4 Expert Tips To Choose A Fan

90% of US households use air-conditioning. Interestingly, 87% also use fans. This proves that fans are almost as desired and important as air-conditioners to keep homes cool.

If you are thinking of buying a new fan or replacing your existing one, we are here to help. Read these useful tips that will guide you in making the right choice. Let's begin with why you need a fan even if you have air-conditioning in your home.

Why should I buy a fan even if I have air-conditioning?

  • Fans consume far less energy than air-conditioners. A 1.2KW window air-conditioner costs 14 cents per hour in energy bill and 3-ton central AC unit costs 36 cents. But a humble table-fan consumes just 0.7 cent worth of energy per hour. Hence, you can keep cool with a fan during moderate seasons and save a lot of money.

  • Fans supplement the cooling power of air-conditioners. Even if an AC is on, a slow-moving fan helps distribute the air over a larger area.

  • You can keep the windows open when a fan is on. This helps in creating better air circulation.

  • Fans create "white noise" that is helpful in blocking other annoying sounds such as a car alarm or a dog-bark. This helps you to sleep peacefully.

  • Good-quality fans last as long as air-conditioners and cost much less.

  • Far less capital investment.

  • Far less maintenance cost.

  • Very cost-effective.

So, yes, your decision to purchase a fan is well-founded. Now let's talk about your options.

What are my fans options to choose from?

You have personal (mini fan), table, floor, wall-mounted, and window-fitting models to choose from.

Personal fans (mini fans)

These are the handy, user-friendly models that sit pretty beside you and provide cool air for enhanced productivity. They are usually available as box-type, drum-type, or mini-towers. They have 2-3 speed adjustments, wide oscillation, and tilt mechanisms, and are available in attractive sandblasted, powder-coated, or painted finishes.

Carry these personal fans wherever you go, or even give them away as a unique gift!

White and Blue Mini Personal Fan
White Mini Personal Fan
Black Cradle Medium Personal Fan
Oscillating Medium Personal Fan
Black and White Medium Personal Fan
Oscillating Mini Personal Fan

Table-fans

From retro looks to classic decorative or contemporary chic, table-fans today have many style statements that go with an array of interior décors. Choose a style that matches your taste. Be mindful, though, that you will be using your table-fan in different rooms and locations, so a neutral, adaptive style, color, and looks will be an ideal choice. How about a buff-finish gray, white or bronze?

Some unique advantages of table-fans:

  • You can place them at different heights, which lets you decide the level of their air-throw. As a general rule, place the table-fan at approximately the same height as your working surface. For example, if you are working on a desk-top, place the table-fan at the same height as your desktop. 

  • Due to their oscillation, table-fans can cover over180^0^ area with their air-sweep. This is very useful in small and medium-sized rooms, where, if you place the table-fan in a corner, its sweep will cover the entire room.

  • Since the air-flow of table-fans is more directional, it is more effective in removing unpleasant odors and kitchen smells.

  • A table-fan consumes just about 0.7 cents worth of energy per hour, as against 1 cent/hour of a ceiling fan.

Next, check out if the model you are considering buying has these important features:

  • 3-level speed control
  • Rear handle to lift the fan
  • 6' power cord
  • Durable rubber pads at the base to absorb vibration and hold the fan firmly in place
  • Manual-tilt mechanism, which lets you tilt the fan up or down to direct the airflow exactly where you want.
Oscillating Table Fan in Black
Silver Decorative Table Fan
Table Box Fan in Grey
Retro Table Fan in Blue
Oscillating Decorative Table Fan in Brown
Black Box Table Fan

Floor fans

A standing fan that is as smart-looking as it is efficient - that should be your benchmark if you are looking for a good floor fan. And the market will not disappoint you. Today, there are many options to choose from different types:

  • Pedestal- the universal floor fan with a disc base and a long stem on which the fan rets.

  • Tower - styled in the skyscraper concept, it houses the fan inside a long and lean casing.

  • Cradle fan that is just that - the three wings nestling inside a cozy enclosure.

  • Box - a variant of cradle fan that has a box-type of casing.

With the above range, you can easily find a floor fan that matches your décor while keeping your room efficiently cool. Keeping in mind the portability factor, manufacturers thoughtfully offer a wide range in universal colors and appeals. These include:

  • White or black for universal adaptability across room décor types

  • Metal finishes for soft-hued walls, with one covered with floral wall-paper and a deep-sinking sofa

  • Darker shades of gray, maroon, and brown - walls in supplementary colors, wooden furniture and sitting arrangement with contrast-colored throw pillows.

