Keeping cool in the warmer months can be difficult. Unless you’re fortunate enough to have air conditioning and a swimming pool, you might have to make do with a cold shower, a glass of water and a fan. Not all fans are created equal, though. Some fans seem like they were designed solely to look ugly and make lots of noise while producing absolutely no cold air.
Fortunately, these fans are better than that. Whether you’re looking for a tall tower fan, a small floor fan or something in between, it’s possible to cool off without air conditioning. We also like to use fans to supplement A/C and add more cool air to rooms and spaces that tend to heat up. Freestanding fans are a great way to save on air conditioning costs when you only want to cool a small section of your home. They also bridge the gap for couples who have different ideas on where to set the thermostat. Freestanding fans can also provide cool air when working outdoors, making garages and patios feel cool even on hot days.
Now, if only you could figure out if a fan in the window is supposed to face inside or out.
1. Lasko Wind Curve Tower Fan
The last thing you want to do when it’s hot is move, and Lasko gets that. That’s why their tower fan has a remote control and is available in a Bluetooth option. It also comes with a fresh-air ionizer, which means the fan can emit negative ions that reduce static electricity and trap air pollutants. As for cooling power, Lasko describes it as being able to cool a humid room. The fan has three-speed settings and only emits a soft hum when on the highest setting. We also like that the fan has an energy-efficient timer that users can set for as little as 30 minutes and up to 7.5 hours.
Pros: Energy efficient timer, quiet, covers a large area.
Cons: If used in an especially hot area, like a garage, the fan will only blow warm air.
2. Honeywell HT-900 TurboForce Air Circulator Fan
In terms of the size-to-power ratio, Honeywell’s TurboForce fan is one of the best ones to get. It’s small enough to sit on a table right next to you, or you can put it on the floor and still feel the cooling from several feet away. The head pivots 90 degrees, so it’s easy to find the angle that’ll keep you cool. Plus, the 90-degree pivot makes it easier to store — it can slide under the sofa during the cooler months. It runs fairly quietly, and there are three speed modes to choose from.
Pros: Compact yet powerful. Three speed settings. Runs quietly. Pivoting head makes it easy to find the right angle.
Cons: Works on a table, but probably too large for a desk.
3. BLACK+DECKER 16 Inches Stand Fan with Remote
Pedestal fans are a versatile option because they tend to be more widely adjustable — this Black + Decker fan has a height-adjustable stand, meaning you can find the right angle to keep you cool, whether you’re sitting on the couch or standing in the kitchen. It’s oscillating and has a tilt function, too. There’s a remote control, and the fan has three different speed settings.
Pros: Height adjustable for direct cooling. Oscillating. Comes with remote control and shut-off timer.
Cons: Somewhat loud.
4. HOLMES Heritage 4-Inch Mini USB Desk Fan, Brushed Copper
The vintage design of this fan wouldn’t look out of place in a 1950’s office, placed right next to a Rolodex and a cigar ashtray, but it has modern features that work for today’s offices. The USB plug makes it easy to plug in and cool down without taking up an extra outlet, and the small 4-inch fan size won’t crowd your desk. The tilting head makes it easy to get direct cooling relief.
Pros: Stylish vintage design. USB plug makes it convenient for a desk.
Cons: Components could be sturdier.
5. Hurricane Box Fan
If you need powerful cooling for a large space, a box fan is the way to go. The large 20-inch size of this fan makes it perfect for cooling the whole family, and there are three different speeds to easily find the best setting for you. The bottom of the fan has adjustable feet, and there’s even a small space for cord management when the fan isn’t in use.
Pros: Powerful cooling. Three speed settings. Adjustable feet and included cord management solution.
6. Honeywell QuietSet Whole Room Tower Fan
Tall, sturdy and sleek, the Honeywell QuietSet tower fan is a great option for cooling the whole room. It has an oscillating function and eight different speeds to choose from, so you can find the setting that will please the whole family. There’s also a remote control to turn it on and off without getting off the couch. Honeywell’s fans are quiet, making them great bedroom options as well.
Pros: Runs quietly, has eight different cooling settings. Tall with a wide, sturdy base. Oscillating design.
Cons: Some settings can cause the buttons to rattle.
7. SkyGenius Battery Operated Clip on Mini Desk Fan
If you’re someone who constantly finds themselves trying to find a seat near an air-conditioning unit or you just need a small and lightweight fan that is portable, we recommend the SkyGenius Battery Operated Clip on Mini Desk Fan. The tiny but mighty fan is great for users who want a discrete cooling unit or one that can travel with them. The SkyGenius has an impressive 10.5 ft./s speed and can rotate 360 degrees. The fan can run on batteries or on a USB charge for up to six hours. It can also continuously run if plugged into a USB port. The small and durable fan has a nonslip bottom and a large clip that makes it easy to attach to strollers, treadmills, computer monitors, tent poles and other sturdy objects.
Pros: Portable and lightweight, six-hour charge, easy to attach to other objects.
Cons: The fan works when plugged in but will not run on its highest setting.
8. B-Air FIRTANA-20X High Velocity Electric Industrial and Home Floor Fan
If you need to regulate the temperature in an area that is especially difficult to cool, we recommend the B-Air FIRTANA-20X High Velocity Electric Industrial and Home Floor Fan. Made tough and built to last, this 20-inch fan made from metal is ideal for garages and outdoor spaces, as well as attics and any hot rooms that need some relief. The fan comes with three-speed settings and can be tilted up and down 360 degrees. A handle provides a convenient way to move the fan. The B-Air has UL-certification for safety.
Pros: Durable and long-lasting, excellent airflow and convenient handle.
Cons: The B-Air is quite loud.
9. TaoTronics Oscillating Fan
Cool any small to medium-sized room quickly with the TaoTronics Oscillating Fan. The tower fan pushes air out at 20 ft./s and has a wide 65-degree oscillating coverage area. Three power modes and three speeds give users nine combinations to find the perfect setting for their needs. The TaoTronics is an ETL-certified bladeless oscillating fan, which makes it ideal for use in homes with children and pets. It’s also designed with fused safety plugs to protect against overheating and power surges. Measuring 35 by 12 by 12 inches, the fan doesn’t take up much floor space. We also like that it comes with a remote and a timer function for up to 12 hours.
Pros: Multiple setting options, safe for use with children, extended timer function.
Cons: The fan is lightweight and not as sturdy as other tower fans.
10. Vornado 630 Mid-Size Whole Room Air Circulator Fan
For a fan that will cover a large space without taking up much room, we recommend the Vornado 630 Mid-Size Whole Room Air Circulator Fan. Using an Air Tensity spiral grill, the Vornado can push air up to 70 feet. An enclosed air duct and inlet air accelerator help move air quickly and can be set to one of the three speeds available on the manual control panel. Vortex Action helps to continually circulate the air in the room. An adjustable tilting head allows users to direct the airflow. The plug-in fan is built to meet all of the US voltage requirements.
Pros: Circulates air throughout the room, good coverage area and easy to use.
Cons: It’s difficult to disassemble the fan for cleaning.