VANCOUVER -- Summer’s heat is here, which means air conditioners are kicking into high gear and that means increased energy bills. However, you can save a buck by choosing the right ceiling fan can. It can help cool off that overheated electric bill. Did you know that ceiling fans do not actually lower the temperature in a room? They cool you off by creating a draft that moves air over your skin.

Ceiling fans cost very little to run, and when used with your air conditioner, you can actually raise the thermostat by about 2 degrees Celsius and feel just as cool. Fans with the Energy Star label are 60 per cent more efficient compared to conventional fan/light units.

To optimize the power of your fan, hang it high. They work best when the blades are seven to nine feet above the floor and 10 to 12 inches below the ceiling. If your ceiling is very high, use a down rod to bring it to the right height. The most popular fan size is 52 inches. They are best for large rooms, from 225 to 400 square feet. A fan that is 42 to 44 inches is effective in rooms from 144 to 225 square feet. If your room is borderline, opt for the larger fan and run it at a lower speed.

When it is time to install, if you are replacing a light fixture with a ceiling fan, check to ensure that the electric box can support the weight.

Your fan is going to gather dust and even pollen. To keep it clean, lay a sheet beneath it to protect furniture and floors, then, wipe the blades and housing gently with a damp cloth and all-purpose cleaner.

Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, so always turn them off when you leave. In addition, Consumer Reports says your energy savings does not end with using ceiling fans. Choosing an LED or CFL light will last longer, use less energy, and save you money.

Files from Consumer Reports