How Many Watts Does A Tower Fan Use?

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.

In this article, you’ll find out how many watts and energy a tower fan uses – and more!

Fast facts: how much electricity does a tower fan use?

what is the electricity consumption of a tower fan

Tower fans are considered energy efficient because they use less energy than some other types of fans. They’re also much more energy-efficient than air conditioners.

In terms of energy usage per hour, tower fan power use is low: at just .135 kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 24 hours of continuous use, they’re energy-efficient. Most tower fans use somewhere around 15 watts on low to under 50 or 60 watts on high.

Even on the highest setting, an average tower fan only uses 65 watts compared to the average window AC unit uses about 500 more watts (0.500 kilowatts per hour).

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 60 watts costs around $.0078 per hour.

Let’s say you use your tower fan for 12 hours a day. Based on this and an average price of $.1312 per kilowatt-hour electricity cost, that would be:

Tower fan energy use cost table

Tower fan use (12 hours/day) Cost
1 day $.094
1 month $2.82
1 year $34.31

Most people 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, large: 1,440 watts
  • Window AC unit, medium: 900 watts
  • Window AC unit, small: 500 watts

How many amps does a tower fan use?

how many amps does a tower fan use

Let’s take some typical measurements for a tower fan and we can use that to figure out the electrical used in amperes (amps). We’ll use an example Honeywell tower fan and pick 3 of the 5 or so available speeds along with the measured power use.

Tower fan amps used table

Tower fan speed/watts Amps used
Low/17W 0.14
Med./24W 0.2
High/25.6W 0.21

Using a “worst case” example (for example, a tower fan that uses more power on high speed than most), we’d get something like this:

  • Tower fan amps at 50W: 0.42 A
  • Tower fan amps at 60W: 0.5 A

As you can see, tower fans have a lower amp draw than many other appliances.

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!
  • Use your tower fan instead of your AC at night while sleeping since they’re especially great for low-noise cooling near your bed.

Tower fan vs. ceiling fan power use

tower fan vs ceiling fan power use comparison

Ceiling fans are a great option if you have them. They use around 50 to 100 watts of energy at the highest speed. However, 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 to install for many people.

Ceiling fans use a cooling system to create a “wind chill” (convection cooling) 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 as well as aimed directly at you if you like.
  • Energy usage: Ceiling fans use a fairly close amount of electricity as tower fans except for lower speeds. 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 of how much electricity your ceiling fan uses.

Tower fan vs. AC power use

comparison with pros and cons tower fan vs air conditioner

Depending on the type of air conditioning you’re using your utility bill may be costing you quite a bit of money.

The average central air conditioning unit uses 3,000 watts to 5,000 watts of power. The region of the U.S. you live in 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. central AC

  • Energy use: Let’s say you use your AC for 3 hours per day, every day. That’s almost $32/month, or $383.3 a year. That’s a lot more than a tower fan’s energy usage! Using tower fans – even several at a time – is much more energy efficient.
  • 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 while a tower fan will cool just a single area or room.

Pros and cons of tower fans vs. window air conditioners

  • 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. A good tower fan costs between $40 to $89 including convenient features.
  • Versatility: A window AC unit has to be installed in a window to operate properly. On the other hand, tower fans can be moved from room to room to suit your needs any time you like.

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?

is a tower fan better than a pedestal fan

Floor (pedestal) fans use can be more powerful but use more watts and often don’t offer the same features or flexibility that a tower fan does. The average floor fan uses 49 watts on medium, for example; that’s higher than most tower fans.

Pros and cons of pedestal vs. tower fans

  • Energy use: Pedestal fans tend to use more power than a typical tower fan. The average pedestal fan uses 45 watts to 70 watts while a tower fan tends to be around 15 to 60W.
  • 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 them an overall advantage.
  • Noise level: pedestal fans can be noisy especially on the highest setting while tower fans typically are quieter.

Tower fans vs. box fans

pros and cons of tower fan and box fan

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 use: A classic box fan uses around 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 close to the same as a tower fan so there’s no real advantage there.
  • 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’re both fairly versatile. They’re both 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. On the other hand, box fans can fit into a window which is impossible for a tower fan.
  • Storage: Box fans take more space than their vertical counterparts. They’re not as quickly storable and require more floor space, making them less convenient.
  • 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 and look better in your home or apartment.
  • White noise: if you’re a fan of white noise for blocking out unwanted sounds or for sleep box fans are great. While it’s true that towers fans do produce white noise, it’s not as strong as a box fan offers.

How to extend the life of your tower fan

how to extend the life of your tower fan

No matter if you have a base model or an upgraded version, you’ll most likely want to extend the lifespan of your tower fan for as long as possible.

  • 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.
  • Fans run used continuously at speeds below the top (highest) speed will have more life expectancy. Unless it’s really necessary, run your fan at the highest speed you actually need in order to feel comfortable and cool rather than the maximum speed possible.
James Marshall

About the author

James is a business management professional and consultant with a former background in maintenance, repair, and hands-on projects. He enjoys DIY tasks and maintenance around the home as well as part-time writing. Read more »