I was going to post this PSA at the end of the week but I figured you might be busy making Halloween preparations — watching Day of the Animals, sewing a costume for your cocker spaniel, making skulls out of old cassette tapes, figuring out how to avoid swine flu while bobbing for apples, etc. — so I’m publishing this small but important household tip now. Just don't forget about it.

The tip comes from the folks at energy-savvy ceiling fan manufacturer Hunter who recommend performing one small, additional task this Sunday when Daylight Saving Time goes into effect: while you’re running around the house in a post-Halloween stupor trying to set back all of your clocks one hour, you should also reverse the direction of any ceiling fans you might have.

It’s a small detail that many homeowners and renters may not know about, but you can reverse the direction of most ceiling fan blades via a built-in switch. By default, the blades usually spin in a counter-clockwise direction which blows air downwards and creates a desired, cooling effect during the summer months. During the winter, when running a fan clockwise at a low speed, warm air trapped near the ceiling circulates with cooler air, and in turn, makes a room warmer. Doing this while also turning down your thermostat a couple of notches can result in saving 10 percent on winter heating costs. Not too shabby.

So remember, come Sunday you have this to do: Halloween cleanup and/or hangover nursing, turning back clocks, and simply reversing the direction of any ceiling fans in your home for greater energy-efficiency. Piece o’ cake. 

MNN homepage photo: Doc_Ever/iStockPhoto

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.