Updated: June 8, 2015
Electric Fan Reviews:It's not always practical to turn on your air conditioner when the temperature rises during the summer months. Some apartments and older homes don't even have air conditioning. That's when buying a portable electric fan can be a lifesaver. A good fan can make a room feel 10-15 degrees cooler when used properly. Electric fans are designed to create a breeze and circulate air in a room. Electric fans are pretty simple in their design and function. An electric motor spins the blades, which are shaped to move air from the back of the fan out through the front of the fan. The spinning blades are guarded by a screen of some sort to keep fingers and other objects away from the blades. Some electric fans also have oscillators, which allow them to move back and forth or up and down to increase air flow. Below we will look at different types of fans, with reviews of the most popular electric fans.
Choosing an electric fan- Electric fans come in a few basic design styles. Table fans are small fans that sit on a flat surface like a table or the floor. Window fans (or exhaust fans) are propped into a window opening like an air conditioning unit, and are used to either draw air into the room or send air out of the room. A good example is the Honeywell HW-628 Enviracaire Twin Window Fan which is highly rated on Amazon and sells for less than $40. Pedestal or standing fans are taller fans that can be positioned at various height and locations to direct air where you want it. The small tower fans you might see are normally air cleaners and do not actually create much air movement. How much should you spend on a fan? You can pick up simple table fans for $20-$40. Pedestal fans are more like $50-$70, while a window fan will cost closer to $100-$300 or more. Finally, there are wall mountable fans that attach to a fixed location (usually a corner near the ceiling) and blast air down and around a room. These tend to be found in commercial locations rather than residential locations. A lot of chain stores carry a decent selection of electric fans, and they almost all offer special sale prices at the beginning of summer when most people are thinking about picking up a new fan. A fan won't compensate for no air conditioning, but on a warm night, the added breeze in a stifling hot room can make the difference between sleep and no sleep.
Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and Lowes all carry a variety of fans, from table top fans to exhaust fans. Walmart.com offers a great WindChaser WindChill Indoor/Outdoor Misting Fan for $84. It hooks up to any hose (use it on your patio or deck) and creates a fine mist that is blown about, instantly cooling an area. For a different design, check out the Honeywell Signature Series Triple Tower Fan - this tall, 3 bladed unit (all independently controlled) can send several streams of air around a room, and stands 36 inches high -- $65. The Lasko Wind Machine Pivoting Floor Fan is just $20 and pivots to send air up or down, at 3 different speeds. This is a good, economical choice for a small room or a place where the fan will be postioned close to you. You can browse the most popular electric fans online here
Best Electric FansRECOMMENDED - We suggest going with the Bionaire BW2300 Twin Window Fan. The fan will exhaust hot air out and bring cooler air in. The Bionaire features 3 fan speeds and an electronic control with LCD screen and remote control. Owners like the thermostat function which turns the fan off/on depending on what comfort level you are looking for. It will fit into double hung, vertical slider and casement windows measuring 24 to 37 inches wide. We also prefer the Lasko tower and pedestal fans as most are priced below $30 and offer reasonable air movement on hot nights. The Ozeri tower fans get near perfect reviews, but at $100 or more, perhaps stepping up to a portable air conditioner is a better buy. Check out the consumer reviews posted to websites like Amazon to read about the pros and cons to all models. Ideally, you want a fan that circulates air and helps alleviate the hot temperatures.
Air-n-Water.com Fanis another good site for buying a fan online. They have exhaust fans, floor fans, wall fans, pedestal fans, electric fans, you name it. For some real power, the Air King 9420 20" 3670 CFM Durable Steel Construction Pedestal Fan is $129 and comes with a 3 year warranty. It has a 1/6 HP motor with 3 speeds, and adjusts from 54 to 64" height. For a small fan, we liked their FTY25 10" Table or Wall Fan - Dual-Use Electric Fan. At just $27, this little baby (13x12x14) can sit on a table or attach to a wall, comes with a built in safety switch, and has 3 speeds to choose from. It also helps circulate warm air in the winter to keep your heating bills down. All told, there is a great selection of fans on this site, and they offer a 30 day return policy (with RMA).
For a different fan design, check out the Vornado series (Vornado.com). They completely redesigned fans around the concept of the vortex, and their fans are famed for delivering air currents all the way across a room, unlike standard fans where the air flow is quickly dispersed and negligible 7 or 8 feet away from the fan. The Vortex Vornado fans are designed for both summer and winter use, circulation warm air away from the ceiling it and bringing it down to people level in the winter, while creating true air currents around an entire room in the summer. Their small Vornado 500 series will fit nicely on a desk or table, while the 200 series is a little larger and can easily create a breeze in a normal size room - a Vornado 280SSB is priced at about $80. The 700 series electric fan is a little bigger, priced at $89, and has a cool serpentine base. For maximum versatility, check out the Vornado adjustable 700 series. These units mount on a pole and can be slid up or down to whatever height you want (27" to 42" off the floor). Priced at just $99, these are great fans for general household use. We liked their quiet performance and the powerful air currents they create. RECOMMENDED - See all the top selling Vornado electric fans here.