Ceiling fans have long been a part of homes around the world – allowing people in hot climates to create and maintain more ambient temperatures within their homes.

However, in a world of ever-increasing energy costs, we have begun to become more and more aware of the energy our appliances use – and the areas we could potentially do better.

But this begs the question: how much electricity do ceiling fans actually use?

How do we measure electricity?

Before we talk about ceiling fans in particular, it is also important to understand how we measure electricity, and what this actually means to you as the homeowner.

Electricity consumption is measured in watts – a unit that informs us the electrical power that an item will need once connected.

There are many things that determine the power consumption – or wattage – of electrical goods, including the size, number of moving parts, and the complexity of the item in question.

How much electricity do they use?

Generally speaking, most ceiling fans operate somewhere within the 55-100 watt range (with outliers on either end of the scale) – and this depends on the size of the product, the speeds they are capable of reaching, and the complexity of the mechanisms that you are running.

This generally equates to roughly .06 – .010 kWh (kilowatt hours), which in essence only equates to pennies when spread across a month in an average state in the US.

This makes a ceiling fan one of the most cost effective methods of cooling our homes and gives some indication as to why they have remained so popular – even when supposedly more effective methods like air conditioning have become so common.

What are the general figures?

Luckily, when it comes to most modern appliances, there are several averages that you can find with just a little research. With regards to ceiling fans, these are the general figures (regarding wattage and cost) pertaining to the size of the ceiling fan in question.


  • 24 inches – 41 watts
  • 30 inches – 48 watts
  • 36 inches – 55 watts
  • 42 inches – 65 watts
  • 48 inches – 74 watts
  • 52 inches – 87 watts
  • 56 inches – 100 watts
  • 60 inches – 120 watts
  • 72 inches – 180 watts

Size/Cost (Per Hour)

  • 24 inches – 0.04 kWh
  • 30 inches – 0.05 kWh
  • 36 inches – 0.06 kWh
  • 42 inches – 0.07 kWh
  • 48 inches – 0.07 kWh
  • 52 inches – 0.09 kWh
  • 56 inches – 0.10 kWh
  • 60 inches – 0.12 kWh
  • 72 inches – 0.18 k

Do Ceiling Fans Use A Lot Of Electricity

Size/Cost (Per Month)

  • 24 inches – 28.8 kWh
  • 30 inches – 36 kWh
  • 36 inches – 43.2 kWh
  • 42 inches – 50.4 kWh
  • 48 inches – 50.4 kWh
  • 52 inches – 64.8 kWh
  • 56 inches – 72 kWh
  • 60 inches – 86.4 kWh
  • 72 inches – 129.6 kWh

How to calculate electricity costs?

When it comes to calculating the electricity costs of ceiling fans, there are specific steps you can take to make the whole process easier.

Using online calculators

The easiest way is to use an online calculator – of which there are many handy, user-friendly ones that are free to use online. These do all the hard calculations for you and only require the input of some basic information to get the job done.

Step one

To make the most of this method, the first step is to measure the diameter of the ceiling fan so as to get the full size.

The diameter is the straight line measurement through the longest point of an object – and this can then be calculated to work out the actual circumference of the fan itself.

Step two

The second step is to enter the state you are living in within the US. Most calculators allow you to either specify your region, state, or country – the latter of which can be a good way of getting a general country-wide average.

Step three

For the next step, you will then usually need to input the wattage of the ceiling fan – that is, the amount of power consumption that the piece requires. This is something that can usually be found with the manufacturer’s instructions – or indeed on the fan itself in some cases.

If you are struggling to find the specific wattage, or if you have thrown out any literature provided to you by the manufacturer, then you could always try contacting their helpline or researching further online.

Final step

The final step is not done by you at all and is in fact the calculated result – in kWh (kilowatt hours) – for the ceiling fan that you own (based on your inputted information).

The actual degree of accuracy with this figure will depend on the accuracy of your inputted information – so if you are really relying on some specifics for one reason or another, then you will need to be conscientious when inputting the information it requires.

How much does it cost overnight?

Most people will put a ceiling fan on overnight during the summer to maintain a nice sleeping temperature. What’s more, this couldn’t be cheaper, and generally speaking it will cost somewhere in the region of 5-20 cents for your typical 8-hour night.

How much does it cost to run a fan 24/7?

Even running a fan all the time is fairly reasonable when compared to other appliances, and generally speaking, will sit somewhere in the region of 1 cent per hour for an average-sized fan. Of course, larger models will incur higher costs.

Final thoughts

It’s true that ceiling fans have long been a popular accessory in homes throughout the world, playing a large part in maintaining ambient temperatures within the home – as well as adding to the overall aesthetics of a household.

However, if you are concerned about your electricity usage, then be sure to check out this guide. Something tells me you (and your wallet) won’t be disappointed!