See how much it costs to run your (or any) tower fan, here. And see the highest, average and lowest wattage, CFM and noise levels of the best selling tower fans.
I recently bought a tower fan. I was in a rush and I don’t think I made the best purchase.
I didn’t have time to dive into energy efficiency, noise and air flow. And I just couldn’t find all the relevant data in one place.
But now, here it is.
I hope you find the data informative and useful. I know I would’ve.
I’ll compare the performance of my new tower fan with the data too (why do I torture myself like this).
FYI – the key performance data is captured from the 40 best selling tower fans on the market. All the data is at the end of the post.
- Tower fan wattage
- How much electricity (kWh) does a tower fan use
- Do tower fans use a lot of electricity?
- Cost to run a tower fan
- Tower fan CFM
- Tower fan vs box fan
- Are tower fans energy efficient?
- Tower fan noise
- Reduce your carbon footprint and running costs
- Tower fan power, size, CFM and noise data
- Final thoughts
Tower fan wattage
Research into the best selling tower fans reveals that tower fan wattage ranges from 6W (for personal tower fans) to 110W, with the average wattage being 56.5W.
The most common tower fan wattage is 54W.
Low wattage tower fan
At 6W, the lowest wattage tower fan recorded was the Honeywell HTF210B Quiet Set Personal Tower Fan.
This 13 inch tower fan won’t cool a whole room – it’s intended for personal use. Running this fan overnight, on a nightstand, can be sufficient for many people.
Larger, room cooling tower fans may be unnecessarily powerful in certain cases. As a result, electricity bills and carbon footprints can be unnecessarily large.
Low wattage tower fans range from 1W to 44W.
High wattage tower fan
At 110W, the highest tower fan wattage in the best selling list was the KopBeau FZ10-19JRA Tower Fan.
This 42 inch tower fan is also one of the loudest, creating approx. 70dB of noise (with the average tower fan noise level being 56.4dB).
In general, devices that create more noise than others tend to be less efficient. More on noise levels below.
High wattage tower fans range from 61W to 110W and above.
Average tower fan wattage
The average tower fan wattage is 56.5W. Most of the best selling tower fans (i.e. 58%) range between 45W to 60W.
31% of the best selling tower fans consume more power than the average 56.5W.
The most common tower fan wattage is 54W.
The average tower fan wattage range is 45W to 60W.
Energy efficient tower fan
The most energy efficient tower fan depends on the use case.
The low wattage personal tower fan noted above can be sufficient for many people. However if you intend to cool a whole room, a more powerful tower fan is required.
Wattage, CFM (i.e. air flow per minute) and noise levels are key energy efficiency factors that must be considered, along with room size of course.
The Lasko Xtra Air 48 in. Oscillating Tower Fan is a standout energy efficient tower fan.
With a 52W manufacturer power rating, the actual power consumption ranges from 42W on low (without oscillation) to 48W on high (while oscillating).
Unfortunately, the CFM and noise levels are not provided by the manufacturer. However, a CFM of 550 was reported by a user. This means that, despite the lower than average power consumption, this tower fan moves an exceptionally high volume of air throughout a room.
More details about this efficient tower fan, including the price, is available on Amazon.
How many watts does a tower fan actually use
Manufacturers list the power rating of tower fans. This rating is the maximum wattage. However, the actual amount of watts consumed is usually lower than the power rating.
How the tower fan is being used also impacts the amount of watts that the device consumes. For example, the speed setting and oscillation impacts the actual power consumption considerably.
Using an energy monitor to record actual watts consumed by multiple tower fans, we can use the average to work out how actual consumption varies depending on usage. Let’s take a look at the highest and lowest actual consumption.
How many watts does a tower fan use on high
The most common tower fans have a 54W max power rating. However, the actual watts consumed on high is expected to be slightly lower.
Research into actual consumption, using energy monitors, shows that you can expect to consume 92% of the power rating on high.
So, for a 54W tower fan, you can expect to actually use 50W on high.
How many watts does a tower fan use on low
After analyzing the actual power consumption from a number of tower fans, you can expect to consume approx. 81% of the manufacturer’s stated max power rating on low.
