When you are working at your desk, sitting at home in your favorite chair, or trying to sleep comfortably at night, the temperature can have a significant effect. If it is improbable to install a window air conditioner, or you don’t have central AC, the right fan can make all the difference.
While traditional fans merely move air around, certain fans can cool the room like an AC. This article will rate, review, and compare the 8 best fans that can cool a room or space. We will also offer you a buyer’s guide with factors to consider when making your purchase. Read on to find your next cooling fan.
Traditional room fans worked by taking the ambient air in through the back and pushing it out the front. They didn’t do much more than simply move air around, with little to no effort to change the temperature of the air. The fans on our list work a little differently.
By using various technologies, the fans can increase the air pressure leaving the fan, which can cause a drop in the air temperature. While no fan will mimic the cooling abilities of a central air conditioner or a mini-split system, they can make a room more comfortable.
Instead of just moving the air, these fans can help control the temperature, even lowering it like an air conditioner in some cases.
Choosing a Quality Cool Air Fan
Before you head out and buy your next cooling fan, there are some things you should think about first. Knowing exactly what you need will help you find the right model and the best price.
Temperature Cooling Ability
You will need to know what size room you have that you want to keep cool. The coverage area of the fan needs to meet or exceed the room space for it to be useful and worth the investment for you.
You also need to know how the fan lowers the temp like an AC. Most cooling fans will have motors that build pressure on the intake air and force it out through the blades (or bladeless in some models) to add more airflow and a cooling effect to the air it moves.
Some fans will have multiple duties, as well. While some are just normal operation (on, speed select and off), others have variable functions, some can even heat. Knowing what you need the fan to do, and what you can do without, will save you money when buying fans with features you don’t need.
The available features will vary by brand and model. Each one will also have different specifications. It is important, as the consumer, to know what these various specs and features mean for you. Let’s have a look.
- Airflow (CFM Output)
Airflow is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). The higher this spec rating, the more air the machine can move over a given time. Higher isn’t always better, though. If you pick a fan with a high CFM and put it in a small room, for example, you wouldn’t be able to be comfortable with the indoor hurricane it would produce.
- Fan Size
The overall dimensions of the fan are essential to consider as well. Some models are as tall as a bookcase, and others will fit comfortably on the edge of your desk. You will want to pick the best size for the space you have.If you buy a smaller fan for a larger room, as an example, it won’t have the needed cooling effect. Likewise, if you want a desk fan and get a large model, you may not be able to have the fan blowing on you while you sit at the desk.
- Fan Speeds
Your next fan that cools like an AC should have variable speeds. Instead of just always on or always off, you should be able to select the mode and speed of the fan to produce the needed amount of cool air to make you comfortable.Some days you may need an extra boost and can select a higher speed. Other days, though, it may be just a little too stagnant for your comfort, and a lower speed is called for. Make sure your investment has the ideal speed plus a couple of extra options for your overall comfort.
- Tilt and Oscillation Options
Controlling the direction of the airflow is important as well. Tilt features control the vertical axis of the fan so you can direct the airflow higher or lower.On the other hand, oscillation allows the fan to turn on a horizontal axis to cover more area left and right. The requirement for these two features will depend a lot on where you decide to place the fan. If you have the fan in a corner, for instance, you may not need oscillation, where tilt would be more practical.
Build Quality & Portability
Construction and the materials used in the construction will play a big part in the longevity of the fan you buy. Higher quality materials will cost more, but the device will last a lot longer and require less maintenance.
You also want to make sure the fan is durable enough to be continuously moved. You can move the fan to the bedroom at night and the living room in the morning. However, if it has poor portability, you may find that moving it is more trouble than it is worth.
Fan usage will consume electricity, which, in turn, will raise the monthly power bill. Low wattage fans or fans that have a low amp draw or crucial to saving money on your power bill. The more efficient the fan is, the higher the initial cost will be. However, with that higher cost, you will get a lower increase on your power bill, saving you money in the long run.
Some fans are whisper quiet, and others sound like they belong in a jet plane. If you plan to use the fan to cooling large, outdoor spaces, noise may not be a factor. You also want to make sure the fan is quiet enough indoors that you don’t have to yell to hold a conversation or raise the volume on the television too high.
Noise is measured in decibels (dB), and the higher the dB, the louder the fan is. In an ideal world, you would have a fan that produces less than 58 dB. A typical conversation in a quiet room, for comparison, is about 52 to 54 dB.
