Electricity Saving Tips For Homes And Offices

Choose the right Regulator for Ceiling Fan for Electricity Saving

By on April 28, 2015

Ceiling fan is one of the most common appliances in Indian household. Being a tropical country, India relies a lot on ceiling fan and there is a ceiling fan in every room in the country. When we go and buy a ceiling fan, we also get a regulator along with it. Regulators are of different types, and different ceiling fans come with different types of regulators. Most people typically do not care about the regulator, but it is very important to know that even the regulator can waste electricity and can increase your electricity bills.

Fan Regulator

Good news is that you can always refuse to take the supplied regulator and can get equivalent discount, and replace it with an efficient one. But for that you need to know about the types of regulators.

How does a Fan Work?

A ceiling fan has an electric motor and metallic blades connected to it. When we switch on a fan, the voltage difference causes the current to pass through the motor and the fan rotates. The regulator controls the voltage that makes the current flow less or more. Lower the voltage lower the speed of the fan. So a regulator controls the voltage levels for the fan.

Types of Regulators

There are 3 types of regulators available in the market today: Electric Regulator, Step Type Electronic Regulator and Movable Electronic Regulator. All 3 have different ways of controlling the fan speed and thus the efficiency with which they manage electricity consumption differs. From price perspective Electric regulator is the cheapest, but of all three it is the most inefficient regulator. We are in process of compiling information related to price impact and will update that as well very soon. But first let’s look at all the three types:

Electric Regulator

Traditional regulators that were there in our homes in the past were mostly of this type. These regulators have resistors to decrease the voltage for the ceiling fan. The resistor heats up while decreasing the voltage and thus the electricity saved by reducing the fan speed is lost as heat in the regulator. The internal heat also damages the regulator in long run. These regulators are also bulky in size. They come for as low as Rs 40 a piece.ElectricRegulator

Electronic Regulator

Electronic regulators are the latest type of regulators available in the market. These are much smaller in size than the electric regulators. Electronic regulators use capacitors instead of resistors to decrease the voltage. Capacitors regulate the fan speed by regulating the waveform of power supply. These do not get heated up and thus save electricity when the fan is running at lower speeds (at higher speeds electricity consumption of fan is the same with both regulators).  These regulators save up to 40% at speed 1 and about 30% at speed 2 compared to electric regulators. There are 2 types of electronic regulators available:

    1. Movable Type: These regulators move smoothly and there are no stepped number (1 to 5) provided on theem. These regulators are better than electric ones but still can cause some distortion to the movement of the motor that causes it to heat up. This type typically costs Rs 100 apiece.MovableType
    2. Step Type: These regulators have numbered speed steps (typically 1 to 5). These regulators provide lower distortion to the movement of the motor and thus less heating. These are the most efficient type of regulator. This type typically costs Rs 200 apiece.ceiling_fan_regulator

If you run fans at low speeds in your house then a step type fan regulator is the best electricity saving option for you. Savings in electricity bills can recover the extra price you pay for it.Infographic11.png.png

Source of Information: Core Center


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There Are 57 Comments

  1. chandan chakraborty says:

    just take 5 fan regulator step electronic type but in lower speed all the fan causes roaring or you can say humming sound , what to do please specify..

  2. Suvro Kanjilal says:

    I have brought a high speed ceilling fan. is it safe to Controlling it with Step Electronic regulator?

    • Bijli Bachao Team says:

      It is certainly safe to use step electronic regulator with a high speed ceiling fan.

  3. Prashant says:

    Hi Team,

    I have recently purchase online an Ovastar Hand Blender-Mixer (OWHM-1014) most possibly china made, Delhi marketed. This has 5 speed settings probably field or winding tapped universal motor with carbon brushes and o/p 250W. I have used it a few times to make cakes and cookies and found that the RPM of speed setting 1 itself is so high, that there’s very small variation of RPM in other higher settings (one can say hardly any difference between speeds 1 to 5. I’d like to reduce the speed at point 1, 2 & 3.

    Can you advice if adding some resistance or inductance/capacitance or triac-diac in the speed controller’s circuit points at 1-3 would help regulate the RPM of the motor to desired level? Or can I use regular ceiling fan regulators available in the market?


    • Bijli Bachao Team says:

      Hello Mr Bhalekar,

      The alternative you have given will certainly help in reducing the speed at level 1 and thus you can get higher speeds at point 2 and 3. But unless one know the complete circuit, it will be difficult to guide you on this. You may discuss with mixie mechanics and may get the desired adjustment. Use of regular ceiling fan may also help but better if you take to the mechanics undertaking such epair work for the correct adjustment and check on the current drawn at each setting within limits. Please share when get the desired adjustment so that it will benefit other visiter on the web site.

  4. Vinayakumar says:

    I am using capacitive type regulator.1.1 MFD,2.2MFD 3.3MFD capacitance are using.But variation in speed is too high.All five regulators have same problem.Can I increase the speed by increasing the capacity of the capacitor.

    • Bijli Bachao Team says:

      Hi Vinay,

      Capacitive type regulator are quite efficient, however we have not seen any regulator of this type which does not get problem after sometime of use. So this is a persistent problem with this type of regulators. We mostly recommend people to change the regulator in such case. Or we recommend people to move to brushless DC fans available in market (like superfan or orbit greens fans) that use remote control to regulate the speed.

  5. Vinayakumar says:

    I have five fans and all are working with step type electronic regulator(GM).The problem is while it is working in speed 1,2,3,4 the speed is very slow.But in speed 5 it is ok.How can I increase the speed in1,2,3,4.

  6. Aashana says:

    I m sufferin from the same prob as ayesha n hence want to slow down the speed of the fan at step 1 itself.. It wud be really helpful if u hv a suggestion to our prob…

    • Abhishek Jain says:

      Hi Aashana,

      You will have to get the regulator changed for that. Speed at 1 is fast only when the regulator is not working properly.

  7. Salmander says:

    The older model regulators fail less and are more reliable. We changed nearly half a dozen electronic regulators in the past 4 or 5 years. None of them gave a consistent fan speed either. The fan either ran too fast or too slow. So much for ‘modern technology’. Every year, the quality of ‘new technologies’ seems to be so terrible it feels like it can’t get any worse – however, manufacturers consistently disprove our contention by making their newer models even worse.

    We recently switched back to an old model regulator for two of our fans. The speeds are more consistent now. We will (most likely) change the other electronic regulators once they fail.

    • Mahadeo says:

      Yes, I also tried a lot of movable and step type electronic regulators for more than 5 years, they really did not give better performance than the old generation electric regulator, they also died soon.

      3 years ago I decided trying old style electric regulators and I am happy with my decision. They perform better (No humming sound at low speed) and predictable results at every level. They do what they are supposed to do and none of the regulator has died in last 3 years.