Properly used ceiling fans can help you save energy in both the summer and the winter. In the summer, your ceiling fan creates a breeze that can help to make temperatures feel a couple degrees lower. During this time, you should run your fans counter-clockwise to push air downward from the ceiling. This can make your room feel up to two degrees cooler, without the extra expense of running the air conditioner. Because fans work using the wind chill factor, you should always turn them off when you leave the room.
During the winter, you should reverse your fans direction so that it pulls the air upward, rather than pushing it downward. This will help the warm air that has risen to the ceiling circulate back down to where people are. On most fans, this only requires that you push a button.