How to Reverse Ceiling Fan Blades

Ceiling fans are designed to circulate air with a downdraft in a room or under an outdoor roof. Yet they can also be set to create an upward circulation that sends airflow down the sides of the walls. You have to reverse ceiling fan blades to get this effect. In theory, the updraft can aid heating. The premise is that it pulls cool air up to the ceiling, where most of the heated air settles, and then sends warmer air down into the room along the outer walls. The fan must spin very slowly to keep from creating a chilling breeze. Most fans come with a discreet switch to reverse the direction the motor turns the fan blades.

Reverse Ceiling Fan Blades
  1. Turn the fan off with the wall switch, remote or pull chain. Wait for the blades to come to a complete stop.

  2. Turn the rotation switch on the wire housing of the fan to it's opposite setting. This is a vertical slide switch with two positions. Generally the down position will cause the fan to blow downward and the up position will create an updraft. Do a visual check on the rotation. When the fan is rotating in the direction of the high side of the blade tilt, it blows downward. When the low side of the blades are leading, the fan sucks air upward.

  3. Turn the fan back on. The fan blades will be rotating in the opposite direction. Set the fan to low speed with an updraft for use with heating.

About the Author

Jonra Springs began writing in 1989. He writes fiction for children and adults and draws on experiences in education, insurance, construction, aviation mechanics and entertainment to create content for various websites. Springs studied liberal arts and computer science at the College of Charleston and Trident Technical College.