During summer months, running air conditioning units is a common way to stay comfortable. However, many homeowners are curious if they can save energy and money by running their AC fan only. The answer? It depends. In this informative article, we’ll break down the factors that determine if it’s cheaper to run your AC fan without the rest of the system and help you determine if it’s a feasible solution for your home. So sit back, get comfortable, and let’s explore whether running your AC fan alone can save you money!

1. Introduction: Understanding the Role of the AC Fan in Your Cooling System

When it comes to cooling your home, the AC fan plays a crucial role in circulating the air and keeping the temperature comfortable. The AC fan works in conjunction with the compressor to cool your home, but it can also be used independently to circulate air and provide a refreshing breeze.

The AC fan is responsible for moving the cool air around the room, dispersing it evenly and ensuring that every corner of the room is comfortable. It also helps to reduce humidity by circulating the air and removing excess moisture.

While the compressor is responsible for cooling the air, the AC fan is crucial for keeping it circulating. Without the AC fan, the cool air would quickly become stagnant, leading to discomfort and increased energy usage.

In this article, we will explore the question of whether it is cheaper to run the AC fan only, as well as the factors affecting the cost and the best ways to save money while using the AC fan. By gaining a better understanding of the role of the AC fan in your cooling system, you can make informed decisions about how to keep your home comfortable and efficient.

2. AC Fan vs. Compressor: Which Consumes More Energy?

Understanding the energy consumption of your cooling system is essential in managing your energy bill. When it comes to the AC system, there are two major components that consume energy: the fan and the compressor.

The AC Fan’s Energy Consumption

The AC fan only blows the air circulating within the room, and it doesn’t chill the air. This means that the fan consumes less energy compared to the compressor. The fan motor consumes around 500 watts of electricity per hour, and the blower motor consumes about 200 watts per hour. Combined, the AC fan consumes around 700 watts of electricity.

When you run only the AC fan, the air doesn’t get cooled down, and it only circulates the warm air within the room. However, running the fan can also help reduce indoor humidity, making it feel cooler than it actually is.

The Compressor’s Energy Consumption

The compressor is the heart of your AC system, which cools the air in the refrigerant lines. It consumes the most energy, especially when you turn down the temperature setting. The compressor consumes around 3000 to 5000 watts of electricity per hour, depending on the size of your AC unit and the outdoor temperature.

Running only the compressor will chill the air inside your house, but it won’t circulate the air. This can lead to areas of the house remaining hot or cold, leaving you with a less comfortable indoor environment.

Overall, the compressor consumes significantly more energy than the fan.

3. Pros and Cons of Running the AC Fan Only

One option that homeowners often consider when trying to save money on their energy bills is running the AC fan only. However, this decision should not be made without considering the pros and cons.


  • Running the AC fan only consumes significantly less energy than running the compressor, resulting in lower energy bills.
  • By circulating air throughout the home, the AC fan can help eliminate hot and cold spots, which can improve overall comfort levels.
  • Running the AC fan only can help improve air quality by filtering dust and other particles out of the air.


  • While running the AC fan can improve air quality, it can also circulate pollen and other allergens throughout the home, which can trigger allergies for some people.
  • Running the AC fan only can result in increased humidity levels since the compressor is not removing moisture from the air.
  • The AC fan, without the compressor running, may not be able to cool the home to the desired temperature, resulting in reduced comfort levels.

When deciding to run the AC fan only, it’s important to understand both the pros and cons. Homeowners must weigh the benefits of lower energy bills and improved comfort levels against the potential drawbacks of increased humidity levels and potential allergen circulation. Additionally, choosing the right AC fan setting and implementing other energy-saving measures can help homeowners maximize the benefits of running the AC fan only while minimizing the potential drawbacks.

4. Factors Affecting the Cost of Running AC Fan Only

Running the AC fan only may seem like a cost-effective option, but there are several factors that influence the cost of running the fan. Understanding these factors can help you make an informed decision and save money on your energy bills.

1. Fan Speed Setting: The speed of the fan determines the amount of electricity it consumes. Running the fan at a higher speed setting can consume more energy compared to a low or medium-speed setting. Therefore, choosing the appropriate fan speed can save you money on electricity bills.

2. Room Size and Indoor Temperature: The size and temperature of the room also affects the cost of running the fan. If you have a large room or a high indoor temperature, the fan has to work harder to circulate cool air, which will consume more electricity and increase your energy bill.

3. Frequency of Use: The more you use the AC fan, the greater the impact it has on your energy bills. If you use the fan frequently, it is advisable to keep track of your energy consumption and adjust your usage accordingly.

4. Type of Fan Motor: The type of fan motor also affects the energy consumption of the AC fan. Older models with standard motors tend to consume more energy than newer models with energy-efficient motors. Therefore, upgrading to energy-efficient models can help reduce your energy bills.

By considering these factors, you can choose the most cost-effective option when running the AC fan only. Implementing the tips mentioned in this article can help you save money on your energy bills while keeping your home cool and comfortable.

5. Tips to Save Money While Running the AC Fan Only

Running the AC fan only can save you money on energy bills. However, there are a few tips you need to follow to optimize your cooling system’s performance and reduce your energy consumption further.

Tip #1: Set Your Thermostat Properly: Your thermostat controls when the AC turns on and off. You should set it at a temperature that is comfortable for you and your family. Typically, setting it at 78 degrees Fahrenheit is an excellent starting point. Keep in mind that the lower the temperature setting, the more energy the system will need to consume.

