Ceiling Fans: Energy Efficiency?

I have a ceiling fan, probably about 25 years old. The question arises whether it would be economically desirable to replace it with a more energy efficient model.

But I have no clue as to how much electricity the fan is using (probably about 40 inches across). Likewise I have no idea how much more energy efficient new fans are over old ones.

Anyone have any rough numbers?


It varies a lot. Your typical fan these days is probably somewhere in the same range of maybe 40 to 100 watts or so, depending on its design. So about the same amount of energy as an old fashioned incandescent light bulb.

A 25 year old fan probably isn’t all that inefficient. It would probably take you a long time to recoup the costs of a new fan just from an efficiency improvement point of view. You’d see a much better return on your investment if the fan was from maybe somewhere around 1970 or earlier.

I think ceiling fans, with their compact, low-speed, low-power motors, have probably been at high efficiencies since at least the 1940s. Such a motor is easy to streamline for efficient operation, and the necessities of long life and quiet operation would drive efficiency even though no one then cared about watt-hours.

It’s motors that have to be smaller, run faster, put out more starting and continuous torque etc. that benefit from newer tech and engineering. I concur; if the fan works, replacing it for efficiency is likely to be a waste of money.