These recommendations depend on the height and size of the room, the season, and the activity taking place in the room.
Keep in mind that warm air rises to the top and cold air settles on the bottom. Air settles in layers from warm at the top to cold at the bottom, if left alone at equilibrium.
Ceiling fan recommendations:
In the winter
Set the fan to run counterclockwise (reverse; this looks clockwise as you are looking up). This will redirect the warm air from the ceiling and down the walls and into the living space where the people actually are. In a house, you would run the fan at a low speed so that you don't actually cool the warm air that you are moving downward. If you have a high ceiling, or are trying to heat a hall or a church, you may want to increase the fan speed so that the warm air will reach the living space as long as the fan speed does not create an unwanted downdraft at the people below.
In the summer
In a room of normal height (8 - 10 ft), you should operate your fan so that it turns clockwise (this looks counterclockwise as you are looking up), causing a more directed downdraft, especially with the fan running slightly faster. This causes a wind-chill effect because the skin evaporates slight amounts of water from the sweat glands and thereby provides cooling through the skin's surface. However, the air is only moved but not cooled! You may find that you can turn your thermostat down a degree or two and save more money on energy costs. The air blowing down won't actually cool the room though, so you should turn the fan off when there are no people (or animals) in the room.
In a high hall or church
It may be best NOT to run the fans at all in summer. This lowers the demand for cooling since the hot layer on top is an excellent insulation between the cool air near the floor (and the people) and the hot roof and outside.
A large, tall manufacturing hall would typically have different goals. There one would have a floor full of heat producing machinery plus the people operating it, working hard and welcoming a bit of a breeze. Then it would make sense to run the fans at fairly high speed to create a certain and directed downdraft. And with the shifts going throughout the days of the week, the fans should be running all the time and maybe in all seasons.
Finally, fans typically use 80-100 watts. When used properly, ceiling fans can really help to optimize the comfort level of the people and save energy and money.
Another user contributes this:
The important point from the previous answer is that fans are for cooling people. Advanced Energy (see the Related Link) says: "The most optimistic estimates I've seen on energy savings from ceiling fans peg the air conditioning savings at about 15%, assuming people do raise the thermostat setting and only run the fans when people are in the room, and taking into account the cost of energy used by the fan itself."
A ceiling fan should blow air downward in the summer and upward in the winter.
up in the summer and down in the winter
In winter a fan should turn clockwise, and in summer it should turn counter clock wise.
In winter, fan should blow down,heat rises,get it back. In summer ,fan should blow up for a 2 story vaulted ceiling,to circulate air but not blow down hot air.On a one story in summer it can blow either,but it's a prefference.Up is ok,but down you get a lower cool index feeling.
Summer = clockwise Winter = counter-clockwise
Remember the switch position like this: Summer: the sun comes UP Winter: the snow falls DOWN
It depends on the pitch (angle) of the blades. On most, it's counter-clockwise. Counterclockwise in the summer for cooling and clockwise in the winter for dispersing warm air.
I am not sure if all fan blades are curved the same way but you want you fan to push air down in the summer and pull it up in the winter.
Turn the switch on the fan so that the air blows downward to take the hot air trapped at the ceiling to the floor. In the summer time reverse the direction. . .so that the fans draws the cooler air from the floor and mixes it with the hotter air at the ceiling
Yes, polar bear turn yellow in the summer and white in the winter.
Arctic Foxes are white in the winter and turn brown in the summer.
A ceiling fan should blow downwards when used with cooling, upward when used with heating.