Reverse Your Fans!

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Dept. of tips. This email came in from a reader. It is a little known fact that ceiling fans have two directions on them, besides multiple speeds. Usually they are on the setting for pushing the air down, but during the winter they can be reversed to pull up the colder air from the floor and move the hot down.

"Clockwise direction: winter setting
Counter-clockwise: summer setting

I often forget to do this until I'm miserable, but just had my lightbulb moment and did it a week or so early. (Hey, I'm in Texas.)"

Here's the text from

In hot weather, operate the fan in the normal, counter-clockwise direction. This creates a cooling "wind chill" effect to make you feel up to 8 degrees cooler. The room thermostat setting can then be raised, resulting in reduced air-conditioning energy consumption of 40 percent or more.

(Thanks, Anne!)

Re-edited from a post originally published on 05.23.05

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.