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Hot Air Rises, But...



Should I change the direction of my ceiling fan’s paddles and push the rising heat back down?


When your indoor air temperature is below 100°F, moving air removes heat from your body by convection. This works wonderfully to your comfort in the summer months, but in the winter, ceiling fans (no matter which way the paddles are facing) can feel like you live in a drafty room.

However, if your home has a tall cathedral ceiling (16 feet at the top or more), using a ceiling fan can work to even out the temperatures in your rooms.  This ‘thermal de-stratification helps to reduce the energy loss through your cathedral ceiling by reducing the indoor-outdoor temperature difference, (known as the Delta T) between the cathedral ceiling surface and the outdoors, as long as the air doesn’t blow directly onto the occupants using the room.



Try these easier, time-tested ways to save energy:

1. We’re mostly inactive inside our homes…
Snuggle up with warm socks and a sweater before turning the thermostat up. Have small throw blankets available in your living room.

2. No matter how new your windows are…
They are still only cold glass between you and the outdoors. Make sure they’re locked for an airtight fit and close the curtains/shades to slow down the heat loss at night.

3. Rearrange your furniture to be positioned on interior walls.
In the summer, move it back during your spring cleaning to be nearer the windows on exterior walls.  

About the author

Eileen Barrett

Eileen is the RISE Engineering Residential Audit Supervisor and has been in the business for over 20 years.

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About RISE Engineering

For the past 40 years, RISE Engineering has been helping restaurants, inns, and other hospitality businesses cut their energy usage and save money leading up to and during the busiest time of year. For eligible businesses, we offer a no-cost energy assessment and we can help you take advantage of utility-provided financial incentives for energy retrofit projects. Please contact us if you have any questions, or fill out our online form for a no-cost energy assessment.

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