How much does it cost to run a fan?

Find out how much it costs to run a fan in the UK, including if you are running yours all night

Dyson Cool Tower Fan
(Image credit: Dyson)

Want to know how much it costs to run a fan? Most of us in the UK use fans to cool down our homes during hot weather; whole-house air conditioning is uncommon in our homes, so most of us rely on portable options. But is your fan racking up your energy bill, especially if you're keeping it on all day and/or all night?

The best fans will be quite energy-efficient, but if you have ours on constantly, no matter its model and make, it's a good idea to work out an estimate of how much it's costing you. We've asked energy and appliance experts to explain how much running an average fan will cost.

How much does it cost to run a fan in the UK?

There is a number of variables with running fans and you'll need to factor these in when working out the cost of running your particular fan. It's a good idea to find your energy bill (if you haven't already) and your fan instruction manual or product description. These documents will give you the numbers you need to work out your running cost correctly. Business comparison experts Bionic (opens in new tab) have some key tips on calculating how much your fan is costing to run:

1. Find out how much energy your fan uses per hour

Your fan should have its wattage printed on it or in the instruction pamphlet. Once you have the wattage, divide it by 1000 to convert it to kilowatt-hours. This is how much energy the appliance uses per hour.

2. Find out how much you pay for energy

Check your energy bill to find out how much you are currently paying for 1kw of energy. Bear in mind that this figure may have risen recently. Every energy provider will clearly state the price they're charging you per kilowatt of electricity on the bills you receive. 

Top tip: Note that if you are on a default tariff you are subject to the current price cap and you cannot be charged more than 28p per kWh.

3. Calculate how much your fan is costing to run

Once you have calculated the kilowatt-hours and know your energy rate you can work out how much your fan costs to run for the amount of time you prefer to use it.

Example: if you have a 50-watt fan, divide 50 by 1000 to convert to kilowatt-hours, giving you 0.05. If you want to use the fan overnight and set it for 10 hours, multiply 0.05 by 10 to get 0.5kW. Your fan will use 0.5kW in those 10 hours. 

If your energy costs 30p per kWh, multiply 0.5 by 30 and you will have the cost to run the fan, which is 15p for 10 hours.

Here's your final formula for working out the cost of running a fan: Cost= power (kilowatt) x time (hours) x cost of 1kWh.

How much does it cost to run a fan all night?

With energy prices rising steeply, running a typical 70-kilowatt fan all night long (12 hours) will set you back around 24p, according to uSwitch. This can quickly add up to your overall bill. If you can create airflow in your house or flat by opening as many windows as possible rather than running a fan, you should try and do that instead. Hanging a wet towel or bedsheet over your window can also help cool down a room.

Top energy-saving tips for running a fan

The cost of running a fan will never be that high, but if you want to reduce your overall energy comparison, there are a few things you can do to reduce how much you'll be paying for your fan use.  Love Energy Savings (opens in new tab), a business utilities and price comparison retailer, has the following tips:

  • Always shut off an appliance when not in use. It's a myth that it's better not to keep turning an appliance on and off. You only pay for when your fan is on.
  • Go for an energy-efficient fan model (can be bought on Amazon) (opens in new tab)
  • 'If you really need a fan to stay cool at night make sure you're taking advantage of an off-peak electricity Tariff.  This can half the cost of electricity at night, meaning sleeping with the average fan on could cost as little as 20p for 10 hours.'
  • 'Leaving windows open and using a cooling duvet (opens in new tab) are good cost-effective alternatives of keeping cool.'

Keep cool, and stay hydrated!

Anna is Content Editor at Real Homes. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. At Real Homes, she covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design. 

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