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2018 Ceiling Fan FTC Energy Guide Labels

Why are the airflow ratings on our site different than the EnergyGuide?

The testing method required by the EPA has changed between 2017 and 2018 and fans tested with the new method will have different CFM numbers than the previous testing method for the exact same fans. Due to the transition between old and new testing methods, the airflow ratings and the comparison graphs we use on our website may differ from the government mandated FTC EnergyGuide label you will find printed on your box or published online. Even more, our airflow ratings are based on the information supplied to us by the manufacturer at high speed, while the Energy Guide labels as of 2018 derived from the new testing method display a weighted average between low and high speeds instead of just high speed. Because some manufacturers are still supplying data using the old test method yet printing data on their labels using the new method, there may be noticeable differences between what you see online and what you see on the box. These discrepancies will occur until all of the preboxed fans from last year are sold through and we have no way of knowing which label or test result will be printed on your box.

More Details About New Testing: As of January 2018 the testing was performed on high speed only with the fan confined in a cylinder, 8" larger in diameter than the fan, with sensors below it. The CFM and CFM/Watts were then calculated from the high speed data. The new procedure eliminates the cylinder and fans are now tested in an open room on both their lowest and highest speeds. The CFM airflow presented on the new labels is now a weighted average of the two speeds, so it will be SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER than the high speed ratings from previous years. We do not believe using the weighted average is the best way to compare ceiling fans because it does not give you a true picture of the fans potential. So we will continue to publish the high speed data as long as it is available so you will have the best comparative tool. We will also publish the weighted average airflow as it becomes available. The original high speed data from the cylinder test will eventually be replaced by the data taken from the new tests as that data becomes available. Until that time, there will be inconsistencies in the airflow ratings published on our website.

Ceiling Fan EnergyGuide Lable

Shown Above: The new 2018 FTC required ceiling fan energy guide label

How to read the label

The label tells you how much airflow your fan will produce and how much energy it will use based on a weighted average (how our government officials have decided you are going to use your fan). The numbers below correspond to the numbers and the circled areas above.

  1. AIRFLOW: This is the average CFM (cubic feet per minute) of airflow the fan produces based on a "weighted average between low speed and high speed". The weighted average CFM on the label is not necessarily a good way to compare the performance between ceiling fans and will be lower than the CFM on High Speed we use to compare fans on our site.

  2. AIRFLOW EFFICIENCY: Efficiency is that amount of airflow you get per watt of electricity used and is expressed as CFM/Watt. The higher the more airflow you get per watt of energy use. As with CFM, this number is still based on a weighted average between low and high speed, so it is not a great comparison of how fans perform just on high speed. This number will be lower than the efficiency ratings on our site that are used compare fans on high speed.

  3. ENERGY USE: This is the amount of electricity the fan uses in Watts per hour and again is a weighted average between low and high speed and off (standby mode). Some remote control ceiling fans and other electronics in a fan will use a small amount of electricity even when the fan is in standby mode, so this taken into consideration in the formula for calculating energy use as well. This number will be lower than the watts we use on our site when we are comparing fan performance on high speed.

  4. ESTIMATED YEARLY ENERGY COST: This is based on the other numbers above using a formula that the DOE came up with to determine how much you are going to use your fan during the year. It is a good number to use for comparison between fans, but it is not likely a realistic number for your own personal use.

Weighted Averages

Here are the numbers used for the weighted averages, which is how the DOE expects you to use your fan

4.2 hours on high speed/day
2.2 hours on low speed/day
17.6 hours on stand-by mode/day (turned off)

More to come soon...