How Much Electricity Does a Ceiling Fan Use?

Written by: Jamie

Updated on: July 19, 2022

Calculate your ceiling fan’s energy usage and daily cost with our simple guide. We make energy budgeting easy at tinyhousehugeideas.com!

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If you are renting a property with a ceiling fan for the first time, or have them installed in your own home, you may be wondering how much energy they use.

Most people do not rack up large bills by using a ceiling fan, but there is a calculation you can try to get accurate answers.

Before diving into this calculation there is a common myth to be busted. For those new to warmer climates and ceiling fans, they can be forgiven for thinking that a ceiling fan is only used to cool room.

In fact, and if you look close enough, you can find a little switch next to most ceiling fan on/off buttons. This switch changes the direction of the fan (and the degree of the fan) to either cool a room or warm it up. It does this by the way it draws air in or out of the room.

The good news is that the setting you are using does not change the ceiling fan energy consumption.

To understand this better, read on to learn the calculation to use, considerations and tips to cutting your energy bill when using these fans frequently.

ceiling fan in bedroom

Calculating Electric Ceiling Fan Usage & Cost

There is a golden calculation to understand how much electricity your ceiling fan uses and how much it costs to run – and we have it for you below.

However, before you can go on to calculate electricity consumption, you need to learn your ceiling fan’s wattage.

This is a lot more tricky than finding the wattage on a product or appliance you bought because the fan may have already been in the property when you bought it, which is most likely the case for renters as well.

Sometimes the ceiling fan box or manual will be lying around and give you the wattage. At other times, you may need to contact your letting agency, landlord or do some online research using the ceiling fan model number.

Once you have this figure, you are ready to uncover ceiling fan power consumption and cost.

The Energy-Cost Calculation

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The calculation is not too taxing and will not require any mathematical brilliance.

First, you need to multiply the wattage of the ceiling fan by how much your electricity company charges you per kilowatt-hour (the standard measurement used by electricity suppliers).

As an example, we will imagine that the wattage of the ceiling fan is 150 watts and the supplier charges $0.20 per kilowatt-hour:

150 (watts) x $0.20 (charge price) = 30

We need to understand the figure in kilowatt-hours because this is what the electricity company uses.

One kilowatt is the same as 1000 watts, and therefore, we need to divide the result by 1000 as follows:

30 / 1000 = 0.03

Thus, $0.03 is the cost of using our imaginary electric ceiling fan for one hour.

You can multiply this number by the number of hours you use your ceiling fan per day/month or year to understand the overall costs.

For example, if you run your ceiling fan for five hours per day ($0.03 x 5 hours), it will cost you $0.15.

Remember, this is only an example and the wattage of your ceiling fan or the charge for your electricity could differ significantly.

 

Other Factors to Consider

If you are renting a property or are a regular electricity bill payer, then the above calculation will accurately tell you how much electricity that you use to run your ceiling fan per hour.

However, if you have installed solar panels to the property, then the above calculation is not likely to be a good indication of how much you are spending.

For those using renewable energy systems, the cost can be absolutely nothing, or they could even be making money while running their ceiling fans by selling electricity back to suppliers.

Tips to Use a Ceiling Fan Effectively

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Now you know how to calculate the cost of a ceiling fan, are there ways you can maximize its effectiveness or cut costs further? The answer is yes – and here are the best tips to do so:

  • Understand how your ceiling fan works and the difference between cooling and heating functions. You may be using the wrong one and not benefitting from the ceiling fan at all.
  • If you have a modern ceiling fan, program it to come at the times that work best for you.
  • Most ceiling fans are smooth and quiet operators. For this reason, it is easy to forget they are switched on and you can leave them on for hours without realizing. Make sure you leave reminder notes or alarms every so often to make sure you haven’t left it running unnecessarily.
  • If you position your furniture such as chairs and beds as close to the fans as possible, you benefit from them more. Having sofas tucked in corners of the room does not give the person the maximum cooling or heating effect of the fan.

 

Are Ceiling Fans Worthwhile and Cost-Effective?

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Ceiling fans are not expensive to run. Most people who do use a ceiling fan are using them to cool the home down. The alternative method would be to use air conditioning.

The cost of using ceiling fans is much less than the cost of running air conditioning, and for that reason, it is fair to consider ceiling fans as worthwhile and cost-effective.

Yet, it can also be argued that air conditioning is much more powerful and effective at cooling a property.

For people living in severe climates with intense humidity, air conditioning may be a better option.

For those still stuck with their ceiling fan, they can still be sure that they are not paying a lot for their usage – but overall cost will depend on the household, electricity supplier and individual behaviors.

 

About the Author Jamie

I'm an English teacher and writer. I'm passionate about the environment and love the tiny house movement!

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