Quick! Test your home maintenance IQ, and answer this question:

Which of the following items should Minnesota homeowners do each Fall?

A. Blow out their sprinkler system (if they have one).
B. Remove their window screens.
C. Adjust their HVAC dampers for winter (if they have a forced air system with ducts).
D. Reverse the direction of their ceiling fans (if they have).
E. All of the above.

Answer: “E.”

While items A. – C. are (or should be) common knowledge, “D.” might come as a surprise.

Redirecting Warm Air

The explanation?

Unbeknownst to many homeowners, ceiling fans have two directions: one setting draws air upwards, the other pushes it down.

In Summer, the goal is to draw warm air towards the ceiling (and away from the home’s sweltering inhabitants).

By contrast, in Winter, the goal is the reverse: to redirect all the naturally rising heat to the home’s chillier lower level(s).

Since few people want to sit under a whirring fan in Winter, the usual m.o. is to operate them during the daytime, when people are away.

Thanks to Edina Realty’s Jim Young for that tidbit.

P.S.: Four other items on the “winter prep” list: 1) check the forced air furnace filter and replace it if necessary; 2) turn off water to outside spigots; 3) clean out the gutters (once the leaves are down); and 4) check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Just remember to do #2 after completing #3. 🙂

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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