5 Great Fans to Stay Cool without Breaking the Bank

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Top Picks at a Glance

What to Consider

Temperatures are rising and energy costs are more expensive than ever right now. If you’re finding yourself stuck in the house trying to stay cool, you might be trying to navigate expensive air conditioning costs, inefficient air conditioning, or nothing at all. You can read up on our full tips & tricks for beating inflation prices right here, but one easy alternative to stay cool at home without breaking the bank on air conditioning is a fan. While running AC in the house can easily rack up hundreds of dollars in energy costs, a fan will use a fraction of the energy. Some reports put the total cost of running a fan on high for 24 hours a day to only come out to around 5 dollars a month.

Now of course, a fan is not going to lower the temperature in your house, but if you want some instant relief without running an expensive AC all day, they are a great option. That being said, there are a variety of different fan types to consider, and their overall effect on your comfort will change significantly.

Box Fan- As the name implies, a box fan is simply a spinning set of blades housed in a box. These are not very mobile and will not oscillate but you do have the option of placing them in a window as a cheaper alternative to an AC. That being said, they will not lower the temperature of the air in any significant way, and if you place the fan in the window there is also a good chance that you will not feel any of the effect of the air on your body.

Tower fan- these are some of the most popular models around these days, as they are free-standing, do not take up a lot of space, and can pump out cold air around the entire room

Pedestal fan- similar to the tower fan, these are the classic free-standing fans with a blades spinning in a circular casing. They are usually more powerful than tower fans, and the much larger surface area will blow a lot more cool air directly on you position it properly. They are usually taller as well, but generally don’t have the same effectiveness with oscillating to hit the entire room.

Pedestal fan- similar to the tower fan, these are the classic free-standing fans with a blades spinning in a circular casing. They are usually more powerful than tower fans, and the much larger surface area will blow a lot more cool air directly on you position it properly. They are usually taller as well, but generally don’t have the same effectiveness with oscillating to hit the entire room.

Small fans- These can fall into a few different categories, but we choose to look at any fan that can be placed on a table or chair as small fans. They are of course a lot less powerful than most of the other fans available, but use a very small amount of energy, and can also afford some instant relief if you just want some air blowing on your face.

Best Tower Fan – Best Tower Fan – Lasko Portable Electric 42”

This consistently came up on multiple lists as your best bet for a tower fan. It is not super expensive, and was praised for its solid performance and quiet operation. It can work well placed in the corner of a room or directly next to you, and received high marks for both small and large sized rooms

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Quiet
  • Effective

Cons

  • Some complaints of clicking noises after repeated use

Best Splurge – Best Splurge – Dyson Pure Cool TP04

If you’re looking for the best money can buy, simply put the Dyson Pure Cool TP04 is the best option around. Maybe you don’t have AC or you prefer a fan over long run, but in either case this powerhouse definitely has enough power to blast cold air around an entire room. In addition to its superior effectiveness, this also acts as an air purifier. You can read up on our article about the best air purifiers available now, but if you want to find the most powerful fan with an air purifier all in one, this is the unit for you. Additionally, it has the option to oscillate either 45 degrees or a full 360 degrees, allowing you to place it in a central location and has it service the entire room. This model can do it all, and extremely well, but this also comes with a massive price tag.

Pros

  • Very powerful and effective
  • Also an air purifier
  • Option for 45 degree and 360 degree oscillation

Cons

  • Very expensive

Best Box Fan – Best Box Fan – Hurricane Classic 20”

If you are specifically eyeing a box fan, the Hurricane Classic 20” was the top of the list on most of the review sites that included it. It is incredibly cheap and cost effective, with a 55-volt motor that is more powerful than most of the other box fans on the list while being super cheap to operate.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Effective
  • Energy Efficient

Cons

  • Lower speeds are not very effective
  • Some reports of it being noisy

Best Pedestal Fan- Best Pedestal Fan- Pelonis Oscillating Pedestal fan

If you’re looking for a fan you can stand up and blow air directly on you, the Pelonis Oscillating pedestal fan is your best bet. There isn’t a world of difference between most of these models, so we had to pick this unit for its consistently high praise: solid power, relatively quiet performance, decent size and oscillation.

Pros

  • Solid performance
  • Relatively quiet
  • Relatively cheap

Cons

Best Small Fan – Best Small Fan – GreenTech Environmental PureFlow QT7

The best option for a table fan, this model came up on many of the lists we consulted. It is energy efficient and has 12 different speeds to cycle through so you get the absolute perfect airflow for the situation. It has a 90 degree tilt both vertical and horizontal with the ability to oscillate as well. It is of course meant for smaller rooms, but if you are looking for a personal fan to give you some relief and operate cheaply, this is the perfect option.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Effective
  • Energy Efficient
  • Very wide oscillation options

Cons

  • Reports of it being noisy on higher speeds

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