How Much Power Does a Ceiling Fan Use?

The amount of energy a ceiling fan uses depends on several factors. The motor that runs the fan is the main factor. The larger the motor or the faster it operates, the more energy it requires to run. You can also vary the amount of power that the ceiling fan uses by changing the speed of the fan. However, fans are relatively low power users, taking about the same amount of power as a light bulb.


Ceiling fans require little power.

A ceiling fan will use various levels of power depending on the size of the motor, which varies with the size of the fan. A 36-inch ceiling fan running at high speed uses 55 watts, while a 52-inch ceiling fan uses 90 watts at high speed.


Most ceiling fans have three to four speeds. The higher the speed, the more amps the motor uses, which equates to more energy use. Different ceiling fan motors are capable of different levels of speed overall as well. For example, the fastest fan motors can run at 0.9 amps while others may run on as little as 0.5 amps.

Light Fixtures

You also need to consider whether you have light fixtures as part of your ceiling fan when you are determining total power use. You simply add the wattage of all the light bulbs in use and add that total to the wattage of the fan itself. For example, a 52-inch fan with four, 60-watt light bulbs would require 335 watts (95 + 240) to run.

Time and Cost

The length of time the fan runs is also a factor in how much energy they require. The longer you run the fan, the more energy it requires. However, running your fan 24 hours a day will still cost you less than running your air conditioner. You are likely paying as little as three cents per hour to run your ceiling fan in comparison to about 50 cents per hour to run your air conditioning.

About the Author

Jean Asta has been a freelance writer for domestic and international clients since 2005. She also acts as a training consultant to businesses and nonprofit organizations in the southeast United States. Asta holds a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in nonprofit management and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature, both from the University of Georgia.