What’s the Difference Between DC and AC Ceiling Fans?

The difference between DC and AC ceiling fans comes down to which type of electrical current they use. The motors within a ceiling fan either run on an Alternating Current (AC) or a Direct Current (DC). In technical terms, AC ceiling fan motors are powered by electricity with a reverse flow and DC ceiling fan motors are powered with a constant flow.

AC ceiling fans are a more common type of ceiling fan and they’ve been in production for far longer than DC ceiling fans. Since most homes operate on AC power supplied by the power grid, it makes sense that when ceiling fans were first being produced, they’d use an AC motor.

With a DC ceiling fan, the AC power source from your home is transformed into DC power. It requires a smaller motor, is much quieter and is far more energy-efficient. However, this is newer technology and comes with a higher price tag.

Now that all the technical stuff is out of the way, here, we’re going over the pros and cons of both DC and AC ceiling fans, which one is best and how to choose the right ceiling fan for you.

Aeratron Ceiling Fans

Pros and Cons

As with anything, there are pros and cons to using both DC and AC ceiling fans. While they each definitely have benefits, there are still some downsides involved. Understanding their pros and cons will help you come to a decision about which ceiling fan is right for you.

Pros of DC Ceiling Fans
  • Highly energy efficient using around 70% less energy than AC ceiling fans
  • Slimmer since their motors are often smaller than AC ceiling fans
  • A wider range of speed options
  • Extremely quiet

Cons of DC Ceiling Fans
  • More expensive than AC ceiling fans
  • Most only come with remote controls instead of a wall panel or pull-chain switch

Pros of AC Ceiling Fans
  • Simple to install and need only to be plugged in
  • More control options including remote controls, wall panels or pull-chain switches
  • Cheaper and easier to repair
  • More common and therefore offer more style options than DC ceiling fans

Cons of AC Ceiling Fans
  • Limited speed options
  • Noisy even at low speeds

How to Choose the Right Ceiling Fan

To choose between a DC and an AC ceiling fan, there are a few factors you’ll want to consider. The best ceiling fan will be different for everyone based on your unique circumstances. However, after considering these factors you should have a better idea of which to choose.


DC ceiling fans are usually more expensive than their AC ceiling fan counterparts. They use newer technology and therefore run at a higher price point. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that DC ceiling fans are also more energy-efficient. So, by seeing DC ceiling fans as the investment they are, you’re sure to save money in the long run as your electricity bill goes down.

So, the real consideration to make is whether you’re able to front the money for a DC ceiling fan or pay more on your electricity bill over the long run with an AC ceiling fan.


While ceiling fans are obviously here to keep our homes cool, you’ll also want them to look amazing and match the style of your interiors. In that case, AC ceiling fans typically have more options to choose from. 

Since AC ceiling fans have been around for longer, there are more style choices when it comes to finding something to match your home.

However, DC ceiling fans do offer a thinner style as their motors are smaller than the ones in AC ceiling fans. So, you may find that if you’re looking for a modern, sleek ceiling fan, a DC ceiling fan is the better choice. 

Our Ventair Ceiling Fans are a great example of stylish fans that run on either AC or DC motors while still offering a unique design with a variety of colour and material options to match your home. 

Ventair Ceiling Fans (Available with AC or DC motors)


Another important aspect to consider when choosing between DC and AC ceiling fans is functionality. After all, you’ll want your ceiling fan to work in the way you need it to.

If your home doesn’t have an aircon, you’ll likely want a ceiling fan with higher speed capabilities to get you through the summer months. In this case, a DC ceiling fan would likely be the best as it can reach higher speeds.

However, if you do have an aircon, an AC ceiling fan could be totally fine in your home. But, AC ceiling fans are much louder. So, if you work from home or get especially annoyed at how loud your current fan can be, a DC ceiling fan could still be best.


If you’re like many Australians who are working to become more eco-conscious, DC ceiling fans can also help you to use less energy. In general, you’ll use 70% less electricity when you switch to a DC ceiling fan which not only saves your wallet but can make your home more energy-efficient overall.

Which one is best?

From an objective viewpoint, most would agree that DC ceiling fans are best. They use high-quality technology to create an energy-efficient ceiling fan that’s quieter and more functional. 

As mentioned above, when you purchase a DC ceiling fan, you’ll save money on your electricity bill, you’ll have more speed options to cool down your home more effectively and you won’t be bothered by another noisy ceiling fan.

One of our favourite collections of DC ceiling fans is the Domus range. Sleek, simple and functional, these best-sellers are available in black and white, with or without lights, and are perfect for any Australian home.

Domus DC Ceiling Fans

At the end of the day, the best ceiling fan for you and your home depends on your personal circumstances and preferences. 

Explore Ozlighting’s entire range of AC ceiling fans here and shop our collection of DC ceiling fans here