Qualifying Criteria For
Ceiling Fans

(January 1, 2009)

Participants should be aware that ceiling fans that meet this specification do not satisfy the requirements of the province of Ontario's energy efficiency regulations. Residential ceiling fans sold in Ontario are required to meet CAN/CSA-C814-96, Energy Performance of Ceiling Fans.


Residential Ceiling Fan: A non-portable device designed for home use that is suspended from the ceiling for circulating air via the rotation of fan blades. Some ceiling fans also have an integral or attachable light kit. A "hugger" type of ceiling fan cannot qualify for ENERGY STAR.

Light Kit: A complete lighting unit consisting of a lamp or lamps, and ballasting (when applicable) together with the parts designed to distribute the light, to position and protect the lamps and to connect the lamps to the power supply. Light kits can be

  • Integral – The light kit is attached to the ceiling fan housing at the time of purchase. This type of light kit is integrated into the bottom cap of the fan and cannot be removed or replaced with another light kit.
  • Attachable – The light kit is not, at the time of sale, physically attached to the fan. The light kit must be attached to the ceiling fan for the lights to work. Attachable light kits might be included inside the ceiling fan box at the time of sale or sold separately for subsequent attachment to the fan.

Controls: Controls enable the user to turn on and/or off or adjust the lighting and fan movement. Controls may be in the form of pull chain, slide switch, wall switch and/or panel, or remote control.

Airflow: The rate of air movement at a specific fan setting expressed in cubic foot per minute (CFM). Airflow is determined from testing done using the Solid State Test Method as defined in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) ENERGY STAR Testing Facility Guidance Manual: Building a Testing Facility and Performing the Solid State Test Method for ENERGY STAR Qualified Ceiling Fans.

Airflow Efficiency: The ratio of airflow divided by power at a specific residential ceiling fan setting expressed in cubic foot per minute per watt (CFM/W). Airflow and power are determined from testing done using the Solid State Test Method as defined in EPA's ENERGY STAR Testing Facility Guidance Manual: Building a Testing Facility and Performing the Solid State Test Method for ENERGY STAR Qualified Ceiling Fans.

Power Consumption: Defined as the active power and expressed in watts. Power consumption is measured during residential ceiling fan testing at a specific speed using the test procedure described in EPA's ENERGY STAR Testing Facility Guidance Manual: Building a Testing Facility and Performing the Solid State Test Method for ENERGY STAR Qualified Ceiling Fans.

Solid State Test Method: A test method that specifies the apparatus and testing protocol for measuring a residential ceiling fan's airflow and power consumption. The method utilizes a hotwire anemometer and requires a temperature-controlled room and computer for recording test data.

Hugger Fan: A fan style where the motor mounts directly to the ceiling. Hugger fans are most commonly used in rooms with low ceilings. Hugger fans are manufactured and marketed as such and should not be confused with multi-mount (traditional) fans that can be hung without the down rod, giving the same effect as a hugger fan. Hugger fans are designed to allow installations on ceilings that are 2.3-2.4 m (7'6"-8') high when using a fan light kit where walking under the fan will occur.

Technical Criteria

Table 1 - Criteria for ENERGY STAR Qualified Residential Ceiling Fans*
Fan Speed Minimum Airflow CFM (m3/min) Efficiency Requirement CFM/W (m3/min/W)
Low 1250 (35.4) 155 (4.4)
Medium 3000 (85.0) 100 (2.8)
High 5000 (141.6) 75 (2.1)

*when operating in a downward-blowing direction

Other Requirements


All integral and attachable light kits must meet the requirements of the EPA's ENERGY STAR residential light fixture specification. Similarly, attachable light kits, sold separately, must also meet the requirements of the residential light fixture specification.

ENERGY STAR qualified residential ceiling fans sold without integral or attachable light kits must provide information on product packaging or with product instructions regarding ENERGY STAR qualifying light kits that may be used with that particular residential ceiling fan.


Qualifying products shall permit convenient consumer adjustment of fan speed. This may be accomplished by means of one or more wall-mounted switch(es), a remote control or readily accessible pull chains. For purposes of this specification, "readily accessible" shall be defined as a length sufficient to reach a height of no more than 203 cm (80 in.) above the floor when the residential ceiling fan is mounted according to the residential ceiling fan's installation instructions. For those residential ceiling fans that can accommodate light kits, the lights and the fans must be able to be controlled separately, allowing users to switch off lights during fan operation or to operate the lights without using the residential ceiling fan.

Qualifying products shall also provide for consumer adjustment of airflow direction (upward or downward) by one of the following means:

  • a vertically or horizontally mounted slide switch on the motor housing. For vertically mounted switches, the downward position must correspond to downward airflow. For horizontally mounted switches, airflow direction must be clearly identified on the switch housing or within the product literature;
  • a wall-mounted switch;
  • a remote control; or
  • a readily accessible pull chain.


No requirements at this time.


