AC Vs. DC Ceiling Fan (Which Is Better?)

Last Updated on October 9, 2022 by Barry Gray

ac dc ceiling fan

When shopping for a ceiling fan, you’ll come across fans with AC or DC motors. However, many consumers are unsure of how to compare these ceiling fans. Of course, the primary difference between them is the type of motor they use – but which motor makes for the better fan?  

AC ceiling fans have been manufactured for longer than DC models and are considerably cheaper. While AC fans are easier to install, they are limited in speed settings. DC ceiling fans have more speed settings, as well as more modern designs and features. However, DC fans cost more than AC ones. 

If you’re struggling to choose the better type of ceiling fan, I’m going to explain what you should know about AC and DC fans. My comparison of these different fans will allow you to choose the best fan motor for your home’s cooling needs! 

Are AC Or DC Ceiling Fans Better?

Many consumers are unsure of how AC ceiling fans differ from DC variants. Of course, these ceiling fans are distinguished by their different motors. Of course, AC models utilize Alternating Current, while DC fans utilize Direct Current – but which type of motor is better for a ceiling fan? 

Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact answer to this question. If you browse the many ceiling fans available today, you’ll be able to find AC and DC models that are equally great. For instance, consider the following 52” ceiling fans, which are both rated for indoor and outdoor usage. 

This 52” AC indoor/outdoor ceiling fan from Hunter Cassius is affordable and highly rated. You can use the updraft mode during winter, while the downdraft mode is perfect for summer.  In addition to the reversible fan motor, the blades can also be reversed to match interiors. From more than 1000 reviews, this model has a rating of 4.7/5. 

However, this 52” DC indoor/outdoor ceiling fan from CEME also features a reversible fan motor. While there are many similarities to the AC fan discussed above, this CEME model has 10 speeds settings. In addition to the remote controller, you can use your smartphone to control this fan. This CEME fan has a rating of 4.6/5. 

Overall, the DC ceiling fan from CEME features newer technology and more features than the AC model. However, the DC model almost costs twice the price of the AC one – but does it make the CEME fan better? Ultimately, each type of motor has unique advantages. 

For some, the increased price of the DC fan will be justified, while others may prefer the AC model. To decide which of these brilliant fans is better suited to your needs, we need to consider the advantages of each. By comparing these advantages, you can choose the best fan motor for your airflow needs!  

The Advantages Of AC Ceiling Fans 

Let’s consider the benefits of using an AC ceiling fan instead of one powered by a DC motor! 

#1: AC Ceiling Fans Are Easier To Install 

Given that residential properties use AC power, ceiling fans with AC motors are easier to install. In fact, many of these models simply need to be plugged into a power socket to start working. 

#2: AC Ceiling Fans Are Cheaper  

When you compare AC and DC ceiling fans, it’s evident that AC fans tend to be cheaper. After all, just consider the two highly rated fans we discussed earlier. Since DC fans only became widely available in recent years, the manufacturing of DC fans is more expensive.

#3: AC Ceiling Fans Are Versatile 

Given that AC fans have been manufactured for far longer than those with DC motors, there are a wider variety of AC fans available. Even the type of control you use is more versatile with these fans, including chain switches, remote controls, and wall panels. 

The Advantages Of DC Ceiling Fans 

high ceiling fan

Now that we’ve considered the advantages of AC ceiling fans, let’s consider the benefits that DC fans can offer homeowners. 

#1: DC Ceiling Fans Are More Efficient 

DC fans typically consume up to 70% less power than their AC counterparts. Due to this, DC fans are the more energy-efficient fan choice for consumers. Not only do DC motors utilize less power, but they produce less noise, making DC fans quieter and even more efficient! 

#2: DC Ceiling Fans Are More Modern  

Compared to AC ceiling fans, it’s clear that DC fans are more modern. Of course, this is reflected in the smart functionality that is supported by many DC ceiling fans. However, it’s also apparent in the design. DC fans tend to be sleeker, given that they utilize smaller motors. 

#3: DC Ceiling Fans Have More Speed Settings 

When purchasing a ceiling fan, it’s important to consider speed settings. The AC and DC fans we looked at earlier both feature reversible fans. However, the DC fan features far more speed settings than the AC model. Generally, AC fans only have up to three speeds, while DC fans offer far more speed variations. 

AC Vs. DC Ceiling Fans: Which Is Right For You? 

From the previous sections, it’s clear that both AC and DC fans offer numerous benefits – but which is better? As I explained earlier, it is possible to find AC and DC fans that are equal in terms of quality. In order to choose the best fan for your needs, you need to decide which advantages are more important to you. 

If you’re searching for a ceiling fan that is equally affordable and reliable, you’ll love the wide selection of AC-powered models available today. Many of these AC fans also come from reputable manufacturers! However, AC fans use more power and tend to be noisier than DC fans. 

DC ceiling fans, on the other hand, are more modern in terms of design and features. Due to their rising popularity, there are an increasing number of DC fans available. However, consumers will need to decide whether their improved efficiency and modern features justify the increased price. 


There are many fantastic AC and DC ceiling fans available today. AC fans are more affordable and easier to install but can be outdated in terms of technology. DC fans, however, are more modern but cost more. Ultimately, your choice of fan motor depends on which advantages appeal most to you. 

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Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.