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How Much Electricity Does a Ceiling Fan Use?

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If you are new to the world of indoor cooling appliances, you may wonder how much electricity does a ceiling fan use. Some of the best fans, after all, are located on the ceiling, and they demand a certain amount of electricity per hour to run. In short, ceiling fans typically can use anywhere from around 10 to 120 watts of electricity, depending on factors like the fan’s size, speed settings, and motor efficiency. But you might wonder, how much does it cost to run one for an entire month, and what can you do to keep energy bills down while doing so? Keep reading to find out.


  • Ceiling fans are relatively simple appliances and, as such, do not use a tremendous amount of energy.
  • An average fan is rated for 31 to 33 watts of power, though this can extend to 100 watts in some cases.
  • A medium-sized fan boasts an average cost of $1.80 to run for an entire month, which is six cents a day. This is much less than an air conditioner or even some tower fans.

How Much Power Does a Ceiling Fan Use?

There are plenty of different ceiling fans out there when learning how much electricity does a fan use. In other words, this depends on a number of variables, such as the age of the fan. Older fans may require more energy usage than newer models, and the type of fan can also make a difference in the average price. Ultimately, proper ceiling fan usage results in reduced costs and improved air circulation.

If you’re not sure how old your fan is, you may wonder, “How long does a fan last.” Energy consumption also varies according to the fan’s power level, which is measured in cubic feet of air moved per minute (CFM). For example, if you’re using a box fan, you’ll need to know how many CFM is a box fan.

Energy efficiency ratings can be found by looking at ceiling fan power consumption and power ratings, as well as its wattage. Knowing how much power your ceiling fan consumes and using energy efficiency standards for comparison, you can find a model that best meets your needs while consuming less energy.

Insider Tip

Have your ceiling fans maintained and inspected annually by a professional to help keep usage costs down.

Here are some common figures regarding fan power use and utility cost, so you won’t have to learn how to bypass the ceiling fan switch.

Average Wattage

The average ceiling fan wattage is anywhere from 31 to 33 watts. On a low speed, these fans consume 3.6 watts per hour, though it can be as low as 1.2 watts per hour, depending on the model. High-wattage ceiling fans exceed these metrics, with a minimum of 36 watts and ballooning all the way to 100 watts.

In addition to the wattage rating, electric motors also contribute to the costs of having electricity ceiling fans. As a result, many people opt for energy-efficient models of ceiling fans with electric motors that help reduce the cost of electricity. It’s important to consider when calculating the monthly costs to run your fan for an extended period of time.

Electricity Cost

Of course, wattage numbers don’t really mean anything until translated to easily digestible cost data, helping you make an informed purchase decision. On average, in the United States, it costs .003 cents per hour to run a medium-sized fan. This works out as just over two cents for eight hours of continuous usage or six cents for an entire day. A month? That works out to just $1.80. As you can see, ceiling fans are not the biggest energy hogs on the block. And don’t forget to change the ceiling fan direction to have more efficient usage during the different seasons as well.

At the lowest speed, you can run it at maximum speed for a huge difference in air circulation and energy efficiency. These key factors play a huge part in reducing your electric bills, even if you use standard ceiling fans in tandem with your central air conditioner. 

How to Reduce Ceiling Fan Energy Costs

You can further reduce these monthly costs by following some common-sense guidelines.

  • Clean the fan regularly, as this simple maintenance task helps them run efficiently throughout their lifespan.
  • Turn off the fans when you aren’t home. To go even further, turn off the fans when you leave a room.
  • Replace your old fans with those that feature an Energy Star seal of approval.
  • Use your fan on a lower speed setting to reduce the cost per hour required to operate it.

STAT: Calculating the cost to operate a ceiling fan is simply a matter of knowing how many watts the fan uses and multiplying that by the cost per kWh of electricity your utility company is charging you. (source)

How Much Electricity Does a Ceiling Fan Use FAQs

How much electricity (kWh) does a ceiling fan use?

This is determined by multiplying the wattage by the duration of use (in hours.) The energy usage is fairly minimal with most fans, even tower fans, and especially fans with an Energy Star certificate.

Are ceiling fans energy efficient?

They are fairly energy-efficient, especially those with an Energy Star sticker. Most fans don’t use too many watts of power during use, and the same goes for tower fans.

How much electricity do whole-house fans use?

Whole-house fans do use more electricity than other types, such as tower fans, but as long as your fan boasts an Energy Star rating, you should be fine.

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