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What's the Energy Usage & Cost of Running a Ceiling Fan?

Ceiling fans are a great cost-effective alternative to AC units. While they can’t promise the cool and crisp atmosphere that an AC unit can, ceiling fans can still offer a refreshing breeze to keep you cool during the summer months--and at a fraction of the cost of an AC. In general, running your fan costs very little, especially in comparison to air conditioners which tend to be the most expensive-to-run appliance in the average US household. In other words, using a fan is a great way to lower the cost of your electricity bill.

But what exactly is the cost of running your fan? Our ceiling fan energy cost calculator can help you get an estimate of how much it costs you to get the cool breeze every night.

Ceiling fan energy cost calculator

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How to use this calculator:
How many kilowatts does your ceiling fan use?

Kilowatts measure the rate at which electricity moves through an appliance. More kilowatts mean more electricity, and bigger ceiling fans will typically use more watts.

Ceiling fans will vary in wattage depending on the size of the fan and also the speed at which is running. To get the most accurate number for your ceiling fan wattage, multiply the amps by the volts. Check the label for amps and then multiply that number by 120––120 is the volts that most general appliances in your home run on.

From there, you can calculate kilowatts by multiplying amps and volts and dividing by 1000.

Kilowatts = (Amps x Volts) / 1000

What is the average cost of electricity?

According to US Energy Information Administration, the average cost of electricity in the U.S. is 13 cents/kWh. However, this number can vary depending on your electricity supplier. Today, people in some states have the power to shop for their electricity and find cheaper rates.

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Lower your electricity bills and help the environment. Let Perch match you to a local solar farm.

Table fan vs. Ceiling fan cost and energy consumption comparison

There are three main ways to cool your home. Each comes at a cost, but those costs can greatly vary. Here is a comparison of the cost of running a table fan, a ceiling fan, and an air conditioner.

Table Fan
Type
Watts
Cost / hr*
Cost / month*
Small (4" – 6.9")28.5W0.37¢$0.89
Medium (7" – 9.9")52.7W0.68¢$1.64
Large (10"+)44.3W0.59¢$1.38
*assuming that the electricity rate is 13¢ per KWH and the ceiling fan runs for 8 hours per day
Ceiling Fan
Type
Watts
Cost / hr*
Cost / month*
Small (36 inch)55W0.71¢$1.72
Medium (48 inch)75W0.97¢$2.34
Large (52 inch)90W1.17¢$2.8
*assuming that the electricity rate is 13¢ per KWH and the ceiling fan runs for 8 hours per day

How to save on my cooling costs?

  • 1.

    Take a cold shower

    While cold showers may feel intimidating at first, they’re still one of the quickest ways you can cool down during a hot summer day.
  • 2.

    Keep your windows closed and your blinds down during the hottest portion of the day

    Roughly 30% of a home's heating and cooling efforts are lost through its windows. Don’t cool your home in vain! Practicing good window management is one of the best things you can do to keep your home cool.
  • 3.

    Improve insulation

    A well-insulated home will drastically improve your ability to keep your home cool during hot summer days. Insulating your windows, walls, and attics can be a great DIY home project to tackle on a weekend. And if you’re not sure where or how to start, you can get an energy audit that will help you think about how to make your home more efficient.
  • 4.

    Choose Perch Energy

    At Perch, we're on a mission to make cleaner energy more accessible, more affordable, and more equitable for all. Whether you rent an apartment, own a home, or run a business, Perch offers multiple ways to save money on your electricity bills, or even help the planet, too.
    • For guaranteed savings on your annual electricity cost, join a community solar project in your area. Perch will help match you to a local solar farm—you'll support the operations of that farm so that it can generate and contribute as much clean, solar energy to the overall grid. You don't directly receive electricity from the solar power you're supporting, but thanks to government incentives, you'll get credits toward your own utility bill. Essentially, you're being rewarded with discounts on your own electricity because you're enabling solar generation and development in your state.
    • With Perch, you can take your fossil-fuel-fighting, money-saving ways even further when you also switch your home or business' electricity plan to cleaner energy. If you're on your utility's default basic service rate, it's a "mixed" energy plan (generated partly by fossil fuels, partly by renewable resources). But Perch can switch you to a low-cost cleaner energy plan—outside of what your utility is offering—that's backed 100% by clean, renewable resources like solar and wind. We'll find you a price that's lower than the market rate for similar options in your area. You don't have to do anything differently, but you'll feel great knowing that your personal electricity usage is now contributing to a healthier planet, and you've reduced your everyday carbon footprint.
Get simple solar savings without the rooftop panels

Lower your electricity bills and help the environment. Let Perch match you to a local solar farm.