What Does it Cost to Operate a Ceiling Fan?
Published by: Greg Tillotson
Webmaster for Hansen Wholesale
It costs only three tenths of one cent per hour ($0.0029) to operate an energy efficient ceiling fan such as the
Emerson Midway Eco (shown to the left) and
about 3 to 5 times that for typical ceiling fans that are less efficient. Even the worst energy guzzling ceiling fans on the market will only cost you less than 2 cents per hour to run.
These costs are virtually negligable, which explains why ceiling fans are such a great energy saving alternative to air conditioning.
Calculating the cost to operate a ceiling fan is a simply a matter of knowing how many watts the fan uses and multiplying that by the cost per kWh of electricity you are being
charged by your utility company. This will give you the cost per hour to run the fan.
The range of wattage between various brands and models of ceiling fans (without lights) is anywhere from 12 watts to 120 watts per hour.
Based on that, here is how much it would cost to operate
the most and least energy consuming ceiling fans on the market if either fan was left running 24 hours a day for an entire year.
No one is likely ever to use their ceiling fan even remotely close to that many hours, but I am taking these calculations to an extreme
just to show how cheap it is to run even the worst fan.
- Fan #1 - Super Efficient Ceiling Fan at 12 Watts = $12.61 per year
- Fan #2 - Average Ceiling Fan at 60 Watts = $63.07 per year
- Fan #3 - More Powerful Ceiling Fan at 120 Watts = $126.14 per year
So, the most it can cost you to run a ceiling fan without lights is about $126 per year, which is equal to about $10 per month and the least it will cost you is $12 per year,
which comes out to just $1 per month...which in either case, is amazingly cheap.
Ceiling Fans with Lights
The above calculations did not consider having a light fixture on the ceiling fan. The range of wattage for a ceiling fan including lights is somewhere around 76 to 360 watts,
which is a much more dramatic difference. Here are the calculations for those numbers:
- Fan #4 - Super Efficient Ceiling Fan with Lights at 76 Watts = $79.89 per year
- Fan #5 - Average Ceiling Fan with Lights at 60 Watts at 180 Watts = $189.22 per year
- Fan #6 - More Powerful Ceiling Fan with Lights at 360 Watts = $378.43 per year
The numbers for fan #4 above are those from the Emerson Midway Eco, which is the most efficient ENERGY STAR qualified ceilign fan on the market that comes with a light.
The light fixture built-in to the Eco fan uses 4-13 watt Compact Fluorescent bulbs for just 52 Watts that is equivalent to over 100 watts of incandescent light.
Add the 26 watts the fan motor uses for a total of 76 Watts.
Fan #6 could be any number of less efficient ceiling fans with a 4 light fixture and uplight that uses incandescent bulbs. So the lighting would be around 240 watts
and the motor at 120 watts for a combined total of 360 Watts.
So the conclusion I am hoping that you will make here is that the light fixture you choose for your ceiling fan is what will cost you the most in the long run.
Keep in mind that these estimates above are for operating each ceiling fan 24 hours a day for 365 days...so you can cut those numbers by about 75% or more
to come to a more realistic usage.
Ceiling Fan Operational Cost Calculator
The calculator that you see below can be found on all of our ceiling fan detail pages where the wattage for the fan is available. In this example, we have initially plugged
in the specifications for the
Midway Eco Fan
which uses just 24 Watts of electricity on high speed with the light off, and 76 Watts with the light turned on. As you can see, the calculated cost to operate the fan
with lights off is only $0.0029/hr. If you re-calculate it with the lights turned on, the cost increases by about 300% to $0.0091, but is still less than a penny per hour.
So the first lesson to be learned here is that in almost all cases, the light fixture on a ceiling fan uses far more electricity than the fan motor itself.
This fan will give us a good foundation for testing the range of costs between ceiling fans, which you can do by clicking the various buttons below the calculator.
How to use our Ceiling Fan Cost Calculator
Basic Help: Our cost usage calculator shows you how much it will cost to operate the ceiling fan. By default, the calculator assumes that you will leave your fan running 24 hours a day for the entire year (which is not very likely to be accurate), so you will want to change the hours and days to be more in line with how often you think you will use the fan. The calculator also defaults to the average cost per kWh of electricity in the USA. You can change this to use the average cost of electricity in your state, although this may vary widely from city to city. For the most accurate calculation, manually enter the actual cost/kWh shown on your utility bill.