Price & Warranty
Lastly, you will want to pay attention to the price and warranty. While it may seem awkward to budget for a fan, some of these fans can get expensive. While they are worth the cost, you will need to ensure it is within your budget to make the purchase.
You will also want to read over the warranty terms and make sure you understand what is required on your part, in case you need to make a claim.
8 Best Air-Cooling Fans Reviewed
Below we offer you the 8 best air-cooling fans that work like an AC, reviewed, compared, and listed for your convenience. Have a scroll through the list and find your next air-cooling fan today!
1. Dyson Cool AM07
Our Top Pick
|Fan Type||Bladeless Tower|
|Fan Speed Settings||10 speeds|
|Airflow (CFM Output)||1060 CFM|
|Size/Dimensions||9.1 x 9.1 x 39.6 inches|
The Dyson Cool AM07 is arguably the best cooling fan around and our top pick. Second only to the AM09, the biggest difference is the price, making the AM07 a better choice. This ultra-powerful bladeless tower fan will have no problems keeping you cool any time of day.
Standing nearly 40 inches tall, the Dyson AM07 can oscillate and has settings for 10 different speeds. From a light breeze to over 1060 CFM of airflow (at about 55 mph), you won’t have to worry if the fan will cool the whole space. He AM07 will more air in larger rooms and even entire smaller apartments.
The cost is the biggest flaw, but you definitely get what you pay for. It is the most expensive fan on our list, but it is also one of the most durable, longest lasting fans on the market. It also comes with a two-year warranty to back up any worries you may have.
The tower is easy to clean, even while running, and the filter also reduces in-home allergens with a HEPA rating. Not only will you get clean, fresh air, but it will be cooler too. You can even set it and program the timer to run for any period of time from always on to a timer setting of 10 minutes to 9 hours.
- Longest lasting quality materials available
- Reliable operation with remote control operation.
- Simple installation for quick use out of the box
- Expensive model
- Doesn’t heat like the AM09
2. Vornado 630
|Fan Type||Floor/Table Top|
|Fan Speed Settings||3 speeds|
|Airflow (CFM Output)||331 CFM|
|Size/Dimensions||12 x 8.6 x 13.6 inches|
The Vornado 360 is an interesting little fan for your consideration. This vortex creating wind tunnel will sit on your floor or your tabletop. It doesn’t take up a lot of room, but it will produce airflow like a much larger fan does.
The secret is in our runner up for the best air cooling fan’s vortex turbine. As the deep blades rotate, the wind comes out with a much higher force than it is drawn in with. This produces over 330 CFM of air that is pushed over 70 feet.
As the air circulates the room, it is suctioned back up by the fan, and the process repeats. This fan definitely produces air movement in the home. Not only that, but it is backed by an industry-leading 5-year warranty.
One of the major drawbacks is that if the intake is blocked, even up against a wall, the airflow is minimized. To combat this, you must move the fan away from any walls or obstacles on the backside, which can hinder your ideal placement.
Cleaning isn’t as easy as it is with some of the other fans on the list. The unit is not designed to be taken apart easily, and cleaning the fan blades before the warranty is expired can prove challenging. However, with some patience, it can be done.
- Move a lot of air even if it is on the floor.
- Can keep air moving constantly
- Compact design allows for placement on tables, bars, or floor.
- Not easy to clean or maintain
3. Holmes Dual 8″
Best Dual Blade Window Fan
|Fan Speed Settings||2 Speeds|
|Airflow (CFM Output)||276 CFM|
|Size/Dimensions||25.9 x 13.5 x 5.7 inches|
The Holmes window fan is the best dual blade window fan you can buy. The budget-friendly price makes it alluring, and the 3-year warranty takes care of any worries you may have. The twin-blade fans also have reversible motors.
With the reversible motors, you can set the fans to intake (bring in air from outside the window), exhaust (push room air out the window), or set one to each for a continuous airflow cycle. Window fans work best when the temperature outside is cooler than it is inside. During the late spring and early summer months, this can be during a rainstorm, an ideal time to have the windows open (providing there isn’t a lot of wind).
In these conditions, the window fan can pull in the fresh air without worry about the rain since the motor housings are waterproof. You can also use them in conjunction with other fans or your air conditioner. Pushing the warmer air house out while the fan on the other side of the room makes fresher air circulate.
