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When it comes to real, no-nonsense, blast-you-in-the-face ventilation, there is no better instrument than the humble wall-mounted fan. Not necessarily ideal for quiet sitting rooms, this fan is for basements, workshops, warehouses, and barns (you’ve probably seen them in your favorite spin studios too). The best wall-mounted fan will deliver serious power with minimal fuss, helping to cool down a space quickly and economically.
Unlike ceiling fans, which push air downwards, wall fans push air through the space. This makes them great for moving cool air throughout an area. They’re cheaper to run — and less aggressive — than blasting the AC. And because they’re mounted to a wall, they don’t take up any floor space.
What to Know Before Buying a Wall Fan
We’re not looking for high-tech here, but there are a few considerations that we think are a good idea to keep in mind when looking for the best wall fan for you.
Size: As you might have guessed, the size of the fan you choose will have an effect on how much air it can blast out. Bigger isn’t always better, however, so remember to take into account the size of your space and how much room the fan will take up.
Noise: These kinds of powerful wall-mounted fans aren’t known for being quiet, so don’t expect perfect silence. That said, we still look for models that don’t sound like a constantly revving engine.
Installation difficulty: Depending on your power tool comfort level, installation can be a significant deciding factor. Even if the fan comes with some kind of installation kit, many people find themselves finagling their own custom mounts to various degrees of success.
Versatility: Though these are wall fans, some of the picks on our list come with a handy hook built-in for hanging, and others can be used table-top or on the floor, as well as on the wall.
1. HURRICANE Oscillating Wall Fan
We don’t ever expect fans like these to be noiseless, or even very quiet, so it’s a pleasant surprise to learn how little noise this Hurricane fan actually makes, without seeming to sacrifice anything in power. It may not be loud, but it’s so strong and effective you’re unlikely to forget it’s there.
The fan is 16 inches in diameter, with a three-speed motor, and 90 degrees of oscillation. People have found it pretty easy to install, and it is operated quite simply by two pull cords: one to change the speed and one to change the oscillation. Easy peasy.
Pros: Surprisingly powerful cooling for its size. Simple design and easy to operate.
Cons: Most useful for smaller spaces.
2. Lasko High Velocity QuickMount
This Lasko fan, unlike the fan above, does not even try to be quiet, but it does generate exceptionally strong airflow. In fact, its whole appearance reads workhorse.
The metal cage on this fan, which is 20 inches in diameter, is constructed of durable tubular steel. Both a floor and wall fan, it also includes protective rubber pads on the floor stand and a convenient carrying handle built in. This way, you can easily move it around for whatever or wherever it might be needed.
Because safety is a concern when it comes to any heavy duty electronics or machinery, we really like Lasko’s “Blue Plug,” a safety plug that the manufacturer says will cut off electric current to the fan if it detects a potentially hazardous electrical fault in the fan’s motor or power supply. The fan’s sturdy build also means it won’t shake or rattle on the floor — and it won’t tip over either.
Pros: Easy to move around, important safety features.
Cons: Can be quite loud.
3. Maxx Air Wall Mount Fan
Another tough-as-nails wall fan, this unit is constructed from power-coated steel with rust-resistant grills, designed to be sturdy enough for industrial conditions. It has a reliable, superior motor for strong ventilation and two speed settings, which can be adjusted by pull cord.
We wouldn’t necessarily say this is the biggest reason we like this fan, but we do love that it comes with a hanging bar attached. This means that if you can find a hook handy, you can probably skip the installation process altogether.
It doesn’t make a great bedroom cooling system, but it is ideal for barns, workshops, or garages.
Pros: Hanging bar makes for easy installation.
Cons: Best for large open spaces, not small rooms.
4. Lorell Wall Mount Fan
We recognize that not everyone needs a fan that is quite so intense. If this is you, and you’re looking for something to use in your bedroom, basement or den, this unit is a solid option.
It is 16 inches in diameter, with three speeds, an oscillating tilt head, and a pull cord switch. People find that it provides decent airflow, and especially when used opposite a second fan to create a cross breeze.
Installation is not difficult, but note that it has to be secured to a metal or wood mount before you try to attach it to drywall.
Pros: Quiet and effective in small interior areas.
Cons: Needs an additional mount to attach to drywall.