AC vs DC Motor Fan Choice

The introduction of DC ceiling fans into the Australian ceiling fan market, whilst very new and exciting, has led to many questions from our customers. What is the difference between AC and DC motors? How does this new DC technology work? Are DC motors more energy efficient than the standard AC motors? Will it save me money in the long term?

The new DC technology is still quite new and therefore there isn’t such a large variety of models available, however it is looking very promising in terms of noise and energy efficiency and has a lot of potential for future development.

How does it work?

There are 2 different types of electric motors used in ceiling fans, AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current). AC motors are connected directly to the power source which provides the force required to rotate the motor of the fan. The DC motor uses the same AC power with a transformer that converts the power to DC. This decreases the amount of power required to operate the fan.

Why choose DC?

  • The new technology in the motors means that DC fans are generally much quieter than AC motors.
  • DC fans use up to 70% less energy than an AC fan.
  • DC fans are generally faster to respond to the remote control, have more speed options and have the reverse function on the remote.
  • DC motors are often more compact and lighter, allowing for a sleeker motor design. 

Why choose AC?

  • AC Ceiling fans are generally cheaper because the DC technology is so new.
  • AC fans can be used with either a wall control, pull cord or a remote whilst DC fans can only be controlled by a remote control, except in exceptional circumstances.
  • AC fans are still extremely energy efficient and will use much less electricity than most household appliances.

So how do I choose?

Ultimately, there are a number of different factors to consider when choosing between a DC and AC fan and there is not one type of motor or one particular fan that will be suitable for everyone. There are some excellent quality ceiling fans available with both AC and DC motors that are energy efficient while still maintaining high airflow rates. There is no right or wrong choice when deciding between AC and DC motors, it really depends on your requirements of budget, aesthetic and functionality. Whichever your decision, you can be confident that you are purchasing a good quality, energy efficient fan.