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How Many Watts Does a Box Fan Use? Do They Consume Lots of Power?

Electric Box Fan

Box fans vary in wattage, but most use around 60 to 85 watts. While this may seem like a lot of power, it’s actually relatively low consumption when you compare it to other appliances.

For example, a standard lightbulb uses around 60 watts. So while box fans do use power, they’re not particularly high consumers.

Let’s take a look at what we know about box fans and how much energy they consume, as well as some tips for using them more efficiently. We will also provide you with a comparison of various household devices, so you can see where box fans rank in terms of power consumption.

solar power divider

How Much Power Does a 20-Inch Box Fan Use?

The most common size of box fan is 20 inches. While different brands and models of box fans may consume a lot more or less electricity, on average, a 20-inch box fan will consume about 86.5 watts of energy per hour. But that’s when running it at its fastest setting.

On a 20-inch fan’s slowest setting, it will use only around 56 watts. And on the same fan’s medium speed setting, it will consume about 70 watts of electricity.

That means if you run a 20-inch fan on its fastest setting for 12 hours a day, it will consume 1,038 watts of electricity per day. If you run it for 24 hours a day, it will consume 2,076 watts of electricity per day. A small difference, but an important one to keep in mind.

It’s interesting to point out that the size of a fan’s blades makes little difference in the wattage consumed. A small ceiling fan, for example, uses about 54 watts on its fastest setting. Yet a larger ceiling fan uses 58 watts on the same setting.

square electric fan box
Image Credit: Peshkova, Shutterstock

Do Box Fans Use More Electricity Than AC?

One of the most common questions people ask is whether using a box fan instead of their air conditioning will use more of their electricity. The answer to this question is a resounding, “No.”

In fact, the difference is rather colossal. A box fan consumes approximately 99% less energy than that of an air conditioning unit. And that’s why so many people utilize box fans on hot days in conjunction with air conditioners.

Box fans help circulate the cool air produced by air conditioners, thus minimizing the need for higher and longer AC reliance.

Is It Expensive to Run a Fan All Night?

The average box fan costs just a little over a penny an hour to run. So running a box fan all day and night equates to just a little over $0.25. On average, you can expect to pay between $7.80 and $8.15 a month for non-stop usage.

If you want to save money on your electricity bill, you’ll need to make sure that you turn off your fan when you decide to go to bed. But it’s also important to consider your comfort, as well.

When the temperature climbs, it can make it very difficult to sleep at night. Studies show that we sleep better when it’s cooler. So leaving your fan on all night can make a big difference in your quality—and quantity—of sleep.

Extreme heat and humidity can have negative effects on your health, too. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you keep your fan running when it’s hot outside.

What Uses the Most Electricity in a Home?

The average U.S. home uses about 900 kWh per month of electricity, or about 30 kWh per day. But that doesn’t mean that every appliance in your house uses the same amount of power. In fact, some devices use a whole lot more than others.

By a sizable margin, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) account for the largest electricity consumption in most homes, using about 46% of the total. That’s nearly half of all energy usage in your home!

Thankfully, box fans are low-voltage devices and don’t require nearly as much power to run. So while they are using electricity, they’re not contributing a whole lot to your home’s overall energy consumption. This allows you to ensure greater comfort without greater energy costs.

Before ending this discussion, check out the table below to see how different common household appliances and devices stack up in their wattage use per hour.

HVAC 3,000 watts
Box fan 86.5 watts
Light bulb 60 watts
Phone charger 5 watts
Refrigerator 565 watts
Laptop 60 watts

solar power divider Conclusion

Box fans are an efficient, cost-effective way to keep cool during hot summer days. Not only do they consume minimal electricity, but they are infinitely cheaper than using your AC. So if you’re looking for a way to stay cool without breaking the bank, a box fan is definitely the way to go!

Featured Image Credit: Michael Warwick, Shutterstock


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