Air Conditioner vs Fan on Electricity Usage (Which Is Better?)

Summer is here, and Americans are obsessed with air conditioning. According to the US Department of Energy, about 90% of American homes have AC. In 1973, only 48% of homes had AC.

An article in the New York Times caught my attention because it talked about the wasteful ways in our lives.

The Cost of Air Conditioning Vs. Fans

A good window AC unit uses about 1.2 kilowatts and costs about 14 cents an hour to run. It’s also incredibly costly to run a ceiling fan, which uses around 36 cents an hour.

Assumingyour AC unit is running at half-day intervals during the summer season. You could save a lot of money by just having a window unit in your room.

Cooling TypeMonthly Cost
Window AC$50
Central AC$130
Ceiling Fan$1.50

A window AC unit would cost you $50 a month, while a central AC unit would cost you $130 a month. By adding a ceiling fan, you could save $128 a month.

Whether you have a window unit or a ceiling fan, I hope this article will help you decide if air conditioning is something that you love.

It’s time to rethink our love for AC since it’s widely believed that 17% of our electricity comes from coal-rich areas.

How Much Can You Save Using Fans Instead of AC

You can either cool the entire room with a ceiling or floor fan, or you can save even more by just cooling yourself with a small personal fan. In many locations, an electric fan is a more than adequate replacement for air conditioning.

By replacing air conditioning with fans, you can potentially save 90% or more of the electricity used in air conditioning. On average, that means saving 15% or more of your total electricity usage. 

For the average home electric bill of $1,500 per year, that amounts to $230 in saving per year.

Is Running A Fan Much Cheaper Than AC?

DC fans are typically more expensive to buy than AC ones. However, they can also save you money over time. For instance, a standard DC fan can run for about five dollars a month.

AC usage is also a big energy cost in California’s warm cities. According to an estimate by ASM Air Conditioning, an average household in Santa Clarita spends over $400 a month on electricity.

The US Department of Energy’s SEER calculation shows the energy efficiency of air conditioning units. If a 16 SEER rating is used, a 12 SEER-rated unit would consume a higher amount of electricity annually. In most cases, a 12-year-old AC will use up more than $400 a month.

When it comes to comparing the energy consumption of air conditioning and a fan, the former’s use of air conditioning makes you feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, a fan uses air to push the air over your skin, which makes you feel cooler.

Instead of using an AC unit, consider using a fan instead. It’s cooler than the air conditioning and can provide a comfortable environment in an air-conditioned room.

One simple way to reduce your air conditioning’s energy consumption is by setting the thermostat at 71 degrees. This level will lower it to 78 degrees, which costs around $125 a month.

Should I Use Fan or AC to Save on Electricity Bill?

It takes a lot of energy to move heat around in an air conditioner than it does to blow it onto your skin. In addition, leaving a fan running for a long time can help conserve its electricity.

Although fans are ideal in most cases, they can also make things worse if they’re used excessively. In most cases, they should only be used when conditions are ideal.

The CDC advises against using fans when the temperature is over 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This level is too hot to cause dehydration and increase the likelihood of heat-related illnesses.

Not only does humidity affect the effectiveness of a fan, but it can also make you feel hotter.

When to Use a Fan
  • It is less than 95 degrees Fahrenheit
  • There isn’t much moisture in the air
  • You’re able to stand close to the fan
  • You’d want to save money on energy
When Not to Use a Fan
  • It’s hot and humid.
  • You need to chill a huge region.
  • You have the financial means to pay a higher power bill.