Consumer Reports checked 19 ceiling fans from the leading manufacturers, costing from $50 to nearly $300.
Testers mounted each fan in a special chamber and used meters to measure the level of air movement. Other tests checked the number of revolutions per minute.
"High prices don't guarantee better performance," says Consumer Reports Jim Nanni. "They give you fancier finishes and fancier blades. Whichever fan you use, remember fans don't cool the room, the cool the people."
So turn a fan off when you leave the room to save on your electric bill.
In addition to a ceiling fan, here are some other energy-saving tips:
Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents. They use less energy and will keep your home cooler. They produce about 75 percent less heat than regular bulbs.
Another tip, clear the area around your air conditioner and clean the filter regularly so you're A/C runs at top efficiency.
And use a fan even when your air conditioner is on, so you won't have to crank your air conditioner up so high.
If you've got an old room air conditioner, it may pay to replace it. New Energy Star air conditioners use about 25% less power than ones made before late 2000.