Must-Know Facts for Buying a Fan

July 23, 2013

Must-Know Facts for Buying a Fan

At this point in the year, you know: Keeping cool is a serious business. Buy the wrong fan and you could be left sweating the rest of the summer. Ready to buy a new fan? Understand these top six must-knows before you make a purchase:

1. Price Range

Fans can cost you anywhere from $5 to $500. Know your price range before you start shopping. It will not only narrow down your options, but will also prevent you from “accidentally” buying a unit you can’t afford.

2. Space & Style

Are you looking to cool the entire living room, or are you just trying to get the air circulating bedside? Use this easy-breezy breakdown to find the right fan for your needs:

  • Ceiling. Made for cooling large rooms. Especially good for spaces with high ceilings or those with limited floor space. (Check out our blog post on ceiling fans for more help choosing the right one!)
  • Oscillating. Also great for larger rooms, these fans rotate back and forth so they can cool a wider area.
  • Floor. These standing fans don’t oscillate, making them key for cooling smaller rooms or targeted areas.
  • Tower. Another large-room option. These fans are quieter than a floor fan and often come with extras like a mist function (to keep you cool outdoors as well as in) or a fresh air ionizer that keeps the air clean.
  • Desk. These smaller, portable units are a must-have to catch an extra breeze bedside, while you’re cooking in the kitchen, or to cool off  as you type away at your computer.
  • Window. This style unit fits neatly in your window, making it a smart option for rooms that lack floor of shelf space. They typically feature twin blades with settings that cool or exhaust.
  • Handheld. These tiny fans (often small enough to stick in your purse) put out just enough air to keep you cool while you sun in the backyard, or root for your favorite team from the bleachers.

3. Battery vs. Plug-In

Most fans operate via plug, but there are a few portable options that also operate via battery. Snag one of these if you’re struggling for open outlet space in your dorm room, worried about the next power outage in your neighborhood, or looking for a way to cool down on your next camping trip.

4. Remote Control

We all have lazy moments — especially when it’s hot outside. Live a little and get a fan with a remote control so you can turn it on and off without getting up, or without stopping whatever you’re doing.

5. Flexibility

Two operating features that can give you more control over your cooling are multiple settings (so you can turn it on high, or low, as you need it), and tilt (which allows you to adjust the direction of the breeze). Both are musts if you plan on using your fan in more than one location.

Have a buying tip we forgot? Let us know in the space below.

Megan Mostyn-Brown


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