that accumulates on the second floor and redirect it down the stairwell and to the first floor.

Comfort Systems offers a combined 120 years of experience in heating, air conditioning and plumbing services in the Wichita area. Contact us today for more information about saving money on your heating bill this winter.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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