The Fan Hack to Help You Survive the Heat Waves of Summer

It is going to be hot this weekend. Like, really hot. And, while sweating does have its perks, it’s not something I’m interested in doing all weekend long. But I also don’t want to spend boatloads of money on my electric bill from blasting my air conditioner. If you feel the same way, I have a question to ask you: Do you know what direction your ceiling fan is set to turn —  clockwise or counterclockwise? Don’t worry, I didn’t think that was a question I ever needed to ask myself either, until this morning.

I was reading a post on TIME this morning, “8 Big Mistakes You’re Making With Your Air Conditioning,” when I came across this little nugget from James Braun, a professor of engineering and director of the Center for High Performance Buildings at Purdue University: during the summer, your fan should be set to turn counterclockwise to promote greater air flow and keep cool air circulating throughout the room.

I first thought to myself, “CRAP. It is halfway through the summer! What direction are my ceiling fans turning?!!?!” Then, I went hunting for more information. Turns out, according The Simple Dollar, having your ceiling fan set to high with air blowing directly down, as it does with most fans when set to counterclockwise, is what creates the magical breeze effect. (In the winter, fans should be turning clockwise on a low setting, to suck air upward and distribute heat.) WHO KNEW?! As a bonus to the breeze, this switch also helps you save on your electric bill because the breeze effect makes the room feel cooler to your skin than it actually is, which means you can set your thermostat higher. YAS.

So go, switch your fan to counterclockwise and soak up that cooling breeze, people. And maybe pair it with a fresh-fruit-filled boozy popsicle, while you’re at it.

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