Your Guide To The Modern Electric Fan

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It’s essential to have an electric fan during the summer months not only to keep your house cool but to purify the air as well. It’s an ideal alternative to expensive and energy-guzzling air conditioner units. You can use it to supplement your HVAC and keep your indoor/outdoor areas ventilated when it gets hot.

To get the most out of your electric fan, you first need to understand how it works. To find the right fan, consider features like the fan’s cooling capacity, its size, style, your situation, and intended use.

Buying a fan nowadays is not as easy as it once was. There are many cutting-edge features to consider, and they just don’t make them like they used to. There are also more designs now than there were before and each offers a level of functionality that’s suited to different needs

To help you find the perfect electric fan for your home, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide with all the information that you need to know.

A Brief History

Schuyler Wheeler was the first person to manufacture an electric fan back in 1886. In those days, fans were backed by DC power and AC fans only came into play during the 1890s. As a result, electric fans were quieter and more efficient after that.

Over time manufacturers started introducing fans made from different types of materials like wood and nylon. This made everyone think out of the box and soon fans were available in all kinds of different styles and colors. Before the 1920s, electric fans came in one color only – black! Later in the 1950s, air conditioning units were invented, and this significantly reduced the demand for table fans.

The invention of electric fans also made it possible for computer manufacturers to keep their machines cool. Small chip-sized fans are installed inside the cabinets where computer microchips are, and even LED lamps have built-in fans to keep the electronic parts cool.

While modern-day fans are manufactured from plastic, some models feature rare Earth elements such as cobalt iron, and they are often more powerful and expensive as a result.

How Exactly Does an Electric Fan Work?

The primary function of an electric fan is to circulate the air inside a particular space. This is what creates the cool and refreshing breeze that makes you forget all about the outside heat. The breeze itself doesn’t have a cool temperature but it creates enough air to generate a cooling sensation. As a result, your skin is able to evaporate sweat and cool you down faster.

Electric fans are powered by a motor and behind it are an electric current and fan blades, both of which are held together by a shaft. Thanks to the motor, the rotor shaft can spin the fan blades at different levels of intensity based on the settings. Different models also come with different types of blades and run at varying revolutions per minute.

Of course, any type of fan can move the air around in a room regardless of what its power source is. But what makes electric fans unique is their ability to cool you down quickly and efficiently. That’s because electric fans operate with more velocity which allows them to make a bigger change in the air pressure. Plus, nothing drops the temperature like an electric fan.

Pros of Using a Fan

There are several reasons why you should buy an electric fan with the main one being the fact that it’s good for your sleep, especially during the summer.

We all know how hard it is to fall asleep when it’s hot. That’s why you need a fan to cool you down so you can go to sleep at bedtime instead of tossing and turning in your bed because of the heat. Plus, if you live in a humid area, then you need to have a fan to circulate the air so that it’s easier to breathe through the night.

An electric fan creates white noise that makes it easier to fall asleep. It’s even better if you have a baby or young kids around because it’ll put them right to sleep.

Fans help eliminate odors by continuously changing the airflow. Your room will never get stuffy if you keep your electric fan on.

Choosing the Right Type of Fan – What to Keep in Mind

Fans give you access to a much-needed resource during the summer: cool air. You can even use fans to dry an area that has sustained water damage, and they will definitely keep your space well-ventilated.

Thanks to the technological innovations, fans have become useful in a number of different applications. Plus, they’re cheaper to use than an air conditioning system. However, there are five critical questions that you need to ask yourself before you buy a fan. Asking these questions will help you figure out how to find the perfect electric fan for your needs.

1 – Why Do You Need a Fan?

This is the first and most basic question and the answer to it will make it so much easier for you to answer the questions that come afterward. As we mentioned, there are different fans available for different purposes. For example, you have heavy-duty commercial fans that are typically large enough to ventilate and circulate air in large spaces. Marley Engineered Products is one of the best manufacturers of heavy-duty fans.

Next, you have residential fans which as the name implies, are made for household use. They’re usually small enough to fit into a living room, bedroom or patio. They’re also available in a number of different designs and have a very streamlined construction. You may even choose a misting fan, which cools the air while dispersing water to purify it. These fans are mostly recommended for outdoor use.

Then you have water damage restoration fans which are also referred to as “air movers.” They’re designed to quickly dry areas that have sustained water damage. In fact, this type of fan is specially designed to offer versatility which is why you can place it in different locations around the house.

These fans are more powerful than the household and commercial fans because their purpose is to quickly dry an area that has suffered water damage. A good example of these fans would be the Ventlo Low Profile air mover, which offers better CFMs and airflow performance than any other fan on the market.