So, for the common 54W tower fan, you can expect to actually use 44W on low.
How much electricity (kWh) does a tower fan use
When discussing how much electricity devices use, many people and energy providers use kilowatt hours (kWhs).
The wattage is covered in detail above. A simple calculation is required to convert the wattage into kWh. The formula is as follows:
kWh (i.e. Energy) = Watts (i.e. Power) x Hours used (i.e. Time) / 1,000
Let’s convert the wattage noted above and assume 1 hr of usage for simplicity:
How much electricity does a tower fan use per hour
- The most common tower fan uses .054kWh (max)
- Actual highest consumption is expected to be .05kWh
- The average kWh of tower fans is .0565kWh (max)
- Actual max consumption is expected to be .052kWh
- The lowest wattage tower fan in our study uses .006kWh
- The highest wattage tower fan power rating in our study is .11kWh (max)
- The actual consumption is expected to be closer to .10kWh (max)
- The energy efficient tower fan highlighted above uses .052kWh (max)
- Actual consumption expected: .048kWh
Do tower fans use a lot of electricity?
No. Tower fans do not use a lot of electricity compared to other household appliances.
For context, tower fans and standard light bulbs use a similar amount of electricity.
Tower fans use a fraction of the power that household energy guzzlers use. AC units, showers and cookers can easily use 10 times more electricity compared to tower fans.
Tower fans, and fans in general, consume considerably less power than other cooling appliances.
So now we know how much electricity tower fans use. But how much does it cost to run them?
Cost to run a tower fan
Tower fan wattage, duration of use, your cost per kWh and many other factors impact the running costs of tower fans.
Taking some of the key data from the study, along with the average kWh price in the US (i.e. 15 cents), the table below displays the cost to run tower fans at max for various durations.
|Tower Fan||Max Watts||Cost Per Hour (15c per kWh)||Cost Per Night (on 8hrs)||Cost Per Day (on 24hrs)||Cost Per Week (on 24/7)||Cost Per Month (on 24/7 for 31 days)|
|Most Common Wattage||54W||$0.008||$0.065||$0.19||$1.36||$6.03|
On average, the cost to run a tower fan for an hour in the US is less than 1 cent.
The cost to run a tower fan all night is just under 7 cents.
In the US, on average, the cost to run a tower fan all day is 20 cents.
The cost to run the most common wattage tower fan 24/7 for 1 week and 1 month in the US is $1.36 and $6.03 respectively, on average.
But how does the US running costs compare with other countries? Let’s take a look.
|Most Common Wattage (54W)||Average kWh price (USD)||Cost Per Hour||Cost Per Night (on 8hrs)||Cost Per Day (on 24hrs)||Cost Per Week (on 24/7)||Cost Per Month (on 24/7 for 31 days)|
It’s relatively cheap to run a tower fan in the US compared to the countries listed above.
On average, in the UK, it costs over 1 cent per hour to run the most common tower fan wattage (54W). This works out at 11 cents per night / 8 hours, 34 cents per day, $2.36 per week and $10.45 per month if running the tower fan 24/7.
Ireland is the most expensive country in our list to run a tower fan.
But what about you and your specific usage – how much will it cost you to run your tower fan?
To work out your costs, find and then multiply your power consumption (in kWh) by the price you pay per kWh.
Here’s the formula:
Cost to run your tower fan = power consumed (kWh) X your kWh rate
Or instead of doing the calculation yourself, use the calculator below.
Tower fan electricity cost calculator
To work out how much it costs or will cost you to run your tower fan, simply complete the fields below.
Note: the fields are pre-populated with the most common tower fan wattage and the average cost per kWh in the US.
Cost to run my tower fan
I mentioned I bought a tower fan in a hurry. I didn’t have time to research tower fans as much as I would have liked. My carbon footprint and the tower fan running costs would have been main factors in my decision.
Using a power monitor, I’m about to go test my tower fan – a 65W Homedics tower fan. I hope I didn’t make a bad purchase – fingers are firmly crossed.
OK, I’m back…
My tower fan uses 61W at the highest setting and 54W on the lowest setting.
Unfortunately my tower fan consumes more electricity than average, albeit just slightly. It’s on the higher end of average to the lower end of the high consumption range.
So it’s more expensive to run my tower fan compared to the average tower fan. There are ways to reduce running costs and carbon footprints, which I’ll cover below.
But first, now that we know the specific costs to run tower fans, let’s get some context around the expense.
Are tower fans expensive to run?
No. Tower fans are not expensive to run compared to other household appliances.
Like most household appliances, the running costs can get expensive to run over longer periods of time.
Roughly speaking, tower fans and standard light bulbs have similar running costs.
For a full month of 24/7 use, it’s nearly as expensive to run the average top freezer refrigerator.
For further context, it costs a similar amount to run a heater for 1 hour as it does to run a tower fan for 24 hours.
But how do tower fans compare with box fans? To find out, we need to consider tower fan CFM.
Tower fan CFM
Tower fan CFM is the measurement of how much air (cubic feet per minute) tower fans can move.
Research into the best selling tower fans reveal that the reported average CFM is 335. The highest CFM was 607, with the lowest being 110.
The tower fan with the highest reported CFM is the Lasko 2559 42” Tower Fan.
It’s worth noting that accurate CFM data is virtually impossible to find due to a variety of measurement factors that are not standardized (distance from tower fan, different recording devices, etc.). In many cases there is no like-with-like comparison. But the data available should still be a useful guide.
Tower fan vs box fan
The table below compares the average 20 inch box fan running costs with the average tower fan running costs, over various periods of time.
|Fan Type||Cost P/H (15c kWh)||Cost 8hrs||Cost 24hrs||Cost P/W (on 24/7)||Cost P/M (on 24/7/31)|
|Tower Fan Average (56.5W)||$0.008||$0.068||$0.20||$1.42||$6.31|
|20″ Box Fan Average (86.5W)||$0.013||$0.104||$0.31||$2.18||$9.65|
It’s cheaper to run the average tower fan compared to the average 20 inch box fan.
There’s a difference of 39% in the running cost per hour.
In other words, at $0.008 p/h the tower fan’s running cost is 61% of the box fan’s $0.013 p/h.
However, that’s just the power and running costs. What about effectiveness?
Do tower fans move more air compared to box fans?
The average CFM recorded in the box fan study was 1,750. This is considerably higher than the average recorded for tower fans, at just 335. That’s an 81% difference.
To put it another way, at 335, the average tower fan CFM is just 19% of the box fan’s 1,750 CFM average .
So, on average tower fans use less power than box fans but are considerably less effective at moving air.
Overall, on average, box fans are more efficient than tower fans despite them consuming more electricity. This is because they are more effective, per watt, at moving air.
But how about ceiling fans? See how tower fans match up against ceiling fans here.
Related post: Fan Wattage, Efficiency And Cost To Run [Fan Types Compared].
Are tower fans energy efficient?
Tower fans are energy efficient compared to other cooling devices, particularly AC units. However, tower fans are less energy efficient compared to other types of fans.
Despite tower fans having lower power consumption on average compared to other fan types, their lower average CFM means that they’re not as effective per watt at moving air.
So, overall, tower fans are energy efficient but other types of fans are even more energy efficient.
Tower fan noise
A common concern for people is tower fan noise. I had this concern when in a hurry to buy my tower fan and unfortunately I couldn’t find sufficient data.
When doing research into the energy efficiency of tower fans, I recorded the decibel levels too. These are listed in the tables below, but to summarise:
The average noise level of the best selling tower fans is 56.4dB at the highest setting. This reduces to as little as 42dB at the lowest setting, on average.
The loudest tower fan came in at 91dB at its highest speed, dropping to 57dB at the lowest setting.
The quietest tower fan was the Comfort Zone 29 in. Oscillating Tower Fan, which had a noise level of just 39dB at its max setting.
But reading a list of decibels doesn’t tell you if noise levels are loud or quiet, so let’s add some more context by comparing the noise levels with other devices that you might be more familiar with.
Are tower fans quiet?
In general tower fans are not quiet. They can be literally as loud as trucks (90dB). Most tower fans will be quiet enough for daytime use but will likely impair sleep if using overnight in a bedroom. However, some tower fans are as quiet as a soft whisper (30dB).
The range of decibels that I would consider loud at night is anything over 40dB (equivalent to the sound in a library) – maybe I’m just a light sleeper.
The average noise level range of tower fans is 42dB to 56.4dB.
This is equivalent to the sound levels of a quiet residential area (40dB) to a normal conversation (60dB).
Air conditioners decibel levels range from 50dB to 75dB, while a refrigerator comes in at 50dB.
The extremes of the best selling tower fan noise levels go from a low of 39dB to as high as 91dB. This means that tower fans can sound as quiet as a soft whisper (30dB) to as loud as a truck (90dB).
The average noise from table fans is 46dB. This is on the lower end of the average noise level for tower fans, which indicates that tower fans are louder than table fans.
For further context, see if tower fans are quieter than other household appliances and common sounds by comparing decibels with data on noiseawareness.org.
With the lowest decibel level (39dB) at the max setting, the research shows that the best tower fan for sleeping is the Comfort Zone 29 in. Oscillating Tower Fan (model no. CZTF329WT).
Reduce your carbon footprint and running costs
While tower fans are not energy guzzlers, it’s always good to keep your costs and carbon footprint low.
I’ve listed 6 simple ways to do this for box fans, which are all very relevant here. From reducing speed, changing behavior and changing your electricity plan, check out the tips here.
But there is one more consideration I’d like to add. If you’re only considering using a tower fan for cooling / air movement, consider choosing a box fan. They do consume slightly more power but, per watt, they are significantly better at moving air.
At lower speed, and therefore lower power consumption, box fans can still cool a room more effectively than tower fans.
Tower fan power, size, CFM and noise data
Here’s the most relevant tower fan data. I’ve listed Amazon’s and Home Depot’s best selling tower fans below, arranged from low to high wattage.
For convenience, I populated the CFM and noise levels where possible. Unfortuanetly manufacturers don’t make all this data public, so I had to use customer reviews in some cases.
|Tower Fan||Wattage (Max)||Size (inches)||CFM||Noise (dB)|
|Honeywell HTF210B Quiet Set Personal Tower Fan||6||13||Not available||Not available|
|Dr. Prepare Oscillating Tower Desk Fan||16||12||Not available||Not available|
|Honeywell QuietSet Whole Room Tower Fan||29||32||110||41|
|Amazon Basics Digital Oscillating 3 Speed Tower Fan||35||36||Not available||Not available|
|Lasko 2511 36” Oscillating 3-Speed Tower Fan||36||36||239||46|
|Lasko 32 in. Oscillating Tower Fan with Remote||37||32||Not available||Not available|
|Toshiba 42 in. Oscillating Tower Fan with Remote||40||42||180||62|
|Comfort Zone 29 in. White Oscillating Tower Fan with Centrifugal Blades||40||29||127||39|
|Holmes Oscillating Tower Fan||40||31||Not available||Not available|
|Dreo 42″ Tower Fan||45||42||Not available||48|
|2021 PELONIS Oscillating Tower Fan||45||42||Not available||Not available|
|Lasko Space-Saving Pedestal Tower Fan||47||52||Not available||Not available|
|Lasko 38 in. 3 Speed Black Oscillating Tower Fan with Timer and Multi-Function Remote||48||38||239||Not available|
|Vornado 143 Whole Room 29 in. Tower Circulator Fan||48||29||263||56|
|PELONIS Oscillating Tower Fan||48||40||Not available||46|
|Lasko 42 in. Electronic Oscillating 3-Speed Tower Fan with Remote Control and Fresh-Air Ionizer||49||42||607||Not available|
|Dreo 90° Oscillating Tower Fan||50||40||Not available||49|
|Lasko Xtra Air 48 in. Oscillating Tower Fan with Nighttime Setting and Remote Control||52||48||550||Not available|
|Lasko Wind Curve 42 in. 3-Speed Oscillating Tower Fan with Fresh Air Ionizer and Remote Control||54||42||262||55|
|Ozeri Ultra 42 in. Wind Fan Adjustable Oscillating Tower Fan with Noise Reduction Technology||54||42||500||50|
|Lasko Wind Curve T42950 Tower Fan||54||42||238||Not available|
|Lasko Wind Curve Portable Electric 42″ Oscillating Tower Fan||54||42||262||55|
|Lasko Portable Electric 42″ Oscillating Tower Fan||55||42||262||62|
|Lasko 36 in. Bladeless Tower Fan||65||36||180||Not available|
|Vornado 41 in. Full-Size Whole Room V-Flow Tower Circulator||82||41||410||50|
|Lasko Hybrid 38 in. 4 Speed Oscillating White Tower Fan with Auto Shut-Off Timer and Remote Control||82||38||250||Not available|
|Lasko 42 in. 4-Speed Outdoor Living Tower Fan||90||42||276||91|
|Ozeri 3x Tower Fan (44 in.) with Passive Noise Reduction Technology||90||44||500||55|
|Lasko YF202 Oscillating Tower Fan||90||42||276||91|
|Lasko High Velocity 35 in. 3 Speed Gray Oscillating Tower Fan with Auto Shut-Off Timer and Remote Control||95||35||509||Not available|
|Lasko U35115 Oscillating Tower Fan||95||35||509||Not available|
|GENESIS 43 in. Oscillating Digital Tower Fan with Remote and Max Cool Technology, White||100||43||500||50|
|KopBeau Tower Fan||110||42||Not available||70|
|Ozeri Ultra 42 Oscillating Tower Fan with Bluetooth and Noise Reduction Technology||Not available||42||536||Not available|
|KopBeau Oscillating Tower Fan||Not available||30||Not available||Not available|
|Aikoper Tower Fan||Not available||46||Not available||Not available|
|yosager Tower Fan||Not available||28||Not available||Not available|
I came across some frequently asked questions during my research, which I’ve listed and answered below.
– Can you leave a tower fan on overnight?
Yes. Tower fans can be left to run overnight.
On average, the cost to run a tower fan overnight will be just under 7 cents (USD).
Some tower fans can make it difficult to sleep due to the noise levels produced. However, there are many options that are only as loud as a soft whisper (30dB).
A light sleeper should be comfortable with 40dB or below (equivalent to a quiet neighborhood). Check out the table above for the various decibel levels of tower fans.
– Dyson tower fan wattage
Dyson tower fan wattage ranges from 26W (max) for their smaller devices to 56W (max) for their larger cooling fans.
The actual watts consumed ranges from as little as 2W on the lowest setting of smaller fans to just under 56W on the max setting on larger fans.
Please note that this is only for their cooling tower fans. They have multipurpose tower fans and heaters that are in the tower fan style. Tower fans with heating elements use considerably more watts.
Check out the cost to run electric heaters here.
– Honeywell Tower Fan Wattage
Honeywell has various tower fan options, with max wattages ranging from as low as 6W to 29W, 34W, 40W, 42W and higher.
Honeywell tower fan wattage is typically lower compared to their competition.
– Lasko Tower Fan Wattage
Lasko tower fans feature most in the best selling list. Their tower fan wattage in the list ranges from 36W to 95W.
The average Lasko tower fan wattage is 62W.
The Lasko tower fan with the lowest wattage in the best selling list is the Lasko 2511 36” Oscillating 3-Speed Tower Fan.
Tower fans are a great option for energy efficient cooling, but box fans are actually better.
In my hurry, I didn’t make the best choice of tower fan for me. But I will be using the energy saving tips to reduce my carbon footprint from tower fan usage.
I hope you found this research useful. I know I would have.
If you’re interested, check out these other relevant posts:
- Ceiling fan power, efficiency & CFM [195 fans compared + results] – don’t miss the section “Ceiling Fan vs Tower Fan“
- Table fan wattage & running costs
- Box fan wattage revealed [data + most efficient box fan]
- Fan Wattage, Efficiency And Cost To Run [Fan Types Compared]