Do Box Fans Use A Lot of Electricity?

On hot days, beating the summer heat can result in your electricity costs skyrocketing – thanks to constant air conditioning to cool down your space. How about using a box fan instead? 

Thanks to adequate ventilation, a well-placed box fan can be an excellent yet inexpensive alternative.


When compared to an air-conditioner, box fan power consumption is much lower. In fact, they are extremely inexpensive. 

If a medium size box fan runs all day, every day, it would approximately set you back a little over $8 every month in running costs. However, this appliance comes in different sizes, with the fan speed, box fan model, and wattage all impacting how much electricity they consume.

Read on to learn how much energy you need to run a box fan on average per month and tips to lower your electricity bill when using one.

On Average, How Much Does It Cost to Run A Box Fan for A Month?

Box fans are portable, space-efficient, and inexpensive. You can use one for ventilation and filtration. Moreover, this home appliance works excellent with a portable air conditioner to cool down your house without costing a fortune.

However, each box fan is different. Understandably, smaller box fans have much less power consumption than larger box fans. Your electricity costs also play a vital role in how much you will be paying to run a box fan per hour.  According to Statista, in December 2020, the average electricity price in the United States is 15 cents per kilowatt-hour. To understand how much electricity any box fan consumes, you need to know the electricity cost of your particular area.

For an average-sized box fan with an energy consumption of around 75W, the average running cost for 8 hours a day is $0.088 at 11 cents per hour in the US. Running the similar-sized box fans for 24 hours will cost $0.26. Assuming you run the appliance 24/7 for the entire month, it will cost you somewhere around $8.15.

At low and medium speed, the energy consumption is even lower, allowing you to save money. Thus, these calculations can differ due to different speeds, power rating, the electricity cost per kilowatt-hour, and hourly usage.

What Role Does Size Play?

To understand how box fan sizes dictate how much electricity is used, understand this: a small box fan usually consumes 27W power consumption per hour, whereas a larger box fan ( close or bigger than 20-inch) typically uses 100W of power per hour.

Using the average energy cost in the US, you can calculate any box fan’s electricity consumption based on usage and wattage. So naturally, a box fan using 100W of power per hour will cost more than the one using 27W power per hour.

Does A 20-Inch Box Fan Use A Lot of Electricity?

We have already talked about how size affects energy consumption for box fans. So, if you were to buy a 20-inch box fan, you may want to know how much electricity it will use on various speed settings and if it is a better investment than a small box fan.

Keeping in mind the 15 cents per kilowatt-hour electricity rate in the US, an average 20-inch box fan will draw 86W power, with a $0.013 cost to run per hour. If you only use such a box fan overnight (for 8 hours every day), then the running costs are $0.104 per day. However, if you use a box fan at average power for 24 hours a day for the month, it will cost you $9.65.

On the other hand, the most efficient 20-inch box fans have low power consumption in comparison, costing only $5.91 to run 24/7 for a month. However, at the most common power rating of 100W, the same-sized box fan will have a running cost of $0.015 per hour. 

Running a 100W box fan for 8 hours will set you back by $0.12 and $0.36 for 24 hours. Thus, using a 20-inch 100W box all the time for a month (24/7/31), you will need to pay $11.16 approximately.

How many watts a fan uses drastically changes the amount you pay in electrical costs. For example, in the average expenses mentioned above, a 100W 20-inch box fan costs almost twice as much as the most efficient 20-inch box fan at 53W.

Calculating Electrical Costs for All Types of Box Fans


To calculate how much power and money is needed to run any box fan, you must apply a straightforward formula. Multiply the power usage and the electricity rate (both in kWh), and you will know your cost to run a box fan.

Read below as we explain step-by-step how you can work out the running cost of any box fan.

Box Fan Wattage

You need to determine your box fan wattage, which you can find on the appliance or its box. Alternatively, you may need to dig into the appliance manual or check the fan model on the manufacturer’s website.

Even though you will find the device’s wattage by one of the methods mentioned above, you can also calculate it by multiplying amperes by volts. The product needs to be further multiplied by the power factor for an AC circuit.

Electrical Costs Per kWh

The next step is finding the electrical costs per kWh. You can find the price on your bill or log onto your energy provider’s site to see how much you pay. Please note that the rate for one kWh is usually mentioned as the unit rate on the bill.

In the US, the average unit rate is 15 cents.

Total Power Consumption and Electricity Costs

To determine the power consumption in kWh, multiply the fan wattage with the number of active hours at full speed. Once you get the product, divide it by 1000 to convert it to kWh. 

For example, a 100W box fan used for 5 hours will consume 500Wh of power. Multiplying this with 1000 will give you the power consumption in kWh at 0.5kWh.

To determine the electrical cost a 100w box fan uses, multiply 0.5 kWh with the electrical unit rate. Here we are using the average US kWh cost of 15 cents. 0.5 kWh x $0.15 = $0.075. Thus, you need to pay $0.075 when using a 100W box fan for 5 hours every day.

3 Ways to Further Reduce Box Fan Running Costs


Box fans are just as helpful in beating the heat as tower fans, air conditioners, or ceiling fans. Primarily, when used in combination with other cooling appliances like air conditioners, they work exceptionally well to extract hot air out of your house and provide it with much-needed ventilation and cool air.

Like ceiling fans, box fans are quite economical compared to an air conditioner. However, you can bring the electrical costs down even further by using these tricks.

1. Low-Speed Usage

Research backs that box fans use lower power ratings at lower speed settings, thus lowering the running costs.

2. Cut Down the Hours

Another simple trick is to use the fan less. While box fans are economical, constant use for extended hours can put a dent in your wallet. Setting a timer or switching the fan off when not in the room can help you save money.

3. Switch Your Electricity Provider

Another way of saving money on running costs is to switch to a different energy provider that may offer cheaper rates. Moreover, you can also look for discount options for off-peak hours if you mainly run the fan at night.

And, there you have it! A box fan does not consume too much electricity. Using the information in this article, you can easily find out how much you can expect to pay for any such appliance.

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