An air conditioner will use much less electricity in “Fan” mode than when it is in “Cool” or other modes, but it will not be as effective.
Many air conditioner (AC) owners choose to run their air conditioners on “Fan” mode when temperatures are not extremely warm.
ACs use a lot less electricity when they are run on Fan mode, but there are also other advantages and disadvantages to this mode that you should consider. In Fan mode, your AC works just like a room fan would.
What is “Fan” mode?
Air conditioners of varying shapes and sizes have become a commonplace addition to many homes. However, running an air conditioner continuously for many hours will use a lot of electricity and may even run up your electricity bill for the month.
This is why many people choose to run their air conditioners with just the fan on when it is not so hot that the temperature of the air in the space needs to be lowered significantly.
How much electricity does an AC use in “Fan” mode?
Since the compressor does not need to run when your air conditioner is set to Fan mode, your air conditioner needs to draw much less power in order to run.
Since the power usage, and subsequent high electricity bills, are one of the most common concerns for owners of air conditioners, it can be helpful to know whether this Fan mode really decreases the amount of electricity that your AC uses.
Air conditioners come in different shapes and sizes and so do their energy usages.
AC models can range from smaller, energy-efficient models, such as this GE AHEE06AC Electronic Window Air Conditioner 6000 BTU, which only uses about 535 Watts to operate, to larger units, such as this DeLonghi EX390LVYN Portable Air Conditioner 14000 BTU, which uses up to 1345 Watts to operate.
There are also larger central air systems that can use an even larger amount of electricity to run.
When these air conditioners operate in the Fan mode, they can use as little as 40 to 150 Watts to operate. This is only about 10 percent of the air conditioner’s power usage in cool mode, and it can end up costing you a lot less on your monthly electricity bill.
If you want a more accurate wattage for your specific air conditioner model, it is best to use a watt meter to measure your AC’s energy usage on “Fan” mode versus “Cool” mode.
However, it is important to remember that there are advantages and disadvantages to using your AC in Fan mode and that this drop in electricity consumption comes with a drop in efficiency.
Since there is no actual air cooling happening when the air conditioner is on “Fan” mode, it is worthwhile to compare this energy usage with that of room fans, since the functionality is so similar.
The advantages of running your AC on “Fan” mode
The biggest advantage of the Fan mode on AC models is the significantly reduced electricity consumption and consequent cost.
However, since your compressor, refrigerant, and coils do not need to run when the AC is only in fan mode, it means that your AC does not need to work as hard as it would on Cool mode.
This means that your components will take less wear and tear and that your air conditioner as a whole should last longer than it would if you were running it on the cool mode for many hours a day.
The disadvantages of running your AC on “Fan” mode
The disadvantage of running your AC on Fan mode is that the internal fan in your air conditioner can only move air around.
This may make you feel cooler, but it will not actually lower the temperature of your space in the way that you are used to with the air conditioner.
Although most air conditioner models have different fan speed settings, this will still not give you the same amount of control as choosing the temperature on the cool or other modes would.
Considering room fan electricity usage
If low electricity usage is your main concern, it may be helpful to look at the electricity consumption of other low-wattage room fans, since the function of your AC in fan mode is similar to that of a regular room fan’s, as shown in the examples below:
|Room fan||Where to buy||Price||Electricity usage (in Watts)|
|Dreo Nomad One S Alexa Fan||$79.99||42 W|
|Amazon Basics Oscillating Dual Blade Standing Pedestal Fan||$65.69||55 W|
|Vornado 660 Large Whole Room Air Circulator Fan||$99.99||56 W|
This electricity usage is also less than an AC’s on Cool mode.