Aircon vs. Fan: Which Is Best For Your Wallet & Comfort?

Aircon vs. Fan: Which Is Best For Your Wallet & Comfort?

In Singapore, the climate is always warm and tropical. Save escaping overseas in the winter months, turning on the air-conditioner is the only way to beat the heat at home.

However, having the aircon turned on 24 hours a day can take a toll on your wallet (up to 36.7% of your electricity bill!). It may be time to consider a more eco-friendly and wallet-friendly option – the fan!

In this article, we will compare the costs of using an aircon versus a fan and help you decide which is best for your wallet and comfort.

Upfront Cost: Aircon vs. Fan



On average, purchasing and installing a brand new AC will set you back about $4,600. An AC can last up to 30 years with regular maintenance.

The upfront cost of an air conditioner greatly differs depending on what type you are using. The main types of aircon are as follows:

  • Single-window unit
    The most affordable option, such a unit costs around $500.
  • Portable aircon
    You can purchase an aircon from anywhere between $300 to $2000. If you are interested, check out this list of Top 10 Portable ACs in Singapore.
  • Ductless mini-split aircon
    If you only need AC for a single room, a ductless AC is a possibility. The price of one varies significantly from a couple hundred to $4000.
  • Central aircon
    A central AC is the most expensive option and can supply cold air to your entire house. It costs around $1500.


A fan will cost much less than an AC. In general, there are four types of fans.

  • Tower Fan
    These types of fans are quiet and portable due to their slim design. A tower fan will cost up to $450.
  • Ceiling Fan
    The stylish ceiling fan is ubiquitous in Singapore. Such a fan will set you back anywhere between $50 and $750.
  • Floor Fan
    Great for small spaces, a floor fan is an affordable option. You can get one at just $30.
  • Stand
    A standing fan is a great option to complement a ceiling fan in the living room. You can get one for around $100.

If we are looking at upfront costs, a fan is in the lead when it comes to affordability.

Running Cost: Aircon vs. Fan


In 2019, electricity costs 23.65 cents per kWh.

With an aircon using between 750 and 3,500 watts and a fan using anywhere between 10 and 120 watts, you see how the running costs of an AC can stack up much more than that of a fan.

In Singapore, on average, running an AC costs around $200 per month while running a ceiling fan costs just $12 a month.

To ensure that your aircon is 100% efficient, it should be regularly maintained. CNA suggests that you get your aircon serviced at least once every three months.

While maintenance of a fan can be done on your own at no extra cost, you should consider servicing costs (about $40 per coil ) into the total running costs of your AC units.

When it comes to running costs, an AC remains the more expensive option.

Aircon & Fan: Energy-efficient vs Non Energy-efficient

The pinnacle of energy-efficient AC units is one with five ticks. Such an aircon is the most fuel-efficient, has the best performance and is the easiest to use.

While an energy-efficient aircon such as the Daikin US7 has a higher upfront cost, running costs will be lower in the long run. You could save a couple hundred by opting for an energy-efficient product!

There is a range of stylish and energy-efficient fans such as Vento Nestro. However, the difference in running costs is mostly insignificant, with energy-efficient options costing just $0.02 less per hour.

The Verdict

If we only consider affordability, fans are the clear winner in terms of cost-effectiveness and eco-friendliness.

However, in our sauna-like climate in Singapore, nothing beats a fresh gust of wind from an air-conditioner! Touted as the best invention of the modern world, the aircon’s effectiveness in maintaining a comfortable 23 or 24 degrees is undeniable.


Bridging the Gap between Affordability and Comfort

Want to enjoy a cool and comfortable temperature without forgoing affordability? There are two easy ways to do so.

  • Use both a fan and aircon
    Using a fan in conjunction with an aircon is an effective way to reduce running costs while staying cool!
  • Regularly service your aircon
    Those clogged fibers make it harder for your AC unit to blow out cold air. When your aircon is not running at 100% efficiency, running costs are higher.

Enjoy Cool Temperatures Guilt-Free

With iSwitch’s competitive electricity prices, we help you save on utility costs so you can continue to enjoy the comfort of air-conditioning guilt-free!

Check out our residential plans to enjoy savings off your electricity bill plus attractive rewards. With our free one-time aircon servicing, enjoy comfortable temperatures with your aircon in tip-top shape!

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