The wattage of the fan is already included (if it is known), but you can change it if you wish to see how the wattage affects the cost.
Fans with lights: Calculations are performed without lights by default. If you add a light fixture to the fan, you can add the wattage of the fixture to the wattage of the fan to perform calculations with the lights on. In some cases, when a light fixture of known wattage is included with the fan, the option to calculate with or without lights will show automatically. The light fixture on a ceiling fan almost always uses substantially more electricity than the fan motor, so it is very important to take that into account when comparing the overall operational cost between various ceiling fans
CFM -vs- Efficiency: CFM is KING! It is more important to buy a fan with higher CFMs than it is to buy a fan that uses less electricity. The highest wattage consumed by the most energy guzzling ceiling fan on our website is about 120 watts. So if you input 120 as the fan watts and run our calculator, you will see that it still costs less than 2 cents per hour to operate the most energy guzzling ceiling fan in most states.
You will get more savings with a higher CFM fan than a lower Wattage fan because if your fan moves more air
you will be able to raise your thermostat to a higher degree. Raising your thermostat by 10 degrees can save you up to 40% on your cooling bills. Choosing a less powerful fan because it uses less electricity can be the worst mistake you can make because it will not cool you off enough to allow you to raise your thermostat to a high enough level without becoming uncomfortable. This is why CFM is so much more important to consider than Wattage.
The average kWh by state used by our calculator is derived from information published by the
US Government Department of Energy as of May 2009.
Your actual cost may differ from this. Again, refer to your utility bill for your most recent kWh cost.
Answers to Recent Ceiling Fans Questions Posted To This Page
- Question #9463 - Posted: 3/7/2014 12:32:21 PM
Ceiling Fans Question
QUESTION: room is 18 ft x 28 ft. with a 14 foot vaulted ceiling. What size fan do I buy? How low from the vaulted ceiling does the fan hang? My pendant lights are black...can I use a black fan?
ANSWER: In a room this size of yours, we would most likely recommend 2 fans. Black is certainly a great option if it matches other decorative items in your room. However, there are very few black fans available today, so you may want to consider other finish options in order to dramatically expand your choices. Ultimately, the fan we recommend will be based on many factors including: style, quality, airflow and price range. For that reason, it is best to call and talk to one of our ceiling fan experts in order for us to quickly narrow down your choices over the phone.
- Question #9462 - Posted: 3/7/2014 12:28:41 PM
Ceiling Fans Question
QUESTION: I have a commercial space of 2000 total square feet, but only about 1200 contiguous that needs air circulation for both heat and AC. Ceilings are 12 feet high. I'm thinking 2 fans because the only duct is basically centrally located and kicks air through 3 vents on either side and is about 12 inches from the ceiling. Would you recommend a "commercial" heat fan?! I need a recommendation and would definitely prefer something that is going to be VERY quiet, but also move the air.
ANSWER: Commercial heat fans are typically not designed for quiet operation, so I would probably make a different recommendation for a sound sensitive area. There are so many options to choose from that it is best if you call and talk to one of our ceiling fan experts to go over them with you on the phone. Please call us at: 1-800-201-1193.
- Question #9458 - Posted: 2/23/2014 8:23:35 PM
Ceiling Fans Question - Emerson Model CF788AP
CF788AP - http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/emerson/model.asp?ProdNo=CF788AP
QUESTION: We have a living room with walls that are about 11 feet high with a vaulted ceiling the peak of which is 16 feet above the floor. What height above the floor should the ceiling fan be mounted. We will be using it in the summer for cooling as well as in the winter to bring the warm air down. We havent decided on the fan diameter yet, probably in the 60-72" range. We will most likely be buying an Emererson Eco fan. Thanks.