Whichever floor fan you choose, check whether it has these essential features:

  • Large blades for rich, cool air-throw
  • Blade angle of 12° to 15°, which helps in optimizing air-throw and circulation
  • Full oscillation
  • Adjustable height
  • Adjustable tilt
  • Efficient and quiet motor for smart air-throw

All said and done, floor fans are unique in their concept because they can cool open spaces without a ceiling. Your porch, patio, or terrace-top, move it anywhere and make your summer evenings breezy and cool. Advanced models are available with remote control.

Black Oscillating Standing Floor Fan
Oscillating Tower Floor Fan in White
Retro Pedestal Floor Fan with Wooden Legs
Tower Fan with Remote Control
Classic Large Pedestal Floor Fan
Oscillating Pedestal Fan in White

Wall-mounted

These plug-in fans are vertically installed to save your floor or desktop space. As such, they are great for compact rooms. Located above normal height, they allow free movement. Importantly, the air at this height is light, not condensed as in the case of floor-level air. Hence, wall-mounted fans offer very efficient airflow with enhanced force. This advantage can be maximized with the tilt feature.

Wall-mounted fans are also ideal for odd-shaped and low-height small rooms where it is difficult to install a ceiling fan. They are also ideal for kitchens.

On the flip side, wall-mounted fans are not portable. Moreover, being permanent installations, you have to carefully select their location keeping in mind these factors:

  • Proximity to a power plug

  • Location of installation - the center of a wall facing a window is ideal. It improves air ventilation by circulating the air that comes in and goes out through the window.

  • Height - this will depend upon the room size and the motor power. The general rule is to install the fan at a three-fourth height of a room. So, if your room is 10' ceiling, install the fan at about 7' to 7 ½' height. This will also offer adequate ground clearance.

Modern wall-mounted fans are thoughtfully designed to fit into a wide range of decors and settings. To each, their own. To be safe, follow the law of neutrality and choose a white, black, or brown wall-mounted fan.

big White Oscillating Wall Mounted Fan
Black Wall Mounted Fan
Oscillating Wall Mounted Fan in Black
Oscillating Patio Wall Mounted Fan
Wall Mounted Fan in Large Size
Classic White Wall Mounted Fan

Window-fitting

These are reversible window-fitted fans with two adjacent fan units. Unlike the other types of fans that circulate indoor air, window fans draw in fresh outdoor air in the room, which improves the air quality of the room. By reversing the direction of the fans, you can make this fan work as an exhaust, sucking out the stale indoor air.

Before considering the window-fitting fan, keep these points in mind:

  • You need a large window to fit the fan that has an average dimension of about 12" H x 24" W x 6" D.

  • To maximize its utility, you will also need a room of above 250 sq. ft. size.

  • Window-fitting fans are best suited for special climatic conditions such as hot and humid regions, or the ones with unpleasant odors and smells.

If you think you need this type of fan, go ahead and select a cool, light-colored model from the wide range available in the market.

What are the different power sources for fans, and which option should I choose?

Below are the different power sources for you to consider:

  • For the personal (mini) fans, battery-powered as well as grid electricity-powered options are available. Your choice should be based on the type of usage. If you intend to use it in settings with an electric power source, opt for a plug-in model. But if you are going to use this fan in remote areas or as a stand-by during power-outages, buy the battery-operated fan. Keep in mind that there are two types of batteries: replaceable and rechargeable.

    The first is the dry cell or "D" type of use-and-discard battery, while the second can be recharged and reused. Opt for a fan with rechargeable battery for cost-efficiency and convenience. They will prove to be cheaper in the long run, and they can be recharged in two ways -- by plugging them into a power source, or through a power bank.

  • Some manufacturers offer dual power source for personal fans - battery and plug-in, so that you can operate it anywhere you want. They become excellent secondary fans. If you are sitting in a far corner of a room where the air-throw of the primary fan is insufficient, you can use your personal fan on battery mode. And if you are at your work-desk, plug it in the socket and use it.

  • For table, floor, and wall-mounted fans, 110V to 240V domestic alternate current (AC) power supply is the standard specification. They are not available with the battery-power option, as they are not designed for portability. Remember to place or install these fans near the power plug -- nearer the better. This will shorten the length of the electric cord, hence minimizing any risk of it tangling or its accidental pulling off of the cable. Such minor oversights can lead to major electrical accidents.

Handheld Battery Mini Personal Fan
Battery Powered Mini Personal Fan
Wall Plug-in Box Fan in White
Wall Plug-in Personal Table Fan on Clip
Metal Fan USB Plug-in
Wall Plug-in Oscillating Floor Fan in Black

What is the energy efficiency standard for fans?

Look for the Energy Star label on the fan you buy. It is an assurance of about 60% energy saving. The label has a star-grading with one star signifying minimum energy efficiency and five stars, maximum.

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.