Your choice for heating or cool your home affects more than just your comfort level – it’ll impact your wallet, too. The more watts an appliance, such as a tower fan, window AC unit, or ceiling fan uses, the more you will pay in energy costs.
How many watts a tower fan uses will depend on the model and extra features. Still, they often use the same amount of energy as a ceiling fan, making them a cheaper alternative to pricey fans.
If you missed the first part of this two-part series, check out “Why Use A Tower Fan? What They Are and Their Benefits.”
Fast facts: How much electricity does a tower fan use?
Tower fans are considered low-energy fans, as they use less energy than some other types of fans.
In terms of energy usage per hour, tower fan watts usage is little: at just .135 kWh in 24 hours of continuous use, tower fans are ultra-low energy. Most tower fans use between 48 watts on low to 100 watts on high.
Even on the highest setting, an average tower fan only uses 135 watts compared to the average window AC unit uses about 3500 watts or 3.5 kWh.
Using an average price of electricity in the U.S. of 13.12 cents kWh, we can calculate a tower fan’s cost to operate per hour and per year on the highest setting. A tower fan that uses 80 watts an hour costs around $.01 per hour.
Let’s say you use your tower fan for 12 hours a day. That’s $.12/day, $3.60/month, $48.80 a year to run.
Most users only use their tower fans for around 4 hours per day, which could reduce your annual costs to as low as $15 per year.
(Want to calculate how much your specific fan uses in energy – and how much it costs you? Check out this eHow video on calculating your fan’s energy costs.)
Other cooling appliances electricity usage:
- Ceiling fan, 52”-blades, high speed: 90 watts
- Central Air Conditioning: 3,500 watts
- Central AC, fan-only: 750 watts
- Evaporative cooling system: 400 watts
- Floor/box fan, high speed: 90 watts
- Tower fan, high speed: 100 watts
- Tower fan, low speed: 54 watts
- Whole-home fans: 350 watts
- Window AC unit, lg: 1,440 watts
- Window AC unit, md: 900 watts
- Window AC unit, sml: 500 wats
How many amps does a ceiling fan use?
A ceiling fan with 36-in blades uses an average of 55 watts on high. A 48-inch fan uses 75 watts, and the standard 52-inch ceiling fan uses 90 watts on high.
A typical ceiling fan will use around 50 watts of electricity. To find the amps, you need to use a specific formula: Power = (power factor) x Volts x Amps. Our 50-watt fan uses 120 volts (which is average for most residential ceiling fans.)
That means a typical ceiling fan uses .69 amps.
Save even more money by swapping out your old lightbulbs for energy-efficient LED bulbs that use 15 watts of energy or less.
How to save money using a tower fan
One of the top features a tower fan has that will save you money is an auto-sleep function or sleep timer. This simple feature will save you a ton of money, as it will automatically shut off, even if you forget to do so!
Another major way to save money is to use a tower fan instead of using your AC. You can cut your cost to cool your home for every degree upwards your set your thermostat. Instead of setting your AC unit to cool during the hot summer months, try using an oscillating tower fan to distribute the air throughout your house!
Tower fan vs. ceiling fan power consumption
Ceiling fans are a great option if you have them. They use around 50 to 100 watts of energy – but if you don’t own your home, have the electrical knowledge to do it yourself, or have the budget to hire a professional to install them, they can be very expensive for most users.
Ceiling fans use a cooling system to create a “wind chill” that makes you feel less hot. Ceiling fans must be installed or mounted to the ceiling.
Pros and cons of Tower vs. Ceiling fans
Versatility: ceiling fans are mounted, which means they are installed in one room – and stay there. A tower fan can be unplugged and moved to whichever room you prefer.
Energy usage: Ceiling fans use a similar amount of electricity as a tower fan. Ceiling fans that have lights will use more watts and therefore use more energy than a tower fan.
Sleep features: While some ceiling fans have different many features, none are currently manufactured with auto-sleep functions.
Check out this full breakdown on how much electricity your ceiling fan uses.
Tower fan vs. AC power use
Depending on the type of air conditioning you are using, your utility bill may be costing you a pretty penny.
The average central air conditioning unit uses 3,000 watts to 5,000 watts of power. The region of the U.S. you live will determine how often it runs. Other factors include outside temperature changes, humidity levels, and how many hours per day, you run your unit.
