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How to select a fan

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Become a fan of your fan

Are you in the market for a new fan? Choosing the right one isn’t as easy as you think.

woman sitting in front of fan cooling off

You may think once you switch on your air conditioners you can put away those fans, but that’s not true. Running a fan along with your air conditioner helps the air conditioner cool more efficiently, and can help cut your energy costs. If you’re in the market for a new fan, here are some things you should look for.

Size

If you choose a fan that’s not large enough or strong enough for the room, you’ll never get your room as cool as you’d like it. If you pick one that’s too large, your room will definitely cool down, but you’ll be wasting precious energy. Check the packaging on the fan before you make a purchase to make sure it matches up to what you need.

Low noise

You don’t want to feel like you’re shouting when you’re trying to talk over your fan. Look for one that advertises low noise. It’s usually the motor, or actually the motor casing, that makes the noise. A heavy-gauge steel motor case won’t make as much noise, while a thinner one will rattle — and that can get annoying in a hurry.

Check out What's an Air Multiplier? >>

Movement

An oscillating fan is your best bet when you’re trying to cool a large space. If a fan doesn’t move, it’s directing air down a narrow pathway, but if it turns, it can cool the entire room.

Check out Fun ways to cool off with the family >>

Design

Come on, you know it counts. It’s not just finding a fan that works that’s important. You want one that looks nice, too. It makes sense. After all, it is going to sit in a room in your house, so it’s a reflection of your style. Plus, you do have to look at it all day. Choose a fan with a sleek look or a finish that matches your decor.

Read the Fan buying guide >>

Dual purpose

You pull your fans out every spring, and then switch them out for heaters once the cool air sets in. Save yourself the trouble by using one that both cools and heats. Dual-purpose fans cool when you need them to, and then switch over to heat when you need that. Most have temperature control features that ensure it’s doing just what you want it to.

Quick Tip

Look for a fan with a remote control for ease of use. There's nothing like switching it on without leaving your chair!

More home improvement tips

How to choose a portable air conditioner
How to select a space heater

Energy-efficient appliances

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