For the price, you really can’t go wrong, and you will find that these models fit in any sliding window (horizontal or vertical) up to 36-inches. There are accordion panels on the sides to fill in any gaps larger spaces create.
- Simple install
- Digital thermostat controls
- Adjustable airflow directions
- Low price fits any budget
- May not fit all vertical windows
- Doesn’t offer a remote control
4. Dyson Air Multiplier AM06
Best Cooling Table Fan
|Fan Speed Settings||10 speeds|
|Airflow (CFM Output)||570 CFM|
|Size/Dimensions||5.8 x 12 x 19.7 inches|
Dyson once again enters our top list with the best cooling table fan. The AM06 works just like our top pick, with only a slightly lower output and obvious size differences.
You also get three colors to choose from, including the popular blue and silver. Unlike the AM07, there isn’t a copper and silver color scheme. However, we are positive that once you plug it in and start using the fan, the color will be the least of your concerns.
This fan is as powerful as it is versatile. You can program it to run in 15-minute intervals up to 9 hours, or have it always on. Clean up is a snap too, even with the fan running, you can wipe the tower down and not worry about hurting yourself or the fan.
The remote control is magnetic and curved to fit the fan shroud, so you always know where it is. You don’t even need to remove it when the fan is tilted or oscillating. One of the best features is the noise level. While no fan is silent, the AM06 is close. With a new foil and airflow pattern, the AM06 is up to 75 percent quieter on high than the AM01 version, which itself isn’t very loud.
The 2-year Dyson warranty is standard and will cover the entire fan from defects, craftsmanship, and quality. While this is a more expensive table fan, you will definitely get your money’s worth while using it.
- Easy assembly and operation.
- Use the remote or button controls
- Tilt and oscillate features
- Fits on any table or desk
- Expensive table fan
- Not as powerful as some less expensive models
5. pureFlow QT7
Small Oscillating Table Fan
|Fan Type||Bladeless Table fan|
|Fan Speed Settings||12 Speeds|
|Airflow (CFM Output)||198|
|Size/Dimensions||10.6 x 12.8 x 10.5 inches|
If you are looking for a small table top fan that can cool with the best of them, look no further than the pureFlow QT7. This is easily the best small oscillating table fan around. It offers you a bladeless design and whisper-quiet operation.
The QT must stand for Quiet Technology, as this fan operates and 13 dBA (50dB), making it quieter than a normal conversation. You will have no issues sleeping with this fan running on your nightstand just a few feet away.
One of the more impressive specs is the adjustable airspeed, you can choose from 1 of 12 different speeds maxing out at 198 CFM. If you need to move some air in your small office space or medium-sized bedroom, the QT7 will get it done.
It isn’t going to blow over any furniture, but it will produce enough airflow to lower the temperature a degree or two. Since the fan also oscillates, it can cover more area than a tilt-only fan. We are quite sure you will find plenty of reasons to use this fan, even with the AC on.
You will also enjoy peace of mind along with your quiet nights as the pureFlow QT7 comes with a standard 2-year warranty that covers all parts, craftsmanship, and defects.
- Compact size ensures it fits on any table or nightstand
- Whisper-quiet operation
- Timer setting for up to 9 hours
- Oscillate and tilt for maximum airflow
- Not the strongest fan on the list
- Remote operation requires close proximity to fan
6. Lasko T42951
Best Oscillating Tower Fan
|Fan Speed Settings||3 Speeds|
|Airflow (CFM Output)||194 CFM|
|Size/Dimensions||13 x 13 x 42.5 inches|
Lasko offers you the T43951, which is the best oscillating tower fan available right now. If you want a space-saving design without a lot of fuss, then this is the tower fan for you. It blows a constant near 200 CFM when on high, and it isn’t as noisy as it looks.
The downside here is that this style of fan (and this one in particular) are near impossible to clean. With a limited 1-year warranty, it is almost cheaper to let the fan run through the warranty period and go until it clogs and replace it.
For those that like puzzles and a challenge, over 20 screws are holding the unit together, and if the motor, housing, or fan blades get wet at all, it will stop working. You have been warned.
On the good side, though, the fan does exactly what it is designed to do. It will sit in the corner of your room, and blow air with an oscillating pattern. You have remote operation if you don’t want to get up to change your settings, and it can be programmed to shut off in 30-minute increments up to 7.5 hours.