Pros and cons of Tower Fans vs. Whole-home AC
Energy usage: Let’s say you use your AC for 3 hours per day, every single. That’s almost $32/month, or $383.3 a year. That is much more than the tower fan’s energy usage! Running a fan like a tower fan is a lot cheaper than using your whole-home AC.
Base Price: A traditional AC unit costs an average of $4,631. Upgraded models will raise that cost, as well as installation and warranties. A base model tower fan will cost around $20 (depending on the season) and offer many additional features.
Versatility: An AC unit will cool your entire home. A tower fan will cool just a single area or room.
Pros and cons of Tower Fans vs. Window AC
Energy usage: A window AC unit, or room air conditioning unit, uses an average of 500 to 1,500 watts of power. A 1,000-watt window unit will cost you $18.25 a month, or $219.02 a year, to run 6 hours a day.
Base price: A window AC unit will run you around $300 for a base model, and more for higher-end units. Base model tower fans average $20 but increase in price for more features.
Versatility: A window AC unit must be mounted in a window to operate properly. A tower can be moved from room to room to suit your needs.
Save money all year long
According to the Energy Information Administration, the average American household spends over $200 a year just to cool their home – for just the summer.
Even putting your tower fan on the highest setting and running it all day and night will use less watts of energy a day than even a one-room AC unit does. In the long run, this will save you a lot of money.
Is a tower fan better than a pedestal fan?
Floor fans use less watts than pedestal fans, but often don’t offer the same features or flexibility that a tower fan does. The average floor fan uses 49 watts on medium.
Pros and cons of Pedestal vs. Tower fans
Energy usage: Pedestal fans have tower fans beat in the energy usage area. The average pedestal fan uses 45 watts to 70 watts, making them extremely cheap to operate.
Base price: Pedestal fans cost around the same as tower fans. High-level pedestal fans come in lower than their tower counterparts, mostly as a trade for other functions.
Versatility: Tower fans and pedestal fans often come with oscillating functions in the base models. However, very few pedestal fans offer auto-off or sleep timers. Also, many tower fans offer ambient room thermostats, which gives the pedestal fan the overall advantage.
Tower fans vs. box fans
Box fans are named after their unique design: a square or rectangle with a central fan. This fixed fan is a low-cost option for someone looking to cool an area.
Pros and cons of Box vs. Tower fans
Energy usage: A classic box fan uses just 55 watts. That means you could run a box fan for 12 hours/day, and it would cost only 8 cents. At a monthly cost of $2.50, a box fan is a more cheaper energy user than the tower fan’s $8/month.
Base price: Tabletop box fans can be found at low prices. An average personal box fan will run around $20 to $40 to buy a base model, which is just like a tower fan.
Versatility: Tower and box fans tie in this category, as they are both very versatile. They are easy to move around and often come with convenient handles. However, tower fans oscillate, which moves air around the whole room. Box fans only blow air in a single direction.
Storage: Box fans takes more space than their vertical counterparts. They are not as quickly storable and require more floor space.
Design: While some box fans can come in different colors or even shapes, they all often look alike – basically a thin outer casing, dominated by the central fan, with some type of cover. Tower fans have many design options – some are even bladeless!
Top tower fan considerations
Some of the best tower fans offer more than just energy savings: they come with cool features like air-cleaning and allergen reduction.
When you’re looking to purchase a tower fan, look for:
- The perfect size for the room you’ll use it in
- Energy-saving or energy-star ratings
- Many controls – as well as a remote control!
- Overall construction material
- Safety ratings
- Power usage/energy usage ratings
Also, you’ll want to consider the fan’s noise level, design, movability, air cleaning options, and bonus features (like ionization or a nightlight!)
How to extend the life of your tower fan
No matter if you have a base model or an upgraded version, you will most likely want to extend the lifespan of your tower fan for as long as possible.
During assembly of your fan, ensure that all screws and filters are securely in place.
While your fan is in use, place it out of reach of kids, pets, or other animals. Make sure it is on a secure surface, and put it away when not in use.
Perform regular dusting of the outside of the tower fan. Depending on your fan’s filters, you may need to change filters monthly or bi-monthly. Tower fans with built-in humidifiers, dehumidifiers, ionizers, HEPA filters, or other air purifying filters may need to be maintained more often.
Check your tower fan frequently for dust or dirt buildup. Use compressed air to remove excess dirt or debris from the fan.