Ceiling Fan Rotation???

I live in Toronto and right now it is very hot here and all I have to keep cool is a small window air conditioner and ceiling fans in every room. So here is the question… in which direction should the fan be blowing for the maximum cooling effect ie. blowing down or blowing up? Both have there merits but I still can’t figure out which direction is better, hope someone can help cool me down.

Welcome to the board but I believe that is neither here nor there.

My guess would be that the best for effect (but impractical) would be a floor fan blowing up, to bring the colder/lower air up off the floor. A ceiling fan blowing up would be pulling air up mostly underneath it, but a fan blowing down would be pushing hot air down, but sending the cold air below outwards to the rest of the room, so my guess is going down is better.

Try this .
To cool you off, have it blowing down onto you.

BTW, since I started that thread, I should note that I was not completely satisfied with the answers since everyone went off on some other tangent about evaporative cooling on the skin. That’s fine, but that wasn’t my problems so maybe I should restate my problem and carry on here.

I have a huge room, the largest room in my house. It has a tilted roof peaking at about 25 feet, with a row of solar heating windows in a row along one side of the ceiling. The sun pumps a LOT of heat into the room during the summer (stupid architect!) and I rarely use this room because it’s always so hot. But alas, the one thermostat that controls the entire house’s air conditioning is in that room (stupid architect!). I have to set the thermostat at 80 degrees or else the rest of the house gets down to 60 degrees. I am more interested in circulating the air so the thermostat doesn’t sit in a zone of hot air, I never get close enough to the fan long enough to be cooled off. The thermostat obviously is not affected by evaporative cooling like my skin. So now, which way is my fan supposed to blow?

In that case I don’t think it would matter much which way the fan blew. They’re alright at mixing air in A room, but pretty bad at circulating it between rooms. And in a huge solar-heated room, there’s not much cool air to bring in contact with the thermostat regardless of the draft. This room most likely being high in the house, it would be difficult to blow the hot air down to other rooms or conversly suck cool air up to this room with a ceiling fan mounted high. If possible, get a thick curtain or cover over those high windows to keep the sunlight and it’s heat out for the summer and/or just get someone to put the thermostat in another room - it’s a fairly simple proceedure. If the high windows open, do that. If doing any of these is out of the question, an easy way to determine the best direction of fan rotation would be to simply try it in each direction for a day or two and see/feel which works better.

Thanks mmmiiikkkee. It’s hard to tell the difference by testing different directions over a stretch of a few days, the weather has been rather variable lately.
The room with the fan and thermostat is the highest in the house, and it’s irritating because my office is in the lowest spot of the house, so when it gets hot upstairs, my office freezes. I certainly don’t expect the fan to blow air downstairs. I can tell the air is hotter near the ceiling than the floor in the main room, I just want it to mix better and keep the room temp more even, since I am guessing that the thermostat won’t kick on so often. I dunno, maybe it will kick on MORE often.
I considered opening the windows, they did open at one time but they are stuck. It’s just as well, I like to keep them closed, I have allergies and I’d rather run the AC and my electrostatic air scrubber. I hadn’t considered covering the windows. Doh! It never even occurred to me because I have an ear problem and I have no sense of balance whatsoever, going up a ladder terrifies me. I guess I’ll have to hire someone to do it for me twice a year, or else install curtains. Great idea. Now the weird thing is that I have exactly the opposite problem in the winter, my office gets hotter than the upstairs and I have to tape up the vents to keep it from overheating. I think this house’s duct work is just fatally flawed. I gotta move out of here!

Chas.E, it sounds like your heating/cooling system needs to be balanced. Have you looked at your ducts to see if they have dampers on them? The one leading to your office could be partially closed off. Keep in mind that you may need different settings for winter and summer. On my ducts, I marked the positions with a permanent marker.

Also Chas. E I’ll bet a heating and air-conditioning guy or gal could move your thermostat.


Have you looked into having the windows tinted or having blinds put on them. You could get remote controlled venitian blinds mounted on the angle. They are always down but you would control if they are opened or closed.

Speaking as someone who feels he did not go off on a tangent, I would like to point out, Chas.E, that you could have just said all of that the first time around.


Chas.E, it sounds like your heating/cooling system needs to be balanced. Have you looked at your ducts to see if they have dampers on them? The one leading to your office could be partially closed off. Keep in mind that you may need different settings for winter and summer. On my ducts, I marked the positions with a permanent marker.

I’ll consolidate replies…

Zebra, I don’t really want to sink a lot of money into rewiring the thermostats in this house because I don’t own it, and I have had problems in the past with reimbursement for leasehold improvements. I might put a few bucks into it if it’s minimal, the blinds seem good but tinting wouldn’t work because it would reduce heating effects in the winter, which I do want.

Zenbeam, I’m not sure what you mean by balancing, but I’m always fiddling with the vents upstairs and downstairs trying to pump the proper amount of air into each section of the house. BTW, if this house wasn’t stupid enough, there are two separate thermostats in the house, one in the basement in the coldest spot, it operates the heater, and the one upstairs for AC. They have totally separate functions. One day this summer, I bumped against the downstairs thermostat and accidentally set the heat on, both the AC and the furnace were on at the same time, furiously trying to outdo the other! Stupid architect! The guy who designed this house was a moron.

KneadToKnow, I probably should have gone into the details. The skin cooling thing seemed useful, but didn’t really address my problem. I tested the previous suggestions, i.e. make it blow down but didn’t get much relief so I guess I’m just following up with more info now. I sorta lost track of the earlier thread.

Newish houses have dampers in the ductwork to control how much air flows to each room. In my house, the furnace and the main ductwork lines are in the basement. Most of the branches have dampers on them. From the outside, they’re little metal levers which turn a piece of sheet metal inside the duct. When the lever is aligned with the duct, flow is maximized, and when the lever is 90 degrees from this it’s minimized. I’m not sure whether the effect is any better than adjusting the vents in the rooms. On the other hand, if someone else was fiddling with the dampers and one of them is closed, opening the corresponding vent in an under heated or undercooled room won’t do much, so it’d be worth finding out.

Rewiring the thermostat is both as easy and as hard as running speaker wire. It all depends on how much access you have to where you want to put it. Would moving the thermostat to the other side of the wall it’s on now help any? That would be an easy move, just drill a small hole, pull the wires through and reattach the thermostat there.

[ontopic]I tried reversing the direction of my ceiling fan last night, making it flow up instead of down. I could still feel the air moving, but it was less breezy and less cool.[/ontopic]

No problem, Chas.E. With your situation, a ceiling fan simply isn’t going to be much help by itself, as others have pointed out. It’s just a shame you didn’t get that info back when you were looking for it the first time, is all. :slight_smile: