A ceiling fan is usually either an AC or DC, depending on the type of motor used. This AC vs. DC ceiling fan comparison will help you determine which type of fan is right for your need. Among the topics that will be discussed are the fan differences in terms of power consumption, noise, speed, size, price, and so on. To start us off, though, a quick overview of the AC and DC ceiling fan motors

AC Motor Ceiling Fan

An AC motor ceiling fan uses alternating current, which is the same current type that powers nearly every home appliance. That means the motor doesn't need any special system to convert the energy before it goes into the windings, and uses the AC current as it comes from the wall outlet.

DC Motor Ceiling Fan

A DC motor ceiling fan uses direct current, which is generated by a conversion process. This type of motor will require and system that takes the AC current from the mains and converts it into DC current before it enters the windings. This offers several benefits, as you’ll learn below.

 An example of AC motor ceiling fan
An example of AC motor ceiling fan
Resource: https://youtu.be/rAXntYsUjDY

AC Vs. DC Ceiling Fan

AC and DC ceiling fans suit different usage situations. That's because the type of motor used affects several key aspects. These include noise, power consumption, speed options, physical size, price, and ease of control. The differences between an AC vs. DC ceiling fan for each of the mentioned aspects are discussed below.

AC Vs. DC Ceiling Fan: Power Consumption

The amount of electricity consumed by ceiling fans is greatly influenced by the type of motor used. AC motors consume more energy than DC motors, and are less efficient. On average, a DC ceiling fan will use about 70% less electricity than an AC fan of the same size and operating speed.

The lower DC ceiling fan power consumption can translate into significant energy savings over time. This is especially beneficial for users in areas with high electricity prices, or those looking to reduce their environmental footprint.

AC Vs. DC Ceiling Fan: Noise Level

Ceiling fan noise here is used to mean the noise coming from the motor itself, as opposed to the blade noise caused by air turbulence. A DC motor ceiling fan is quieter than that of an AC motor. This is because most modern DC motors have no brushes which would cause friction and produce noise.

A low ceiling fan noise level is especially useful in bedrooms where silence is paramount, offices, and even living rooms. This is where the majority of ceiling fans are used, and where a quiet motor will help create a peaceful atmosphere.

AC Vs. DC Ceiling Fan: Speed Options

AC and DC ceiling fan motors both offer multiple speed settings to allow you adjust the airflow according to your needs. However, a DC motor will usually provide more speed options — up to 6 — compared to only 3 speeds on most AC fans.

More speed settings give you more control over the airflow and, therefore, the overall comfort in a room. This is beneficial when cooling larger rooms, for example, or during fluctuating temperature conditions. It also means you can set the fan to low speed for a quieter experience.

AC Vs. DC Ceiling Fan: Physical Size

One major difference between AC and DC ceiling fans is seen in the physical size of their motors. DC fan motors tend to be smaller and lighter than AC motors.

As such, a DC ceiling fan will usually have a sleeker and more compact design than the bulkier AC type. This is great for smaller rooms and spaces where a large ceiling fan would be too obtrusive.

AC Vs. DC Ceiling Fan: Price

The price of a ceiling fan is largely determined by the motor used. The DC ceiling fan price is usually on the higher side, mostly owing the motor's manufacturing requirements and features.

That being said, the lower energy requirements of a DC fan can help you save money in the long run, as compared to an AC motor. So while DC ceiling fans may initially cost more, they offer better value over time.

AC Vs. DC Ceiling Fan: Control Options

The other notable difference between AC and DC ceiling fans is the number of control options that each type provides. Generally, DC motor ceiling fans offer more advanced control than their AC counterparts.

Examples of these control options when using DC ceiling fans include smartphone apps, remote modules, and even the traditional wall-mountable switches. This makes ceiling fans that use DC motors more convenient to use.

 DC ceiling fan with light
DC ceiling fan with light
Resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQTf2rsVll0

AC or DC Ceiling Fan?

Given their many differences, which between an AC or DC ceiling fan should you opt for? The answer largely depends on your preferences, needs, and budget.

  • If looking to save energy in the long run, a DC ceiling fan is for you.
  • The DC fan is also your best choice when you want a more efficientand quieter option or one that offers better control of your fan's speed settings.
  • If buying on a tighter budget and don't need all of the bells and whistles, an AC ceiling fan is still a great option. It can provide good performance at an affordable price point.

To sum it up, both AC and DC motor ceiling fans can offer great performance. However, when it comes to certain aspects such as noise level, power consumption and control options, the DC fan has an edge over the AC type.


The AC and DC ceiling fan both have their own unique advantages. Depending on your need and budget, you may want to choose the more affordable AC motor ceiling fan, or opt for the more efficient and feature-packed DC motor ceiling fan. Whichever you choose, make sure it has all that you need for a comfortable and pleasant living or other environment.