Qualifying products shall provide a warranty of at least 30 years for the motor and at least one year for all other components of qualifying residential ceiling fans. All ceiling fan light kits (i.e. integral and attachable) shall also meet applicable warranty requirements under the EPA's ENERGY STAR residential light fixture specification.

Product Testing

Testing Requirements

Participants are required to perform tests and self-certify each representative model that they intend to qualify as ENERGY STAR. Testing must be done according to the EPA's ENERGY STAR Testing Facility Guidance Manual: Building a Testing Facility and Performing the Solid State Test Method for ENERGY STAR Qualified Ceiling Fans.

Efficiency is to be measured on each of three fan speeds (low, medium, high). For ceiling fan models that offer more than three speeds, the manufacturer may choose the three individual speed settings that should be used to comply with the performance levels set forth in Table 1. However, measurements should be taken and reported for all discrete operating speeds. Models sold with light kits or integrated light sources must be tested with those light sources mounted in their intended position and switched off. When testing ceiling fan light kits, participants must meet the testing and documentation requirements included in the EPA's ENERGY STAR residential light fixture specification.

Laboratory Requirements

Ceiling fans may be tested only by laboratories that have met the guidelines provided in EPA's ENERGY STAR Testing Facility Guidance Manual and have been approved to test for ENERGY STAR qualification.

EPA will conduct annual "round-robin" testing of these laboratories (i.e. calibrations) to verify that test results fall within plus or minus 5 percent of each other. This process will be performed using a reference fan provided by EPA. The list of laboratories that can test and qualify ceiling fans under ENERGY STAR can be downloaded from the U.S. ENERGY STAR Web site at Additional direction regarding the laboratory calibration procedure is provided in EPA's ENERGY STAR Testing Facility Guidance Manual: Building a Testing Facility and Performing the Solid State Test Method for ENERGY STAR Qualified Ceiling Fans.

Reporting Requirements

The company whose brand name appears on the product packaging shall, for purposes of this specification, be considered the manufacturer. Manufacturers must submit qualified product information to the EPA. The information includes reports from a qualified laboratory containing airflow, power consumption, airflow efficiency data and lighting test results (where applicable) for each residential ceiling fan model and light kit proposed for qualification.

Families of residential ceiling fan models that are identical in every respect but finish may be qualified through submission of test data for a single representative model. Likewise, models that are unchanged or that differ only in finish from those sold in a previous year may remain qualified without the submission of new test data, assuming the specification remains unchanged.

However, separate test data are required for all models that differ in any of the following characteristics:

  • motor type or size;
  • rotational speed;
  • control type (if included with fan);
  • blade weight, number, size or pitch; or
  • housing (i.e. size, design, ventilation).

Product Performance Review Process

To the extent that ENERGY STAR is a self-certification program, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and EPA rely upon the integrity of participating companies to ensure that all products for which ENERGY STAR claims are made meet all aspects of the ENERGY STAR performance specification. When mistakes are made and products are mislabelled or fail to perform as expected, prompt corrective action is required.

In the event that test data or other product information indicates a performance problem or mislabelling situation, NRCan and/or EPA will take the following steps:

  1. Inform the Partner/Participant about the apparent performance and/or labelling problem.
  2. Ask the Partner/Participant to withdraw the product (i.e. model number) from the ENERGY STAR qualified product list and stop labelling or to affirm the basis for qualification by supplying any relevant test data not already provided.
  3. In the event that a definitive conclusion cannot be reached based on the Partner/Participant's response, NRCan and/or EPA will make every effort to test the product in question as part of their in-use screening initiatives;
  4. If NRCan and/or EPA conclude(s), based on testing performed on behalf of NRCan and/or EPA (or an independent entity) in accordance with the ENERGY STAR specified test procedure, that the product in question does not fully qualify with the ENERGY STAR performance criteria, the product manufacturer will be asked to provide a "corrective action" plan outlining the process by which the product will be modified and retested so that qualification with the specification will be demonstrated within 90 days. If the Partner/Participant fails to submit a corrective action plan or exceeds the deadline for implementing it, the product in question will no longer qualify as ENERGY STAR.

Effective Date

The date that manufacturers may begin to qualify products as ENERGY STAR under this version of the specification will be defined as the effective date of the agreement. This ENERGY STAR residential ceiling fan version of the specification shall go into effect on January 1, 2009.

Qualifying and Labelling Products: All products, including models originally qualified under previous versions of the specification, with a date of manufacture on or after January 1, 2009, must meet this version of the specification in order to use the ENERGY STAR symbol on the product or in product literature. The date of manufacture is specific to each unit and is the date (i.e. month and year) on which a unit is considered to be completely assembled.

Elimination of a Grandfather Clause: There is no grandfather clause in this version of the specification. ENERGY STAR qualification under previous versions of the specification is not automatically granted for the life of the product model. Therefore, any product sold, marketed or identified by the Participant as ENERGY STAR must meet the specification in effect at that time.