buying guide fans

beyond cool.

  • choosing the right fan.
  • Fans do more than make the air feel cool. They can improve indoor ventilation to help prevent inhalation of dangerous gases or nasty fumes. They can also reduce indoor humidity while they circulate and refresh your indoor air, all of which help you feel more comfortable. Here are some things to consider when shopping for a fan.

  • energy use.
  • Today's fans are an affordable, energy-efficient way to help your home or office feel cooler. Energy Star-qualified fans with a high energy-efficiency rating on the package use up to 10% less energy than conventional fans.

  • location, location, location.
  • For large rooms, consider oscillating stand fans or
    a ceiling fan with big blades to move a lot of air. For
    small rooms and personal spaces, look for table or
    tower fans you can move with you from room to room.

  • noise or not.
  • More airflow means more noise. Consider how much noise you're willing to add to your room when choosing a fan. In bedrooms, you might want a quiet tower fan–or the sleep-inducing "white noise" of a slightly louder one. In family rooms, use a fan that won't compete with conversations or the TV.

  • feature this—and that.
  • Fans come equipped with so many cool features. What's most important to you? Easy installation? The ability to adjust the fan's height and speed? These are good to know before you start shopping.

fan-tastic shapes & sizes.

  • tower fans.
  • These quiet, efficient fans are great for cooling small spaces. Most oscillate to boost air circulation. Plus, many filter out dust or other environmental particles, making them a good choice for allergy sufferers.

  • tower fans
  • desk/table.
  • Great for personal spaces, not entire rooms, place these fans on the floor as well as on desks or tables. Some desk fans plug directly into computer USB ports. Move a desk fan with you from room to room to save energy
    (a.k.a. money).

  • desk/table fans
  • window fans.
  • These breezy units can draw cool
    air in from outside or blow warm
    air out. Some can even do both at
    once. If you think you'll want to
    change airflow direction often,
    look for a fan with a handy switch.

  • window fans
  • freshening fans.
  • Breathe easy with a cooling fan that helps eliminate odors and distributes freshness throughout your room.

  • freshening fans

must-have features.

  • timers & remotes.
  • Some fans come with energy-saving features that can make life a little more comfortable. A remote lets you turn on the fan from across the room, while a programmable timer can turn on fan before you arrive home from work.

  • oscillation.
  • Fan heads rotate 90° from side to side, distributing air through the room. Some window fans also oscillate to pull in outside air from different directions.

  • speed settings.
  • Multiple speed settings allow you to adjust the fan's airflow—and its noise level—to suit rising temperatures during the day and your activities.

  • grates & grilles.
  • Fans can attract dust as air flows through them, so look for a fan with a grate you can remove to easily clean both the grate and fan blades. If you have kids, be sure the fan you choose has a child-safe grille. And remember, metal grilles are more durable than plastic.

  • air treatment.
  • Some fans "ionize" the air to remove harmful dust, pet dander and pollen. Many come with "air neutralizers" to help remove odors, as well, and some even have scent-misters to really freshen things up.

  • be fan-savvy.

  • think childproof.
  • Before buying a table fan, make sure that the base is sturdy enough to prevent tipping. To double check, run the fan at its highest speed, with the oscillation on. Steady as she goes! If you have little ones at home, look for fans with child-safe grilles and soft or rubber blades. Tower and bladeless fans are also finger-friendly.

  • get energy wise.
  • A fan doesn't really cool a room; it cools
    the people in it. So, turn your fan off when
    you leave the room. You'll save energy and
    money, no sweat.