This model comes in two styles, the “nighttime” version, which is just the oscillating fan with programming and remote, and the “ionizer” version. That is the fan with dust and particle trapping ionized pates. We recommend you do not opt for the ionizer version as the plates need regular cleaning, and as stated before, this is a problem.
- Easy to set up and use
- Fits in the corner or along the wall without worry of losing intake suction
- Affordable for most budgets
- Short warranty period
- LED light can be bothersome at night
7. Honeywell HT-908
Best Floor Fan
|Fan Speed Settings||Speeds|
|Airflow (CFM Output)||230 CFM|
|Size/Dimensions||14.4 x 8.1 x 15.2 inches|
The best floor fan just got better. The Honeywell HT line has long been regarded as some of the best fans on the market. The HT-908 increases productivity and airflow while reducing power consumption, making it one of the best of all time.
With 3 speeds to choose from, you won’t have any issue moving air around your room. When on the high setting, the fan also produces about 230 CFM of airflow, meaning you can feel the air moving, even from across the room.
This compact fan sits on the floor and does its job without complaint. However, when you have it on high, the turbo mode kicks in, and the machine can get a little noisy. It may exceed 60 dB, depending on how close you are to it. Some reports state that having it near the TV facing them causes the owner to increase the volume on the television.
However, because the fan works well, you can have it on the other side of the room (up to about 30 feet away) and still feel the breeze. Also, because it can draw air in from almost any angle, you can mount this fan on the wall and tilt the head up to 90 degrees, making its location virtually anywhere you need it.
- Can be mounted on the wall
- Tilts up to 90 degrees
- Ideal for small or medium-sized rooms
- No oscillation
- Turbo speed is a bit noisy
8. Ozeri Ultra
Best Quiet Air Cooling Fan
|Fan Speed Settings||3 Speeds|
|Airflow (CFM Output)||5000 CFM|
|Size/Dimensions||13 x 13 x 43 inches|
Ozeri Ultra boasts as the best quiet air cooling fan around. They are marketed for upper-scale hotels and will do well in your home. There are few minor concerns, though they are easily overlooked with the massive benefits the fan provides.
For starters, the fan is among the quietest on the market, at least when brand new. On the low setting, the only sound you will hear is the whooshing of the air. There is no mechanical noise from the machine at all.
This changes with time and speed. On high, you will hear the fan, and after about a year of operation, the motor housing begins to wobble, making it produce random noises as it spins. Most of this is due to the intense speed the motor spins to produce the 5000 CFM airflow the fan provides.
Id the Ozeri Ultra the quietest fan as they state? You won’t find any dB ratings done online or in reviews because Ozeri doesn’t publish this. Instead, they state only “Engineered to generate more air velocity with less noise on a foot-per-minute to dB basis.”
We’ve found that with decibel meters, on low, the fan produces an incredibly low 42 dB of noise, this is less than a whisper at 3-feet. On high, though, you can expect about 54 dB, which is average for a fan. It is also unlikely that you will need to run the fan on high, with most users leaving the fan on low or medium.
With that said, the medium rating is between 48 and 51 dB, which is less than talking while sitting on the couch in a quiet room. The claims hold up, and this is the quietest fan you can buy for the price.
- High CFM for massive air movement
- Virtually silent on low-speed setting
- Aesthetically pleasing design and appearance
- Night mode doesn’t dim lights as advertised
- Can wobble with extension rod when oscillating
Best Types of Fans for Cooling Homes & Offices
Depending on your needs, there is a cooling fan made for you. Below are the various types of air-cooling fans that you will find in our best-of list above. This section explains how they work, so you have an idea of the type of fan you want to purchase.
Bladeless fans are the newest technology and use a brushless motor to function. The motor pulls air in through small vents at the base of the fan, which increases the pressure of the air. The high-pressure air is pushed through the curved shell and out through foils which direct the airflow. These fans can cause airflow to reach speed over 55 mph.
The air leaving the foils also draws more air from the backside and around the curved shell resulting in more air movement. The result is a cooler air that is pushed through the room resulting in a lower temperature overall.
Wall Mounted/Window Fan
Wall-mounted or window fans work to bring air in from the surrounding area to push through the room. Window fans sit in the windows, much like a window AC. Instead of blowing air over refrigerant coils, they pull outside air in and move it through the room.
Because you can increase the fan speed, more air is brought in and moved through the room, resulting in a lower temperature. This, provided of course, if the outside temp is lower than it is inside.