Ceiling fans are probably the best option for cooling down commercial spaces. There are a variety of different ceiling fans to choose from, most of which are available at very accessible price points.

Granted, there are a few electronic fans that you can use for both commercial and residential purposes but it’s best to buy a fan based on its intended purpose so you can get the most out of it.

2 – What Type of Fan Do You Want?

When it comes to the nuts and bolts of things, all fans have the same components. There’s the housing unit, the motor, blades and a base or legs to keep it upright. But despite these similarities, not all fans work the same. There are different designs which deviate from the typical prototype, and this affects the way each fan functions.

The type of fan you choose will depend on factors like the amount of space in your home, and your needs and preferences. For instance, tower fans have a slim and discreet design that makes them ideal for small spaces. Centrifugal fans are optimized for use in drying up water damaged areas, while bladeless fans are known for their aesthetic flair.

3 – Where Will You Put the Fan?

Knowing the amount of space you’re working with will help you decide what type of fan you should choose, with options ranging from floor fans, table fans, desk fans and portable fans that you can adapt to your needs.

For instance, there are different types of commercials fans. Some can be clipped to a table or mounted on a wall, while others come with handles and wheels to allow for portability.

Features like remote control access and power cord size will also determine and/or limit fan placement. Of course, your needs play a huge role in where and how you place your fan because it has to be in a location that allows the air to circulate freely across the room.

If you have pets or a baby at home, then you’ll want to get a fan that can accommodate their needs as well. Things like pet dander reducing technology and safe housing may come in handy here.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a fan to keep your office or warehouse cool, make sure it’s a model that runs quietly or else your workplace will turn into a very noisy place. For the best results, buy a fan that’s suited to your environment and not the other way around.

4 – How Powerful Should It Be?

Electric fans offer different levels of cooling power according to different applications. The air flow produced by a fan is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). This measurement takes into account the air volume produced every 60 seconds, and air flow tells us how far the fan can push the air out. You’d be surprised to learn that even fans of the same size category can have vastly different CFM ratings.

Power consumption is closely related to power production as well. For example, if you’re looking for a fan to complement your current cooling system in order to save on energy costs, then you should consider the fan’s power usage in relation to its expected airflow generation. For the best results, go for a fan that’s designed to generate more airflow while using less energy.

5 – What Features You Need?

Similar to the above questions, your answer to this one will depend on your needs. For instance, a feature like oscillation should be at the forefront of your considerations if you want a fan that can sweep airflow through a particular area. Oscillation comes at different speeds and patterns.

Other features that you might want to consider include mobility, adjustable airflow direction, programmable timer, multiple fan speeds, low noise output, remote control access, power options and ease of use. We highly recommend that you make a list of features that you need and use it to find a model that best meets this criterion.

The Different Fan Styles

As mentioned above, electric fans nowadays come in different styles. Choosing between these options won’t be easy unless you know what you’ll be using the fan for. The general rule of thumb is that larger fans will enable you to cool a sizeable amount of space.

Here are the different fan styles to help you choose:

Table Fans

As the name implies, table fans are made to be placed on a table or a desk. As such, they’re designed to circulate air in your immediate space. They’re usually small and easy to move around, which means you can place them anywhere around the office or home.

Don’t let the small blades on table fans fool you though; they’re a powerhouse that can circulate air for up to 100 feet. Most table fan models come with awesome features like multiple speeds, directional air flow control, remote control access etc.

Pedestal Fans

Pedestal fans function pretty much the same way as standing fans because they offer continuous air circulation and immediate cooling. These fans stand on heavy-duty pedestals and have an adjustable height to suit different conditions. Some models even allow you to adjust the fan head so that it can circulate air at different angles.

Floor standing fans come with features like remote control operation, multiple fan speeds, oscillating controls, and programmable timers. Since they’re built for outdoor use, standing outdoor fans can withstand different weather conditions without breaking down.

Window Fans

Window fans are a great way to cool down your house because you can place them in a centrally situated window. This allows them to circulate air throughout the room like a gust of wind coming from outside through the window. Some of the more advanced models can actually blow warm air out of the room while inviting cool air at the same time.

Wall Mount Fans

Wall mount fans come with wall mounts at the back so that you can place them in an elevated area of the room to provide optimal air circulation. They’re perfect for living rooms and bedrooms because they come in small sizes. Just make sure you place them in a room with a low ceiling, as high ceilings might make it difficult to mount and/or access the fan.

Floor Fans

Floor fans are commonly referred to as high-velocity fans. That’s because even though they’re designed for floor placement, they offer powerful air circulation with a capacity to cool down vast amounts of space.

