How much does it cost to run a fan?

When the UK has a short-lived heatwave, the fans come out. Most homes don’t come built with air conditioning, which means in the summer we heavily rely on fans to cool us down. 

The energy market is looking better than it did this time last year, as more fixed energy tariffs are coming back, so households can switch to a new deal

But energy costs are still high and a concern for households, so it’s worth knowing how much energy a fan uses.

How much does it cost to run a fan?

Vintage fan and small plant against plain background - how much does it cost to run a fan calculations article

There is no set price on how much it costs to run a fan, as it depends on the type of fan you own, how long you use it for and how much power it uses. 

Here’s a rough guide you can use based on our calculations using the January price cap electricity rate of 29p per kWh.

Device Power Cost per hour Cost per 24 hours
Desktop fan 35W 1.01p 24p
Pedestal fan 50W 1.45p 35p

A desktop fan is the cheapest to use, costing around 1p per hour. A pedestal fan uses around 50 watts and costs only slightly more to run

Gary Caffell, Editor in Chief of Look After My Bills, says, “While much of the UK enjoys a late summer heatwave, it’s good to know turning on an electric fan to keep cool won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

“With energy prices still high, it’s natural many are wondering how much it’d cost. Luckily, our research shows using your electric fan will only add a minimal amount to your energy bill.”

How can I cut the cost of keeping cool?

portrait of a dog on the sofa enjoying the air from the fan

The good news is, you can opt for a fan and reduce your energy consumption even further.

Ben Gallizzi, energy expert at Uswitch said: “You could cut the cost of running a fan by making sure you are using it as efficiently as possible. Some models come with an ‘eco’ setting, which means they lose less power and cost less to run.” 

Some fans also allow you to set a timer, so if you’re using the fan whilst you’re sleeping, you don’t have to run it all night. 

“You should also make sure the fan is free of obstructions and not dusty, as this could cause the fan to work harder than it needs to,” Ben adds. 

Joanna O’Loan, Knowledge Manager at Energy Saving Trust, said: “Small, zero-cost actions can help prevent rooms from getting too hot, such as opening windows when the air outside is cooler and closing curtains to block direct sunlight.”