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AC Vs. DC Ceiling Fans

Electronic manufacturers introduce different types of DC fans into the Australian market every year. Historically, the demand for DC fans has been higher than that of the AC type because the former uses less energy.  However, in the past few years, technology has changed, and now it seems more people are becoming interested in AC fans.

As such, they would like to know the advantages of AC fans over DC fans. You can differentiate the two based on the motor that drives the fan blades. AC motors are powered by alternating current, which periodically reverses their direction of flow. On the other hand, DC motors are powered by direct current, which flows in one direction.

In this article, we'll compare both, highlighting their advantages and disadvantages to help you decide which to buy.

Differences Between AC And DC Ceiling Fans

Australian summers are hot and humid, with temperatures sometimes reaching 40 degrees Celsius. So, it helps to have an appliance, such as a fan, to cool down indoor temperatures during those hot periods. Ceiling fans are a favourite among Australians as they let you regulate indoor temperatures at the click of a switch.

These devices offer outstanding energy efficiency and ease of use and are generally low maintenance. They are also attractive and easily complement your decor. DC ceiling fans are more energy-efficient and cost a lot more than AC fans. On average, it costs about three times as much to purchase a DC fan.

But, seeing as it is energy efficient, it makes an excellent choice for someone who is conscious of reducing energy costs. Both AC and DC fans have their advantages and disadvantages, and it is necessary to compare both sides of the coin before making an investment. Let's take a deeper look at what differentiates these fans.

AC Ceiling Fans

An AC ceiling fan is powered by the current that periodically changes its direction of flow – AC current. It is typically used in spaces with poor air quality or allergens. Its motor makes very little noise and has an energy-efficient design that will help you save money.

An AC ceiling fan uses power from the mains to run. These ceiling fans have a lot of features that make them convenient to use.


  • The blades of an AC fan are designed to propel and distribute cool air across your space. Since they do this quickly and efficiently, less energy is wasted.
  • An AC fan is easy to install.
  • Their energy consumption is relatively low.
  • There are three different speed settings, so you can choose what works for your specific situation.


  • Generally, AC ceiling fans are less expensive than their DC counterparts.
  • You can control AC ceiling fans in different ways. Unlike a DC ceiling fan, you can use a wall control, a pull cord, or a remote device that can only be controlled using a remote. So, if anything happens to the remote, you can't operate your fan.
  • Compared to other home appliances such as air conditioners, AC ceiling fans are relatively energy efficient.


  • The spinning speed of their blades depends on line frequency and your power source. This makes maintaining a specific speed quite challenging.
  • An AC motor can create noise when running at low speeds.

DC Ceiling Fans

DC ceiling fans are a more recent innovation, but they have quickly become popular. This is due to their energy efficiency and quietness, making them perfect for any home.

The efficiency of a DC fan is about 70 percent better than that of AC fans. A DC fan rated for 25 watts will work just as well as one rated at 100 watts when operating under similar conditions.

DC fans are an excellent choice for anyone looking to cool their home as efficiently as possible. It can also be used as a light source by attaching pendant lights or led strips, providing natural and bright illumination in any room.


  • They typically come in a compact design. This adds to the aesthetics of wherever they are used.
  • DC ceiling fans consume less energy compared to the AC type.
  • They are generally reliable.
  • Compared to other home appliances, they are relatively inexpensive.
  • They produce low noise, making them perfect for those looking to cool their immediate surroundings without disturbing others around them.


  • The most significant selling point of DC fans is their energy efficiency. They'll use up to 70% less power than AC types. This makes them an ideal choice for those looking to save money on electricity bills.
  • The slim and compact design of DC fans makes them an excellent choice for users looking to improve the aesthetics of their room or office.
  • Their motors are lighter than those that run AC fans.
  • DC ceiling fans have a variety of speed settings. Some have up to 7 levels, so you can easily regulate how much energy is used to cool your space.  
  • This fan is also quiet, so there's not much noise from them other than their spinning blades.
  • DC fans feature very creative designs. Most have attractive blade shapes and beautiful designs that are not only nice to look at but also improve how they work.
  • You can find one with a large rotational diameter suitable for large areas like open-plan spaces, large entertaining areas, or patios. In such spaces, you need to move a lot more air for them to cool properly.
  • They are easier to clean than most AC fans.


  • DC ceiling fans are a new and more expensive product on the market. They only became widely available in 2016, which is why they still cost more than AC units.
  • The DC fan market is a relatively small one, with few models that come equipped to work without a remote. This can make them unreliable, but that depends on how often you use yours.

Which Is Best To Buy: AC Or DC Ceiling Fan?

Having discussed the features, pros, and cons of both AC and DC ceiling fans, you may be wondering which of them is the best for your home. The choice of which to buy depends on your needs.  For instance, if you are looking for a fan that generates very little noise, a DC ceiling fan is the best choice.

This type creates a decent airflow, saves energy cost, and does not wobble when spinning. However, this does not mean that you can't get the same value out of an AC fan. While it is true that an AC ceiling fan uses more energy compared to a DC ceiling fan, AC ceiling fans consume much less than other household appliances.

One other factor that might influence your choice of fan is the space where you will be using it. This might include:

  • Bedrooms - DC ceiling fans are generally preferred for bedrooms because they produce less noise, have better designs, and offer good airflow.
  • Rental property - If you intend to install fans inside your rental property, it is economical to go for AC ceiling fans as they are cheaper and can easily be operated from a wall control.
  • Outdoor areas - DC motorised fans are the best choice for an outdoor space. They are available in a range of sizes. The largest has a fan blade diameter of 142 cm. There is now an IP 66-rated fan that you can clean with a hose without worrying about water damage.

Consult An Expert Before Buying A Ceiling Fan

In summary, both fan types are great and will perform what they are designed to do - keep your space cool and comfortable. When buying one for your space, compare prices and features before choosing. Buying a fan that works for you and your environment may not be as easy as you think.

If you find yourself unable to decide, speak to a professional who specialises in ceiling fans. They will be able to guide you on what type of fan to buy (AC or DC). They will advise you on what to go for based on factors that are unique to your indoor space and environment.

So, consult an expert when next you need to install a ceiling fan in your home, office, worship centre, or recreational arena. This will help you save on the cost by buying the best ceiling fan for your specific need.