Ceiling Fans


Ceiling fans include ceiling fans used in homes as well as ceiling fans used in commercial and industrial spaces. Compared to residential ceiling fans, commercial and industrial ceiling fans either have larger diameters or the ability to spin at faster speeds.


Congress established the initial standards for ceiling fans as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and they took effect in 2007. The standards are prescriptive requirements that require ceiling fans to have fan speed controls separate from lighting controls; the ability to change the speed; and a switch to reverse action of the fan blades (to match differing air circulation requirements for the heating and cooling seasons).

In 2017, DOE finalized the first efficiency performance standards for ceiling fans. The minimum energy efficiency levels are expressed as airflow delivered in cubic feet per minute (CFM) per unit of power consumption in watts (W). The new standards took effect in 2020. 


About 85 million US households use at least one ceiling fan, and a quarter of all households use four or more ceiling fans. The efficiency of ceiling fans can be improved by using more efficient motors and fan blades and by optimizing the fan design such as by adjusting the blade pitch.

Savings through what year?: 2049
Energy saved (quads): 2
CO2 savings (million metric tons): 120
Net present value savings ($billion) 3% discount rate: 12.12
Net present value savings ($billion) 7% discount rate: 4.48


Federal Date States
Potential Effective Date of Updated Standard 2028
Updated DOE Standard Due 2025
2nd Federal Standard Effective 2020
2nd Federal Standard Adopted (DOE) 2017
Test Procedure - Last Revised - Active Mode 2016
2007 MD Standard Effective *
1st Federal Standard Effective 2007
1st Federal Standard Adopted (Congress) 2005
EPACT Initial Federal Legislation Enacted 2005
2005 NY Standard Adopted
2004 MD Standard Adopted

* State standard never went into effect due to preemption by federal standard.

States not showing an effective date have an ongoing rulemaking process to determine standards.

Timeline reflects state standards from 2001 to present; federal standards from inception to present.