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Not to be confused with your primary air conditioning unit, a small cooling fan is an ideal supplement to your existing AC set-up. If you live in a particularly hot climate, for example, and you can’t turn your AC below 80 degrees during the day without consuming obscene levels of energy, a small, efficient cooling fan can reduce the temperature in your home to a more livable level.
What Are the Best Cooling Fans?
As opposed to an old-fashioned box fan, the best cooling fans are both compact and efficient, with enough power to cool down an entire space quickly and quietly. The newest cooling fans are sleek and thoughtfully-designed, with blade-less versions that are safer for children, and oscillating towers that are better at circulating air around the room.
Things to Consider When Buying a Cooling Fan
Design: Blade-less fans, like the ones from Dyson, are gaining popularity. Their minimal, almost futuristic design is a welcome change of pace from the buzzing oscillators we all remember. They are also safer for children, who love to poke their tiny fingers into danger zones. Oscillating tower fans are also a design we like, as their height and power has a wider range, providing cooling air flow to a larger area.
Noise: This is the type of fan intended to operate for hours at a time, such as when you’re hanging in the living room, working from home, or trying to sleep. As such, you don’t want the fan to be so noisy you can’t concentrate comfortably on your actual life. You probably won’t find anything totally noise-free, but we like to keep it to a gentle hum.
Features and Settings: The more speed and cooling settings your fan has, the more precisely you’ll be able to adjust the temperature in your home to your exact preferences. Some fans go beyond this, and include air purifying features, automatic sensors, timers, and remote operation. Depending on what you’re looking for, any of these features could be the make or break factor in your choice.
1. Dyson Pure Cool Air Purifier and Fan
If you live in an area where — in addition to a desire to save on energy — air quality is of particular concern, we highly recommend this Dyson blade-less fan and air purifier combo.
This appliance comes equipped with every bell and whistle imaginable, while still remaining no louder than a soft din. In auto mode, the device automatically initiates purification when it senses pollutants or allergens in the atmosphere and reports air quality levels on the LED display.
The fan function then projects this newly-cleansed air throughout the room with up to 350 degrees of oscillation. In diffused mode, it can also force warm air through the back of the air valve, making it great for chillier months too.
The night-time setting, which dims the screen and uses its quietest settings so as not to disturb sleep, is another nice touch. It is also compatible with Alexa, Siri, and the Dyson Link app for easy monitoring and control over your settings.
2. Rowenta VU2660 Turbo Silence Fan
Don’t let the old-school design fool you — this fan is as functional as it is practical, packing a ton of features into its portable size.
For one thing, it has an impressive five speed settings, ranging from barely-a-breeze to “turbo boost” for an extra gust of wind. All in, the fan delivers 1500 watts of power. The wide range allows you to regulate airflow more precisely, as does the oscillation ability, which can be adjusted to your ideal angle.
The 12-inch diameter makes this a great pick for small rooms, bedrooms or offices. It’s portable enough (and with an ergonomic handle) to move from space to space too. An included remote control lets you operate the fan even from the other side of the room.
We like that this fan is exceptionally quiet; even at its highest setting, the fan’s noise level never surpasses a low hum, keeping you cool, relaxed, and comfortable even while sleeping at night. And while traditional blade-driven fans can look cheap, we appreciate the grown-up metallic look of this fan, which is a great upgrade from the basic white fans of the past.
3. Honeywell QuietSet Tower Fan
Tower fans, which are larger and less portable than the small blade-less appliances above, will likewise produce stronger airflow over a wider range of space. We like this Honeywell model, which can be adjusted for both sound and speed, in addition to a dimmer function which modifies the brightness of the LED display.
The fan comes with eight speed settings, and Honeywell says its technology makes this tower fan extremely energy-efficient compared to using an air conditioner or other models in this category.
Since we’re big fans of any appliance we don’t have to think about too much, we also love that it comes with an automatic timer feature and a remote control.
4. Lasko Electric Oscillating Tower Fan
If you want the range of a tower fan without the bulk, the Lasko tower is our pick for a powerful fan that still fits in tight corners and small spaces.
Actually, this tower is an ideal bedroom fan. It’s tall enough for you to feel the breeze while elevated on a mattress, and comes with a remote control so that you can make adjustments without needing to leave said mattress. It also won’t keep you awake with loud rattling or a bright display. The low, white noise hum is actually quite soothing and the nighttime setting automatically dims the display lights until you interact with the fan again.
Other bonuses include easy assembly, a built-in carry handle, and an energy-efficient auto shut off timer.