A ceiling fan can increase energy efficiency in the winter, too. As outdoor temperatures drop, switch the fan from running counter-clockwise in the summer to running clockwise in the winter.
The fan will then recirculate the warm air at the top of the room, which raises the temperature in the living space below, said Leslie Killingsworth of Progressive Lighting/Lee Lighting stores. Using ceiling fans can trim heating costs by 10 percent, according to Casablanca Fan Co.
During hot weather, you can save as much as 40 percent on cooling costs by reducing the need for air conditioning.
Fans have become an extension of decorative lighting, with people returning to traditional styles with plated finishes or choosing a rustic style for a more casual look, Killingsworth said. Other fans have more natural materials, also fitting with the desire for a greener look and feel in homes.
Ceiling fans with new DC motors (instead of the traditional AC motors) enable homeowners to use less electricity, said Phil Sherer, vice president of sales at Masterpiece Lighting. Some motors are virtually silent, and the fans are lighter, he said.