How Many Watts/Amps/Electricity Does a Ceiling Fan Use - Ceiling Fan Wattage
When trying to reduce electricity consumption and hence, electric bills, most people focus on the lights and AC units, with ceiling fans not being in their focus.
Ceiling fans differ in size and number of blades, their airflow (given usually in Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) or Cubic Meters per Minute (CMM)) and hence their wattage.
Also, by knowing the required wattage and amps of the ceiling fan, it is much easier to do energy planning in the case of emergency and being off-the-grid.
The Wattage of The Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans vary in size from very small fans featuring maximum power of 20-30 watts to large units featuring maximum power of 100+ watts.
Many Energy Star rated fans feature maximum power of less than 30-40 watts, but such units, especially the large ones, tend to be a little bit pricey.
In order to find out the required electric power when your ceiling fan is at the maximum speed, check its documentation - that is the safest and more accurate way of finding out exact wattage.
Note: when ceiling fans operate at lower speeds, larger fans require less power for the same airflow, when compared with smaller ceiling fans.
As an example, we will assume that our hypothetical ceiling fan on average requires 50 Watts at full speed.
Ceiling Fan Electric Bills
So, if we run 50 watts (~0.42 Amps @120V AC) ceiling fan for 8 hours per day at $0.15 kWh, that would be:
50W * 8h * 0.15 $/kWh = 0.05 kW * 8h * 0.15 $/kWh = $0.06
That is just 6 cents per day or $1.8 per month.
Of course, if there are more fans or one larger fan or several larger fans that are used more than 8 hours per day, that can increase the electric bill by much more than $1.8 per month.
Also, some ceiling fans often feature light bulbs - older incandescent light bulbs required 50-100+ watts, while newer LED light bulbs require 10-20 watts, rarely more.
If You use both the light and fan itself, be sure to also calculate the LED light electricity consumption - if it is not already calculated as part of "total" ceiling fan wattage.
Off-The-Grid: Ceiling Fan vs AC Unit
Ceiling fans are used to create airflow that cools during summer and heats during winter, but they don't actually change the air temperature directly.
On the other hand, AC units can be used to both cool down or warm the air, obviously requiring much more power than an "ordinary" ceiling fan.
While residential ceiling fans rarely require more than 100 watts, residential AC units vary in size and on average require 2000-4000 (or even more) Running Watts at the maximum power.
While 100 watts ceiling fan can be powered by a small (300W or 500W) power inverter connected to a 12V deep cycle battery, 2000-4000 Running Watts AC units require much larger power inverters connected to large battery banks or even small to mid-range power generators, being able to provide 2000-4000 Running Watts and at least 3000-6000 Starting Watts.
So, in the case of an emergency or being off-the-grid, turn off your AC units and enjoy your ceiling fans. But, if You have enough fuel and a good, reliable power generator that is strong enough to power your AC unit, then turn On your AC unit and enjoy its benefits.
Long Story Short: while older ceiling fans still use not-so-energy-efficient electric motors, newer Energy Star ceiling fans combine energy-efficient electric motors with carefully designed and manufactured energy-efficient blades.
Such ceiling fan run even on a daily basis doesn't require much electricity and it doesn't increase the electric bill, at least not by much.
However, several older, energy not so efficient fans can noticeably increase the electric bill.