I’ve figured out that about half of my monthly utility costs are because of heating and cooling. I live in an area that seems to be either hot and humid or freezing cold throughout the year. I maybe enjoy two or three months where I can turn off the furnace and air conditioner entirely. Because of the enormous expense of temperature control, I’ve gone to great lengths to eliminate waste. Since my home is older, there was a great deal of outside air getting inside through gaps and leaks when I first moved in. The windows were not tight or Energy Star rated. There was insufficient insulation in the walls, ceilings and crawl spaces. The ductwork was in terrible shape and required a thorough cleaning and sealing at the seams. The furnace and air conditioner were both in desperate need of professional maintenance. Because of all my efforts, I’ve significantly reduced monthly expenses and improved the overall comfort of the home. Just last winter, however, I climbed up on a ladder to replace an overhead light bulb in the living room. I immediately felt the rise in temperature and started to sweat. I realized that the heat from the furnace was rising straight up to the ceiling. This temperature stratification was affecting my budget and comfort. I did some research and invested in a bunch of ceiling fans. There is a huge selection of styles and prices, and ceiling fans are fairly simple to install. I was able to install them on my own. The ceiling fans have paid for themselves in energy savings. The rotation of the fan blades pushes the heated air back toward the floor. This has allowed me to lower the thermostat setting and reduce strain on the furnace. During the summer, I reverse the rotation of the fan blades to push the heated air upward. The fans minimize the workload of the air conditioner and help to keep the air circulating.