The fan hanging from the ceiling in your living room may seem like a simple device that was put there for decoration, but this simple device can help control your home heating and cooling costs.  Using a multi-speed reversible ceiling fan could save from 25-40% on cooling and up to 10% on heating costs. The fiscal benefits of ceiling fans are greatest when they are used correctly.

During the hot summer months using your fan to circulate air helps you to feel cooler, which allows you to set your home thermostat 2 to 5 degrees warmer, saving you energy. Be sure to get an Energy Star certified model, as it will be about 50% more efficient than other models. And if it comes with a light fixture choose a compact fluorescent bulb to save even more.

It is important to make sure you turn the fan on only when you are in the room, and then off again when you leave the room. Ceiling fans cool people, not rooms. Also be aware that a fan generates heat, another good reason not to leave it running when you leave the room.

During the summer months your fan should be turning in a counter-clockwise direction. You should be able to feel the breeze from the fan when standing beneath it. That’s what makes you feel cooler.

Using your ceiling fan during the winter months can also help you save energy and money.  In the winter you should reverse the direction of the blades so that it draws air upward, and run it at a low speed. This updraft will force the warm air at the upper levels back down to where people are.  This will increase the efficiency of the heated air and allow you to set your thermostat a degree or two lower.

To reap the optimal energy saving benefits install ceiling fans, or start using the fans you already have,  in the most frequently used rooms in your home.  With the rising cost of energy rates, ceiling fans can help decrease your monthly energy bills and increase the comfort of your home.