Tower fans, also called pedestal fans, are large stand-alone fans that can oscillate to more evenly distribute the airflow. Some will use motors to force air out at higher speeds, like a bladeless fan. However, they don’t quite have the capabilities of a bladeless to produce such high speeds.
Tower fans are the most difficult to keep clean because they don’t easily come apart and have small vents and louvers the air passes through. You will need to be meticulous in the cleaning to keep them operating at top performance expectations.
Desktop fans are designed to keep a small space or individual person cooler. They can be relatively powerful and come with a host of features like tilt or oscillation. Because of their size, they aren’t designed to cool entire rooms or affect a wide range of spaces.
While at your work desk or on your nightstand in bed, though, they can have a drastic impact on your cooling needs.
Ceiling fans work best when they run all the time. They don’t cool the air as much as other air-cooling fans, but they work in tandem with your central AC. Because hot air rises, the air around your ceiling will be warmer than near the floor, if your AC cannot pull the ceiling air in to be cooled, the room will stay warmer than it should.
A ceiling fan will pull the warm air down so that it can be gathered by the AC intake register, cooled, and returned to the room. Most ceiling fans also have a directional switch, which will work the opposite way in the winter to assist your heater in warming up the room.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Most of these fans will need an extensive cleaning and maintenance regimen. The blades, over time, will collect dust and debris and need to be cleaned off to work to their full potential. Bladeless fans will need to be wiped down regularly and ensure their intake vents are free from dust build-up.
Each brand and model will have a detailed cleaning and maintenance section in the owner’s manual. You may even be required to follow the steps on a specific timeline to validate the warranty. You should learn to follow the specified cleaning routine to ensure you have minimal problems and great airflow.
Cooling Tips During Hot Summers
Because fans are not designed to actually cool the air they pass, it is difficult to maintain their use during the hot summers. However, there are a few little tricks you can do to help the fans make the air even cooler.
The easiest method is to create an indoor swamp cooler. A swamp cooler works by using air or ice to blow the air over to give it a colder feeling. You can do the same thing with your indoor fan.
For example, you can get a Styrofoam cup full of ice and place it in front of your desk fan. The air leaving the fan will flow over the ice and take the cold with it as it blows over you. The same can be done for other fans using a cooler full of ice or cold water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do oscillating fans cool better?
Oscillating fans can appear to cool better than stationary fans because they provide a constant, directional airflow that changes to encapsulate the entire room or space. More airflow and variable directions provide cooler air to more parts of the room, effectively making it more comfortable.
Which types of spaces or rooms are AC fans best suited for?
Small and medium-sized rooms see the most benefit from AC fans. They can help lower the temperature a few degrees in smaller areas. If the fan is working to assist an air conditioner, the effects can be double what the air conditioners can produce on their own, making them more efficient and use less energy to drop the temperature in your space.
Do tower fans use a lot of electricity?
Tower fans, on average, consume more electricity than bladed pedestal fans. You can expect your tower fan to run on 100 watts of energy per hour. If you pay 30 cents per kWh, the tower fan, then, would cost you an average of 3 cents per hour to run. A pedestal fan will run at about half that cost.
How much will it cost if I run a fan all day?
The actual amount will be determined by the amperage draw and wattage used by the fan, as well as your electrical cost per kWh. The higher the amperage draw, the more watts needed to run, and the more you pay per kilowatt-hour, the more you will pay to run the fan all day. On average, across the US, you can expect that a standard AC fan will cost you about 13 cents per kilowatt-hour, running 24 hours per day will average your cost to be about $3.12 per day.
Is it more cost efficient to use air cooling fans compared to air conditioners?
Both an air conditioner and an air cooling fan will get the job done as efficiently as possible. However, it is actually more efficient to use both together. When used together, both machines will run more efficiently and for less time, resulting in overall lower energy consumption, cooler rooms at a faster rate and a lower cost on your monthly bill.
Buying an air cooling fan that works like an AC can help your home stay cooler, longer. The fact that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on window ACs or portable air conditioners to get the same effects means you can save your money for more important purchases.
While there are a lot of AC fans to choose from, there is one that stands above the rest. The Dyson Cool AM07 is the top pick and arguably the best air cooling fan on the market today. While the initial cost is slightly higher than other models, it is well worth the investment for medium and even larger spaced rooms. You won’t be disappointed.
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