What do the abbreviations AC and DC meant to you? As Floridians, here at Del Mar Fans & Lighting, the term AC reminds us of a summer staple used to keep us cool; and DC is the abbreviation for our nation's capital. Rarely do these terms conjure images of the best ceiling fan motors. However, our journey to understand the difference between an alternating current (AC) motor and a direct current (DC) motor has been an enlightening one.
How Direct Current Motors Work
Which motor is going to be best choice for your ceiling fan? Brands like Craftmade, Emerson, and Fanimation use DC motors in many of their popular ceiling fan models such as the Craftmade DC Union. But still, we asked, what are the differences between these two motor types?
All motors work by converting electrical energy into mechanical energy, but the similarities end there for AC and DC motors. AC motors are powered by connecting directly to a power source. DC motors are powered through the use of a battery or a converter. The speed of the motors is also controlled differently.
For an AC motor, the speed is controlled by varying the frequency, while the speed of a DC motor is controlled through the current. A DC motor is by far the preferred motor in many applications today, from electric trains to cranes to elevators, and are definitely the choice for ceiling fans.
Advantages Ceiling Fans with DC Motors
As the demand for energy-efficient products increases, so does the use of DC motors in ceiling fans and other household appliances. Here are some of the reasons DC motors trump AC motors:
- High Torque - Ceiling fans with DC motors create a higher torque, meaning greater initial power and less energy consumptions. DC motors consume 70% less energy than conventional ceiling fan motors.
- Greater Control - DC motors control six speeds settings and reverse function. Generally, these motors are easier to start, stop, and accelerate.
- Central Circuitry - Fans with DC motors have all the electrical components conveninently located in one place atop of the motor assembly, so there's no need for a canopy or switch cup. This makes wiring your ceiling fan during the installation process a lot easier.
- Light Weight - DC motors generally weigh less than conventional fan motors, resulting in a lighter product that is easier to installed.
- Quiet Operation - DC motors virtually silent, ensuring a quiet operation.
Because DC motors are more technologically advanced, you can expect to pay more money for a DC ceiling fan. Although they cost a bit more upfront, ceiling fan manufacturers like Craftmade believe that the advantages of versatility and the speed of a fan with a DC motor, such as the Craftmade DC Epic, are well worth the costs.