I would recommend using a 6 foot downrod to bring the fan down a little less than 10 feet from the floor. A 72" Emerson Eco fan should be great for this application if the room is around 15 feet x 15 feet or more. If it is really large, over 20 feet...you should consider using 2 60" fans with 6 foot poles. Below is a link back to the Carrera Grande Eco in Antique Pewter with 72" blades. You can actually select any of the Carrera Grande Eco fans regardless of size and then change the blades that are pictured to any of the 72" blades by clicking on the orange Blades button, so you are not limited to just the brushed nickel finish to create a 72" fan. Carrera Grande Eco 72"
- Question #9457 - Posted: 2/23/2014 8:18:04 PM
Ceiling Fans Question - Fanimation Model FPD8089PW
FPD8089PW - http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/fanimation/model.asp?ProdNo=FPD8089PW
QUESTION: Is there a downrod longer than 72" available for the Fanimation Keistone 72 (DC Motor) Ceiling Fan?
ANSWER: You can purchase a downrod coupler and join 2 downrods together to create a downrod as long as 12 feet. Click on the orange button for Accessories beneath the fan picture on the main product detail page to add the downrod coupler. Then click on the Downrods button to add a downrod. You can then change the quantity to 2 once you add the configuration to the shopping cart. Or just give us a call during normal business hours and we will make sure you get everything you need.
- Question #9456 - Posted: 2/19/2014 2:10:56 AM
Ceiling Fans Question - Fanimation Model FP7910BN
FP7910BN - http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/fanimation/model.asp?ProdNo=FP7910BN
QUESTION: can the Levon Fanimation ceiling fan be installed on a vaulted ceiling? It says it come with a 6" down rod but does not mention any other lengths.
ANSWER: The Fanimation Levon ceiling fan will hang from a vaulted ceiling angled up to 30 degrees using the standard 6" downrod and mounting hardware that is included with the fan. Additional length downrods for ceilings over 9 feet high can be found by clicking on the orange button labeled Downrods, located just beneath the main picture of the fan on the product details page. Ceilings angled more than 30 degrees up to 45 degrees require the optional Angled Ceiling Adapter Model: FA-SCB1-52, which can found by clicking on the orange Accessories button.
- Question #9453 - Posted: 2/11/2014 9:10:42 AM
Ceiling Fans Question
QUESTION: Are your wet rated ceiling fans made with only either plastic or stainless steel interior parts? Could you recommend some which have this?
All outdoor wet rated ceiling fans use special components that are stainless steel or plastic...as this is a requirement in order to be UL listed for use outdoors. With that said, I cannot say that any or all of them use only stainless steel and plastic for ALL components. If corrosion is your concern, I must steer in you in the direction of the Minka Aire Concept I 58" Wet rated ceiling fan which is the first and ONLY ceiling fan where the actual motor housing is made of marine grade stainless steel. This is a new fan that will become available in March of 2014. We are very excited about this great new stainless steel outdoor fan. Each of the finishes the fan is available in are actually applied over stainless steel, so even the white and oil rubbed bronze models are stainless. Here is a link: Minka Are Stainless Steel Concept I 58" Wet Rated Ceiling Fan
- Question #9452 - Posted: 2/11/2014 9:06:07 AM
Ceiling Fans Question
QUESTION: I want to connect a Casablanca fan that takes a threaded down rod to an existing down rod that is .75" OD and is not threaded. Do you carry a coupler or adaptor that will enable me to accomplish this? Thank you.
ANSWER: There is no coupler made to connect a Casablanca ceiling fan to a non-Casablanca downrod. Casablanca does not allow this because they use their own proprietary mounting system that they have tested for safety. Using any other mounting system would void the warranty and could create an unsafe condition, particularly if the previous fan and downrod was not rated for the same weight as the Casablanca fan. You will find this the same with most of the higher quality brands.
- Question #9451 - Posted: 2/1/2014 3:35:37 PM
Ceiling Fans Question - Hunter Model HU-54094
HU-54094 - http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/hunter/model.asp?ProdNo=HU-54094
QUESTION: 54094-hunter Caribbean can you purchase it with a hand remote
ANSWER: You certainly can. Hunter offers several choices for remote controls. Just click on the orange button beneath the main fan picture on the product page to see the choices and add one to your fan. Otherwise, give us a call and we will be happy to help you choose the best control for your needs: 1-800-201-1193