Choosing a portable fan can be challenging, because there are so many different types of room fans available. It’s not as simple as just buying the cheapest fan you can find – that method of selection is likely to leave you frustrated and out of pocket, while your home is as hot as it was before your purchase. The various fan models have different characteristics and move different amounts of air. Some are better for specific rooms than others, and picking the right room fans for your needs depends on a variety of factors, including
- The size of the room
- Available air flow
- Purpose of the room
- Whether the room can accommodate sound
- Location for the fan, and whether it blows on you or not
- Whether the room has a window or not
Let’s consider how this translates into the various rooms in your home.
Kitchens tend to get very warm when you’re cooking, and unless you have a large, open-plan kitchen the floor area may be small and air flow isn’t optimal. When you’re using the oven or have a pot on the cook top that’s generating lots of steam, you want to get the air moving. You need all the floor space to move around, so good room fans for kitchens are table-top models than you can place on the counter, rather than taking up a section of the floor. A desktop wind tower, for example, is really slim and can move the air in several directions, without getting in your way.
Wall-mounted or window fans are also good options for the kitchen. Wall-mounted fans generate a real breeze, which is not only good for cooling the room but also for dispersal of cooking odors. Window fans come in single and twin, and with reversible air flow and adjustable thermostat they create a comfortable cross breeze through the kitchen.
Your living or family room is a place for relaxation, reading or watching television and occasionally taking a nap. The last thing you want here are room fans that are loud. You also want the room to be cool and comfortable enough for long spells. Pedestal fans are ideal for that empty corner of the room, where they can stand either blowing directly on to you or rotating from one side of the room to the other. With their oscillating heads and flexible, tilt-back feature, you can set your pedestal fan to blow the air up towards the ceiling. This creates air circulation throughout the room, with a gentle breeze that doesn’t necessarily blast you in the face.
To really cool your living room down, mix and match your room fans. For example, add a pedestal fan to a room with window fans or a window air conditioner. If you aren’t fortunate enough to have central air, stand the pedestal fan in front of your window air conditioning unit and let it blow the cool air from the unit out into the room. Chances are good you’ll be able to turn the thermostat of the unit up a bit and save on energy by doing so.
Heat travels along the pathways through your house, warming first one area and then the next. Part of the secret to cooling the whole home is to prevent the warm air moving from one side of the house to the other, and you can do this with strategically placed room fans. A blower or high-velocity fan placed at the foot of your stairway will blow cool air from the lower level up to the next floor. If you have a window at the top of the stairway, fit a window fan to blow the warm air from the upper level outwards. Combined with cool air blowing up the stairs, this will create good air circulation through the house.
Working in a hot garage can spoil the pleasure you get from DIY projects such as carpentry or building models. Typically, garages aren’t included in the home’s air conditioning footprint, even if you have a whole-house system, and the walls and roof have little or no insulation. This makes it a very hot room in summer, and you need to move a tremendous amount of air into the space to relieve it. High velocity room fans are ideal for garages, and – once again – if you are short on floor space, a table-top blower fan or a wall-mounted unit keeps it out of the way.
It’s clear that your choice of room fans is vitally important to get maximum benefit from the money you spend, so evaluate your needs before you start looking for a fan. Think about where you’ll place it, the direction and speed of airflow you need and the regular temperature in the room it’s destined for. This will help you to determine the right fan for each room.