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AC Ceiling Fans vs DC Ceiling Fans - Which Ceiling Fan is Best?

Taking the confusion out of choosing the right Ceiling Fan is simple when you have over 20 years of experience in the Ceiling Fan industry! We find most of our customers stumble when they come across AC or DC mentioned in a Ceiling Fan description, we’re here to shed the light on what exactly AC and DC motors are and which one will be best suited to your space! 


When it comes to Ceiling Fans there are two different types of motors available on the market.  One is an AC motor (alternating current) and the other is a DC motor (direct current). AC motored ceiling fans need to be connected directly to your home (AC) power supply. This power source is what creates the force required to rotate the motor. With DC fans, the direct power source (AC) is connected to a transformer in the fan, which converts the power to DC. This will decrease the amount of power by using a direct current (DC) instead of the alternating current (AC).

Perks of DC Motors:

  • DC fans can use up to 70% less power than a standard AC fan making them an extremely energy-efficient choice
  • DC fans are extremely quiet 
  • Most DC fans have 5 or 6 speeds as opposed to AC fans which only have 3 speeds
  • DC fans have much more flexibility when it comes to design, some fantastic blade shapes and stunning designs to maximize airflow, function and style
  • They tend to be lighter allowing for better airflow and slimmer motor which allows for lower profile for low ceiling heights
  • Most DC fans are remote controlled however, some of the latest DC models now support a wall control (a specifically designed DC wall control) which will allow on/off operation via the wall and remote
  • Some DC fans are now SMART enabled, allowing you to control via an app
  • Many DC fans have a timer function on the remote and reverse option for winter months
  • A DC fan can have a much larger blade rotational diameter than an AC motor fan making them a go to choice for huge areas such as open-plan areas, large entertaining areas or patios
  • Much more outdoor fan choices including coastal
  • Easier to clean and maintain due to most having ABS moulded plastic blades
  • Most DC fans have a slimline LED. Some of which are now retro-fittable!

Perks of AC Motors:

  • AC fans are generally a cheaper option
  • AC fans can be controlled in a number of ways: wall control, pull cord, remote control, some via Smart control. It’s important to note that additional accessories are required as an AC fan is supplied with a wall control as standard
  • AC fans have more Timber & Metal blade options than DC Fans
  • Although a DC motor is much more energy-efficient, an AC only uses about 50 -100watts at high speed depending on the motor and size 
  • Traditional style fans are usually an AC motor
  • Most AC fans have globe holders allowing for easy light replacement by the user
  • Most metal blade fans are AC, however some are 316 marine grade for coastal conditions.


Which is Best for Your Space?

Apartment / Unit
Some apartments have low or concrete ceilings. DC fans have low profile options and can be installed easily in an existing light supply. No need for wall control wiring to be done. 

Rental or investment property
An AC motor fan is a cheaper option. They are traditional looking and have a wall control. No need to deal with lost or damaged remote control’s which can cost you time and money. If a fan with a light is required, many AC fans have a globe holder which allows the tennant to replace the light without the need of an electrician. Having said that some DC fans are now starting to have user replaceable LED panels. 

DC Motored ceiling fans are our pick as they are much quieter and have better-looking designs with awesome airflow. Having up to 8 speeds (depending on the model) allows for that perfect air movement while drifting off to sleep. You can control this from bed via the remote control and most have a timer which you can use to turn off after a set period of time. 

Outdoor undercover area 
DC Motored fans are by far the best choice when it comes to an outdoor space as they go beyond the 56” size. There is now an IP 66 rated fan available which you can clean with a hose without a worry!

At the end of the day, you can get great quality fans in either AC or DC motors! With the sweaty season always close by in Australia, you can never go wrong with investing in a reliable and efficient Ceiling Fan. We love helping our customers make the perfect choice for their space and we are always happy to help no matter what the question might be! Our team of knowledgeable and fantastic staff are just a phone call or quick email away so make sure to flick through your queries to [email protected] or call us on 1300 119 742!