Tip #2: Keep Your Air Filters Clean: Dirty air filters make it harder for the AC to circulate air. This can lead to the system using more energy than necessary to maintain the desired temperature. Check your air filters at least once a month and replace them if they are dirty.

Tip #3: Close Windows and Doors: The fewer gaps and cracks that allow warm air into your home, the less energy you’ll need to keep your home cool. Before turning on your AC fan, make sure windows and doors are closed and sealed properly.

Tip #4: Use Ceiling Fans: Ceiling fans are an excellent way to boost your AC’s effectiveness. They help circulate cool air throughout the room, so your AC doesn’t have to work as hard. Plus, using ceiling fans instead of air conditioning can save you a significant amount of money on your energy bills.

Tip #5: Schedule Regular Maintenance: Regular maintenance of your AC system is essential to keep it running efficiently and smoothly. A professional technician can clean and lubricate your system’s components, check refrigerant levels, and inspect all parts of the AC to ensure that it is working correctly. Regular maintenance will also prevent your system from breaking down unexpectedly.

By following these tips, you can significantly reduce your energy consumption while still enjoying cool air using your AC fan. Additionally, it is always advisable to consult your HVAC professional for more ways to optimize your cooling system’s performance and save money on your energy bills.

6. How to Choose the Right AC Fan Setting for Your Home

Choosing the right AC fan setting is crucial to maximizing your cooling system’s energy efficiency and lowering your utility costs. Here are some tips to help you determine the best AC fan setting for your home:

Consider your climate zone and humidity levels

In hot and humid climates, it’s best to set your AC fan to “auto” mode, allowing the system to regulate itself based on the cooling demand and humidity levels. On the other hand, if you live in a dry climate, you may want to set the fan to “on” mode to circulate air continuously, preventing hot spots and keeping your home comfortable.

Think about your lifestyle and usage patterns

Your AC fan setting may depend on your lifestyle and how you use your cooling system. For instance, if you spend most of your time in one or two rooms, it’s more efficient to set the fan to “on” mode in those areas, rather than cooling unused spaces. If you’re away from home for extended periods, consider using a programmable thermostat to adjust the fan setting and temperature according to your schedule.

Consult with an HVAC professional

If you’re not sure which fan setting is appropriate for your home, consult with an HVAC expert. They can assess your cooling needs, ductwork system, and equipment type to recommend the best AC fan setting for your situation. They may also suggest additional upgrades, such as sealing air leaks, adding insulation, or upgrading to a higher SEER-rated system, to further enhance your cooling efficiency.

By choosing the right AC fan setting, you can improve your home’s comfort, health, and energy performance while reducing your carbon footprint and utility bills. Keep in mind that other factors, such as air filter cleanliness, system maintenance, and thermostat calibration, may also affect your cooling efficiency and fan usage. So, be sure to follow best practices and schedule regular checkups with your HVAC provider to keep your system running smoothly.

7. Other Ways to Reduce Energy Consumption and Save on Cooling Costs

In addition to running the AC fan only, there are other ways to save on cooling costs and reduce energy consumption. Here are some tips to help you keep your home cool without breaking the bank.

1. Upgrade your insulation

Improving the insulation in your home can help reduce the amount of cool air that escapes, which means your AC system doesn’t have to work as hard. You can add insulation to your attic, walls, and crawlspaces to prevent cool air from escaping and hot air from entering your home.

2. Install a programmable thermostat

A programmable thermostat allows you to set the temperature in your home based on your schedule. You can set the temperature a little higher when you’re not home or asleep to save energy. When you return home or wake up, the thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature to keep you comfortable.

3. Plant trees or install shading devices

By planting trees or installing shading devices, you can block the sun’s rays from entering your home and heating it up. This means your AC system doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home cool. Plus, trees and shading devices can improve the curb appeal of your home.

4. Clean your AC system

A dirty AC system can cause your system to work harder than it needs to, which means you’re wasting energy and money. Make sure to clean or replace your air filters regularly and have your AC system inspected and serviced annually to keep it running efficiently.

By implementing these tips, you can keep your home cool and comfortable without spending a fortune on cooling costs. Remember, small changes can make a big difference in energy consumption and saving money.

People Also Ask

1. Is running the AC fan cheaper than running the AC?

Running the AC fan alone is cheaper than running the AC unit, as the fan consumes less energy. However, it only circulates the air and doesn’t provide cooling.

2. Does the AC fan use a lot of electricity?

The AC fan uses less electricity than the AC unit, but it still consumes energy. The exact amount of electricity usage depends on the fan’s speed and how long it runs.

3. Can running the AC fan all night cause damage or a higher bill?

Running the AC fan all night can lead to a slightly higher energy bill, but it won’t cause any damage as long as the AC unit is working properly. However, it can cause dry air and discomfort if the room is not ventilated.

4. Can you run just the AC fan without the compressor?

Yes, it is possible to run just the AC fan without turning on the compressor. The fan can still circulate the air and provide ventilation, but it won’t provide cooling.

5. Does running the AC fan only help reduce humidity?

Running the AC fan only can reduce humidity levels by circulating the air and removing moisture from it. However, a dehumidifier may be required for significant reductions in humidity levels.


In summary, running the AC fan alone is cheaper than running the AC unit, but it only circulates the air and doesn’t provide cooling. It still consumes energy, but not as much as the AC unit. Running the AC fan can reduce humidity levels, but it won’t provide significant reductions. It won’t cause any damage if the AC unit is working properly, but it can cause dry air and discomfort if the room is not ventilated.