The 8 Best Energy-Efficient Ceiling Fans of 2022

The Monte Carlo Maverick is our top choice for most rooms.

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Ceiling fan

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Investing in a high quality, energy-efficient ceiling fan is a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly way to stay cool, especially when used in place of air conditioning. Plus, according to Energy Star, even with air conditioning installed, a ceiling fan can still help save on energy and cooling costs if the thermostat is adjusted a few degrees higher while using the fan (some new smart ceiling fans do this automatically). 

Many ceiling fans are now powered by DC motors that consume up to 70% less energy than traditional AC fans, but they produce similar output and can cost as little as $5 per year to operate. These ultra-efficient fans range from sleek, remote-controlled models to traditional pull-cord designs, and are available in "hugger" styles (installed very close to the ceiling) or with longer down rods (more on what to look for below our picks).

Here are the best energy-efficient ceiling fans.

Best Overall

Monte Carlo Maverick 60 in. Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan

5
Monte Carlo Ceiling Fan

Home Depot

The 60-inch Monte Carlo Maverick is visually appealing, versatile, and extremely energy efficient, making our overall top pick. Its contemporary, yet elegant design features rounded, hand-carved balsa wood blades that will accent any room—from living areas to bedrooms.

Plus, it’s damp-rated for use in covered outdoor areas and comes in six different finish options such as dark walnut, aged pewter, or grey weathered oak. A 13-degree blade pitch is designed for optimal air flow, delivering an impressive 246 cubic feet per minute (CFM) per watt (on high speed) and costing an average of $6 per year to operate. The fan also comes with a remote, six different speed settings, and reverse flow for winter operation.

Understanding Efficiency Ratings: CFM/Watt

When shopping for fans, be sure to check out the fan’s airflow efficiency rating, which is measured in cubic feet per minute per watt. The higher the CFM/watt, the better. A good fan should have more than 100 CFM/watt.
Running fans at low speeds will also improve how efficiently the fan moves air. 

Best Outdoor

Matthews Irene 42" Outdoor Hugger Ceiling Fan

Matthews Irene 42" Outdoor Hugger Ceiling Fan

Amazon

Many ceiling fans are designed for indoor use only, but the Matthews Irene Outdoor is damp-rated to withstand the elements, making this hugger (flush mount) fan ideal for covered porches (but not in saltwater locations).

The minimalist design has a cylindrical DC motor housing and customizable finishes like brass, bronze, and nickel, with blades available in barn wood, matte black, matte white, and walnut. On high speed, the 42-inch fan has an airflow rate of 213 CFM/watt and is extremely quiet. It has six speeds, reverse, and comes with both a wall controller and a remote.

Best With Lights

Minka Aire F868L-BN Sleek 60" Ceiling Fan with LED Light and Remote Control

Minka Aire F868L-BN Sleek 60" Ceiling Fan with LED Light and Remote Control, Brushed Nickel

Courtesy of Amazon

Specializing in decorative lighting and fans, the Minka Group’s 60-inch, three-blade, Sleek model ceiling fan is a subtle addition to any room. Unlike many lighted fans that have a large light fixture hanging below the center, the 16-watt, LED light on the Sleek model is non-obtrusive, and gives the fan a retro yet modern look.

The fan pairs with smart home technology like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Nest, and Ecobee. Fan speeds and lights can all be controlled with a free downloadable app (or the included remote control), making it easy to save on energy. The Minka Aire Sleek is Energy Star rated, has an airflow rate of 206 CFM/watt, and costs just $5 annually to run (excluding the light).

Best Low-Profile

Aeratron AE2+

Aeratron AE2+

Courtesy of Aeratron

Rated Energy Star’s most efficient in 2020, the Aeratron AE2+ has an impressive efficiency rate of 390 CFM/watt (high speed) or 571 at low speed. A Swiss-engineered self-balancing system keeps the fan from wobbling, and the snazzy winglet design uses up to 80% less energy than a conventional ceiling fan.

When using the reverse airflow during the winter, the AE2+ can help reduce the energy consumption of heating systems by 50%. At low power, the fan uses just four watts per hour, roughly the same as a charging cell phone. This low-profile fan hangs about 12 inches from the ceiling and is available in three different blade sizes.

Best Smart Fan

Big Ass Fans Haiku L Smart Ceiling Fan

Big Ass Fans Haiku L Smart Ceiling Fan

With more than 75 international awards including Energy Star’s most efficient rating for 2020, the Haiku fan is a worthy splurge that will enhance your home or office. The 52-inch, tri-blade fan features the company’s SenseMe environmental sensors, mobile app control, and voice integration.

It’s compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant and can be combined with UV-C ultraviolet technologies to disinfect the air (additional cost applies for the UV-C package). The LED light kit has 16 brightness settings, plus the fan has seven speeds, a sleep mode, natural breeze mode, eco option, and timer.

