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Fan buying guide

No matter what kind of purchase you’re looking to make, it’s important to know your stuff before you hit the stores.

girl cooling off by sitting next ot an oscillating fan

You probably never realized how many different types of fans there are until you wanted to buy one. Here’s a buying guide to help you learn what each kind of fan is and which one fits your needs.

Window fan

Leaving your windows open to let in the breeze is great, but that breeze isn’t constant, and sometimes it’s just not enough. A window fan sits on your windowsill and sucks in air from the outside, circulating it through your house. It’s great for ventilation, and much cheaper to run than air conditioning (though not as cool, either).

Check out this Energy cost checklist: Are you really saving money? >>

Tower fan

Tower fans are great because of their small footprint. They’re tall and narrow, so they don’t take up much floor space. Despite the thin shape, they’re strong fans, and they’re usually pretty quiet.

Find out the Top 5 energy suckers in your home >>

Pedestal fan

How many times have you propped a fan up on a chair or desk so the breeze is higher than your knees? If you do this, a pedestal fan may solve your problems. This is your basic fan, propped up on a pedestal. The pedestal is often an adjustable height and sometimes can oscillate.

Oscillating fan

Oscillating fans have fan heads that turn from side to side. 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.

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.

Plan a complete home energy makeover >>

Air Multiplier

An Air Multiplier is a fan with no visible blades. The pedestal houses a brushless motor that pulls in air and pushes it out through the tube. The air is drawn in from both behind and around the fan, allowing it to generate a breeze with much more air than it takes in. Since there is no blade, the breeze it produces is smooth and strong, not choppy.

Shopping Tip

If you’re going to use your fan in a bathroom or other damp space, make sure it has a damp rating so the motor doesn’t get wet.

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