why does it matter which direction the ceiling fan blades are moving?

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One direction makes it a lot cooler than the other.

In: Physics

The pitch of the blade determines which way air flows so one direction will blow air down and the other will blow air up

Blowing air down brings hot air (which rises) down so good in winter for more even heating. Blowing air up pulls colder air up for more even cooling so better in summer.

The main thing that matters is if you want the air blowing on you, or not. In the summer if it is hot, you probably want the fan to push the air down at you, because it will feel like a nice cool breeze.

In the winter, you don’t want that cool breeze, so turn it the other way to it blows ‘up’.

When the fan is working, it circulates all the air in the room. The air basically does a big circle from floor to ceiling and back to floor. So a fan mixes the air in your room, no matter which way it turns.