TIP:

As a reminder, fans cool down people—not empty rooms—so they should only be operated when someone is present. 

Best for Bathrooms

Panasonic FV-0510VS1 WhisperValue Ventilation Fan

Panasonic Bathroom Fan

Courtesy of Amazon

When adding a ceiling fan to the bathroom, a ventilation fan is the best way to prevent humidity and mildew build up, and the Panasonic WhisperValue is both quiet and energy efficient. Delivering just 0.3 sones (the sound of a refrigerator running is about equal to one sone), the Panasonic is an ultra-quiet option that’s Energy Star rated with a DC motor. Built into the fan are an LED light and condensation sensor to control bathroom moisture.

As a company, Panasonic has a number of sustainable initiatives in place ranging from water conservation to greenhouse gas reduction.

Best for Living Room

Hampton Bay Wellton 54 inch LED DC Motor Ceiling Fan with Light

Hampton Bay Welton Fan

Courtesy of Home Depot

For an affordable, efficient ceiling fan that’s a great match for the living room, consider the Hampton Bay Wellton. The homey yet modern fan also features a quiet DC motor and is Energy Star rated. The 54-inch fan has five espresso-shaded blades and three lights to deliver a classic look.

The Wellton has an airflow efficiency of 171 CFM/watt and costs about $5 per year to run (excluding lights). It can be installed on standard, sloped, and flush mount applications, but is not ideal for outdoor use. This fan uses a traditional pull cord as the control system (no remotes or wall mounts).

Best for Bedroom

Fanimation GlideAire 52 in. Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan with Remote Control

Fanimation GlideAire Fan

Courtesy of Amazon

Established more than 30 years ago, Fanimation continues to develop innovative, efficient fans, and now has more than 35 Energy Star rated models. That includes the GlideAir FPD8520, which is a great choice for a master bedroom. This 52-inch tri-blade fan fits lower bedroom ceilings with a 4.5-inch rod, yet the medium-sized blades provide ample air that won’t overpower the room.

The modern design comes in black or nickel blades and finishes, plus the fan is compatible with Bluetooth. The GlideAir has a staggering 16 motor speeds and a timer setting on the remote. It uses 218 CFM/watt and can be used in damp or dry locations.

Final Verdict

If you want a versatile fan that stands out in any room, the Monte Carlo Maverick is our top pick. For a more affordable option that’s also Energy Star rated, the Hampton Bay Wellton is a solid choice for living rooms, dens, and other indoor gathering areas.

What to Consider When Shopping for an Energy-Efficient Ceiling Fan

Indoor vs. Outdoor

Indoor fans are designed to be operated in dry conditions. Outdoor fans are designed to withstand water exposure and tend to be larger. If you’re placing your fan in a screened porch, carport, covered patio, or other space where the fan won’t be directly exposed to rain or snow, you can select a damp-rated fan. For open porches or decks, you’ll want a wet-rated fan. 

Bathroom fans are typically designed to vent moisture out of the room and are generally damp-rated. 

Energy Star Rating

Energy Star is a voluntary government program that certifies energy-efficient appliances. If a product has an Energy Star seal, that means it has been independently tested and certified to meet robust efficiency standards. According to the program, Energy Star rated ceiling fans with lighting are 40% more efficient than conventional products. 

Lighting

Consider if you need your fan to also serve as a light fixture, because not all fans incorporate lights. If you select a fan that requires bulbs, using LEDs can further ensure the unit's efficiency. Some ceiling fan designs, like many by Hunter and Casablanca, can have lights added later using a ceiling fan light kit.

Size and Height

To pick the best size fan, you’ll want to consider both the room’s dimensions and the ceiling height. 

A good rule of thumb is that the ends of the fan’s blades should be no closer than 18 inches to the nearest wall, and that rooms smaller than 10 x 8 feet should have a diameter of no more than 40 inches. A large room that measures 18 x 20 feet will need a fan with 60 inch diameter. However, it’s always a good idea to double check if the manufacturer has any specifications or recommendations for their specific products. 

Finally, you’ll want to consider your ceiling’s height and the overall height of the fan. Ideally, a ceiling fan should hang between 7 and 9 feet from the floor to maximize efficiency. For low ceilings, select a “hugger” design. For high ceilings, look for a downrod mount to lower the fan. 

Controls

You’ll want to consider what control options are available for the fan, and which design works best for you. Fans can be controlled by a remote control, a wall switch, or a pull cord that’s attached directly to the fan fixture. Some fans are Bluetooth compatible, like the Animation GlideAire, allowing you to control your fan from your phone. 

Why Trust Treehugger?

We researched the market deeply to find Energy Star rated fans with useful features, strong reviews, and good value. As someone who lives in the Florida heat year-round without air conditioning, the author, Amber Nolan, knows how important it is to have an effective ceiling fan.

View Article Sources
  1. Environment: Policy.” Panasonic.

  2. Ceiling Fans Made Easy.” Energy Star.