Who hasn’t been on the side of a constrained budget? Money freely flows through people’s hands all the time, for better or for worse—but mostly for worse. Cost savings should be at the forefront of every adult’s agenda.
On average, Americans spend $3,000 on energy consumption annually. Among that huge bill is a lot of waste. So, starting here is often the best way to pinch your pennies.
But where should you start in your energy-saving endeavors? People usually look to the sky (in this case, a ceiling) for hard-pressing answers. A common question among them is, “how much does a ceiling fan cost to run?”
Stop spinning in circles looking for answers, this is how much it truly costs to run ceiling fans.
How Much Does a Ceiling Fan Cost to Run: The Breakdown
To measure the cost of anything that consumes energy, you must know its wattage. Watts are a measure of work done, which translates to energy used. You might often see lightbulbs or different appliances with this metric listed; this merely gives you an indication of what it will cost to run.
More importantly, energy is a unit of work done over time. This is also why you often see things measured in “kilowatt-hours.” This is a measure of the wattage of energy per hour.
The suffix “kilo,” if you’re unfamiliar with the metric system, refers to 1,000 units. It’s the same one used in front of meter and gram to declare 1,000 of each, respectively.
Your municipality calculates your bill based on this unit, kilowatt-hour (kWh). Typically in the United States, each kWh is roughly 10 to 12 cents. This, of course, depends on the state and the natural monopoly that is supplying the electricity.
To get the most accurate estimate, you should research and see how much this metric is in your area.
Also to get a good representation of the cost, you must know the energy consumption rate for your ceiling fan. It’s typically on the box or in the manual. If you can’t find it, or if you’ve misplaced either of those two, you can find how much energy it uses online by searching by make and model.
There’s quite a large range of models in ceiling fans, so an average isn’t a fair assessment when doing a calculation. Some fans are more efficient and only require 20 watts. Others are power-sucking, industrial fans, and they can consume 150 watts.
Usually, the more interesting ceiling fans are going to cost a little more—but they offer the largest benefits.
After you’ve found these variables (the wattage of your fan and the price per kWh), you can get a rough idea of its cost.
An Example for Calculating
A lot of these figures are pretty intimidating, especially when you’re unfamiliar with metric conversions and physics beyond lighting. But, in reality, it’s an easy arithmetic problem. Once you know how to calculate it, you’ll be able to use this to assess the rest of your appliances in your house.
For this example, the numbers are going to be conservative. This means the estimate is going to likely be higher than average, but it’ll show you the worst-case scenario of a typical household fan.
Most people won’t have a fan capable of outputting 150 watts in their homes. They’ll typically have something around 50 watts, which is more than sufficient to cool a master bedroom or living room.
The kilowatt per hour will also be likely higher than yours—this estimate will use $0.12 for every kWh.
So, you multiply that by the watts for the fan: 0.12 x 50 = 6. It’s a convention to use the kilowatt, so, you divide that by 1,000 units to achieve (6/1,000) .006 kW. This means that it costs $0.006 to run a typical fan per hour.
Yes, that’s a fraction of a penny. If you multiply that by 24 (the hours in a day), you’ll get your daily cost. In this case, it would be (.006 x 24) $0.144—or 15 cents rounded up.
Therefore, the cost of running your ceiling fan for the day is a nickel and a dime. That’s not some metaphor for the energy companies trying to squeeze every cent out of you (which they are).
You can take this number and multiply it by normal date constants. For instance, a month of running the fan would cost $4.50 (15 cents times 30). Similarly, a year would cost close to $55.
Some Good Habits
So, keeping the fan off year-round isn’t exactly the treasure trove of savings you were looking for. It might be if you have a dozen fans, but most people don’t.
Regardless, there can be savings to be had with the proper use of a ceiling fan.
In the summertime, it’s good practice to allow the fan to spin in the designed direction (usually counter-clockwise) to increase airflow in the room. Conversely, reverse it to remove chilly air in the room during the winter.
You should turn off fans when leaving a room to conserve energy. It might save you a couple of pennies here and there, but that adds up quickly. Have your family do that for compounding effects.
If you have 3 bedrooms and a living room with a fan, you could save roughly $150 a year if you limited their use to 6 hours a day. This is based on the original estimate using example prices and costs.
The most energy that a household uses comes from their heating and air conditioning. Using a fan in conjunction with these units can cause a significant decrease in cost, as it allows better efficiency in your HVAC.
For the Fans
Electric bills are a hard pill to swallow for every American. The average continues to climb with the municipalities squeezing citizens for everything they’ve got. Looking to reduce that bill can come in many forms.
Knowing the cost of each appliance is your best place to cost-savings. Asking yourself “how much does a ceiling fan cost to run” is good practice.
Energy consumption revolves around the kilowatt-hour that is set by municipalities and the appliance’s wattage rating. Your price per hour is calculated by multiplying the two and dividing by 1,000 (kilo).
Interested in learning more about how efficient your appliances are? Check out our other articles to find out what you can be saving on.