Portable fans have come a long way since the days when your grandmother cooled the kitchen with a tiny little table-top fan that sounded like a lawn mower on its last legs. In fact, if you’ve been thinking about installing ceiling fans but you’re just not quite sure yet, consider portable fans, instead. You may find they’re an even better investment.
Window Fans: Window fans are an ideal solution if you don’t have a lot of floor or table-top space. Simply open the window and slide in the fan. Most have adjustable side panels that expand to the full width of the window so you don’t have to worry about insects.
You’ll find a wide variety of configurations including double fans that can be pointed in different directions, reversible fans that can be used to pull cool air into your home in the evening and reversed to draw warm air out in the middle of the day, and rotating fans that provide additional air circulation.
Table-Top Fans: Table-top fans are useful if you don’t want to sacrifice floor space or if you’re concerned about children or pets knocking a fan over or tripping over an errant cord. They’re smaller fans so they’ll fit on a table so don’t expect them to be able to cover a large room. But because they’re smaller you can place them strategically, on your desktop, for example, or on the kitchen counter while you prepare dinner.
Look for table-top fans that oscillate for greater circulation, and some have a special hinge that allows you to adjust the angle of the air flow.
Box Fans: Box fans are the sturdy, versatile work-horse of the fan family. Put them in the doorway to pull the warm air out of the kitchen, put them in the hallway to pull the cool air down the stairs. You can even tuck a box fan into a window.
Place a box fan in front of the air conditioner vent to boost that cool air through your home and you can lower your thermostat as much as 5 to 8 degrees, saving you over 20% on your Summertime cooling bills.
Pedestal Fans: Pedestal fans are similar to box fans in that you can move them all around your home. The stands are generally adjustable, too, so you can lower the fan to take advantage of the cool breeze from the window or raise it to capture the cool air coming from a wall air conditioning vent.
Pedestal fans generally oscillate, too, which means greater circulation, and most can be reversed. Like table-top fans, they also typically have a hinge that allows you to adjust the angle of the air flow.
What To Look For When Buying A Portable Fan
Because portable fans aren’t mounted to a surface, like a ceiling fan, they have a tendency to vibrate and make noise. Look for good quality construction.
Metal fans are generally a little quieter than the inexpensive plastic fans you find at every discount store, but if you’re only going to use it a few months out of the year then let your budget be your guide.
If you have children in your home, or curious pets, look for fans with a finer mesh safety grid so small fingers and little noses won’t be nipped.
For window fans, look for a reverse feature. You’ll get much more use out of it if you can reverse the air flow to pull the warm air out of the room in the middle of the day. With box, table-top and pedestal fans the reverse feature isn’t as important because you can simply turn the fan around.