How Much Electricity Does A Fan Use?

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Fans rely on electricity to operate efficiently, but exactly how much electricity does a fan use?

If you regularly use an electric fan at home, you may be worried not only about the cost, but also the impact that electricity usage can have on the environment.

electric fan

Fortunately, a fan uses less electricity than you might think. But knowing how much electricity your fan uses will help you make the best decision about whether you’d like to continue using one or if there may be a more eco-friendly and cheaper option.

How Many Watts Does A Fan Use?

Wattage is a measurement of electricity. It’s used to measure the power consumed by and produced from different electronic devices such as fans, air conditioners, hairdryers, and more.

So, how many watts does a fan use? The answer depends on a few factors, including the type of fan you’re using and its overall size, with larger options often using a bit more electricity than the smaller fans.

Most fans will use between 25 and 75 watts. However, 50 watts is the average for the standard fan that you’d buy and use in your home to keep these rooms cool and comfortable while letting the air circulate.

small desk fan
This small fan uses only 15 watts

The table below shows the average wattages of different types of fan…

Fan TypeSmallest FanAverage FanMost Powerful Fan
Ceiling Fan2W50W100W
Standing Fan1W40W110W
Box Fan5W75W220W
Tower Fan6W55W110W

As you can see, different fans use a different level of wattage. Some fans are of very low wattage, but you may find that these mini fans aren’t actually powerful enough to cool you down.

To know the wattage of your fan at home, look for a number followed by the letter W (for watts) on the label, box or instruction manual.

Fan wattage label
Fan wattage label

The actual amount of power consumed by your fan is also going to depend on the setting you decide to use. If you’re putting the fan on the lowest setting, it’s naturally going to use less electricity.

What you may notice from this chart is that the affordable standing fans that you can find in most home goods and department stores tend to use the least electricity. But while they may seem like an eco-friendly option, you’ll want to make sure that your fan has enough power to keep you cool on the hottest days. Otherwise, you’d be wasting your money.

Suggested read: How Much Electricity Does A Standing Fan Use?

Ceiling fans can be a good option, with an average power consumption of around 50 watts. However, not everyone wants to put out the money to get a ceiling fan installed, which is understandable.

Suggested read: Do Ceiling Fans Use A Lot Of Electricity?

How Much Electricity Does A Fan Use Per Hour?

The average fan will use around 50 watt-hours of electricity per hour. The exact usage will depend on the specific model and type of fan you’ve selected, with low wattage desk fans using as little as 1 watt-hour per hour and powerful box fans using as much as 220 watt-hours per hour.

50 watt-hours isn’t actually a lot of electricity. An air conditioner uses around 3000 watt-hours per hour. And even if you put the ac on the fan only mode, it can still consume 750 watt-hours per hour. Which is obviously much more than the humble fan.

Suggested read: Air Conditioner Vs Fan Electricity Usage

Other small devices like hairdryers consume a lot more electricity than fans, with an average wattage of 1800, compared to just 50 for a fan.

Of course, you only tend to use your hairdryer for short periods of time, whereas you might want to have your fan on all day.

Does Keeping A Fan On All Night Use A Lot Of Electricity?

The truth is that fans don’t use nearly as much electricity as other devices, including air conditioning systems. Leaving a fan on all night would only use around 400 watt-hours of electricity, which should cost you less than 10 cents.

Even if you put the fan on the highest speed and left it on all the time, it would only add around $5 to your monthly bill.

Of course, the total amount will be slightly lower if you’re using the fan all the time but leaving it on a lower setting, such as medium or low instead of high.

Does It Cost A Lot To Run A Fan?

It doesn’t cost a lot to run a fan. If you’re trying to keep cool, an electric fan is one of the most cost-effective ways to do it, after opening windows and wafting yourself with a hand fan.

The most energy-efficient fans use only 1 watt-hour of electricity per hour, so they would cost less than a penny per day to run, even if left on all day. The most powerful 200-watt box fans cost around 3 cents per hour to run.

Even a high-powered fan that costs two to three cents per hour to use, will only add a couple of dollars per month to your electricity bill.

You should bear in mind that the exact amount paid will depend on your electricity rates and these can vary quite a lot depending on where you live.

In 2022, the average US household pays $0.14 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electricity, but some people will pay more than three times this.

The US Energy Administration has a list of averages by state which will give you an idea. But the best way to know how much you’re paying for electricity is to check your bill or online account, looking for the kWh rate.

To work out how much a fan costs per hour, you can use this formula:

Kilowatts X Cost of Energy


0.05 x 14 cents = 0.7 cents per hour

Fan Cost Calculator

You can use this calculator to work out exactly how much electricity your fan is using and how much it will cost you.

How Much Does It Cost To Run A Fan For A Day?

Running an electric fan for 12 hours per day can cost anywhere from 1 cent to 40 cents. If you have an average-sized fan and pay the average electricity rate in the United States, running your fan will cost around 8 cents per day.

The exact cost would depend on various factors, including the type of fan, the size of the fan, and how much you are charged for each kilowatt-hour of electricity.

How Much Does It Cost To Run A Fan All Night?

On average, it costs around 6 cents to run a fan for 8 hours at night. A smaller fan on a low setting will cost less, but even the most powerful fan set to high should cost no more than 25 cents, based on the average price of electricity in the United States,

Be sure to check how much you pay for electricity, as in some states, like Hawaii, you can expect to pay three times this, so running a powerful fan all night could cost as much as 75 cents.

How Much Does It Cost To Run A Fan 24/7

If you run a fan 24/7, you can expect it to cost anywhere between $0.10 and $22 per month depending on the type of fan you have. The average fan would cost around $5 per month to run non-stop on a high-speed setting.

If you do wish to keep your fan on all of the time, it’s worth investing in a low-wattage energy-efficient fan to keep your bills low. While these fans may cost more to buy, they can be a worthwhile investment over the long term.

Do Fans Cause High Electricity Bills?

Fans are rarely the cause of high electricity bills. There are many other appliances that use more electricity than fans, including air conditioners, heaters, computers, and fridges. The air conditioner is the biggest cause of high energy bills in the summer, potentially causing you hundreds of dollars per month, especially if you leave it on 24/7.

electricity bill

Does Leaving A Fan On Waste Electricity?

It’s a good idea to turn a fan off when you leave the room as it’s a waste to have it on when you’re not there. This is because fans don’t actually cool the air, they simply circulate it. Fans blow warm air off of your skin, which makes you feel cooler.

To get the most out of your fan, you should have it pointing directly onto your bare skin.

However, if it’s hotter indoors than outside, such as at night, then there is one hack to cool the room with the help of fans. Place one box fan facing out of the window to push warm air out and another fan facing inwards to draw cool air in.

This clever twin window fan can be set with one fan blowing in and one blowing out to cool your room with maximum efficiency…

Suggested read: How Much Electricity Does A Box Fan Use?

To Conclude

If you have concerns over the amount of electricity a fan might use, know that it’s far less than the amount of electricity used by other devices, including the air conditioning systems. Most fans are very efficient, wasting little electricity and leaving the home feeling cool, ultimately making you feel more comfortable.

fan in the window

Fan FAQs

How many watts is a good fan?

A powerful fan will use 50 to 100 watts. This gives you the best balance of cooling ability, while still being much cheaper to run than an air conditioner.

How much electricity does a 50W fan use?

The wattage of a fan shows how much electricity it uses. So, a 50W fan uses 50 watts of electricity. If you run it for an hour, it would use 50 watt-hours of electricity. This equates to 0.05 kWh.

Is a higher watt fan better?

Higher wattage fans are more powerful, so they will cool a room more quickly. If you run a fan on low or medium speed, it will use less electricity, so a higher watt fan is a good option, even if it’s more powerful than you need most of the time.

Does a fan use more electricity than a light bulb?

The average fan uses 50 watts of electricity, whereas the average incandescent light bulb uses 60 watts. However, modern LED lightbulbs use only 8.5 watts, which is considerably less than a fan.