Floor fans come in different varieties like pedestal floor fans with adjustable height and angles; industrial floor fans that offer floor level cooling; and standing outdoor fans with weather-proof design and a capacity to provide cooling in high heat conditions.

If you’re looking for a floor fan for your house, then you should go for a standing pedestal fan, while industrial floor fans are suited for power drying and warehouse applications. Some of the most notable features that you can find in floor fans include programmable timers, oscillation control, multiple fan speeds, adjustable heads, and remote control.

Tower Fans

Tower fans have a very elegant design which enables them to seamlessly fit into any space. In fact, most tower fans have a height of three feet and a wide base to keep them grounded. This makes it easy to hide them in the corner, so they can unobtrusively keep the room cool without taking up too much space.

Most people prefer to put tower fans in areas like the living room, bedroom, small patio, office or den. Other notable features offered by a tower fan include multiple fan speeds, LCD controls, carrying handles, multi-directional airflow, remote control operation, and programmable timers.

Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are a popular option for both commercial and residential use. Because they’re centrally located, ceiling fans offer multi-directional airflow and can circulate air throughout the entire room with no problem at all. This makes them an ideal cooling solution for larger spaces, and yet they don’t take up a lot of space.

Box Fans

Box fans are very versatile and are often placed on the window to improve indoor air circulation. They’re also lightweight and easy to carry but can take up a lot of space. A box fan is similar to a table fan, so you may want to opt for the latter if you want something that will save space and energy while delivering a lot of cooling air.

The Leading Brands

There are quite a lot of electric fan manufacturers on the market today compared to a few decades ago. We did some research to find the leading brands available for you to choose from.


Vornado is known as an industry leader in innovation and style. Their electric fans are built for convenience and ease of use with the best air circulation capability in the business. You can expect the best of oscillation technology from Vornado fans and their utilitarian design is the cherry on top.


Honeywell has been around for a long time and they’re a trusted and reliable brand. They make both commercial and residential electric fans; even though their main area of expertise is in engineering systems and aerospace design.

Perhaps this is what gives them an edge, because Honeywell fans are unlike any other product on the market. They’re energy efficient, durable and offer superb performance.


Dyson is a specialist when it comes to making bladeless fans, heaters, vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, and hand dryers. Dyson fans are super convenient and easy to clean. So if you’re looking for a low-maintenance fan that’s safe to run, then you should consider a model from the Dyson brand. Plus, these fans offer a continuous stream of cool air thanks to the air multiplier feature which is exclusive to the Dyson brand.

Common Questions About Electric Fans

1 – Is a Fan or Air Conditioner Better for Health?

It depends on what you’re using the fan for. If you want to cool down a large space or area, then you’re better off with an air conditioner. No matter how many fans you have, you simply won’t get the same level of efficient cooling offered by an air conditioner.

The downside of using AC is that it generates harmful gases that are bad for the environment and can negatively affect your family’s health. If keeping your home eco-friendly is a priority for you, then go for a powerful and durable fan to avoid inhaling dangerous gases.

2 – How Much Electricity Does a Fan Use Compared to Air Conditioning?

It costs approximately 14 cents an hour to run an AC unit on 1.2 kilowatts of power. Most people use the three-ton central air conditioning unit which costs 36 cents an hour and runs on 3 kilowatts of power. On the other hand, even the most high-end ceiling fans run on just 30 watts of power and cost only 1 cent per 3 hours! That’s a mind-boggling saving no matter how you look at it.

To give you a more practical example:

Each ceiling fan costs $1.20 per month
A window AC unit costs $50.40 per month
A central AC unit costs $129.60 per month

3 – Should You Get a Pedestal Fan or a Tower Fan?

It depends on the type of air flow you want and where you plan on placing the fan. For example, pedestal fans are usually placed on a height-adjustable stand which makes it easy to get direct air to a particular area. They’re ideal for when you want a fan that will point directly to you and cool you down while you sleep. Or you can angle the fan toward the ceiling and create an indirect breeze.

Then you have tower fans which are designed with a rectangular air outlet. Since they’re grounded, tower fans can offer both direct and indirect air, which is why they’re the preferred option for anyone that wants to cool down a large space.

4 – How Much Noise Do Tower Fans Make?

Tower fans are designed to run quietly even though they’re constantly circulating cool air across the room. They’re very discreet and elegant, which makes them ideal for any environment.

How to Have a Better Sleep and Beat the Heat

Although there are a few minor side effects to using electric fans, they’re generally safe for your health and the environment. Keeping a fan on while you sleep shouldn’t affect your sleep at all and if you do experience sleeping problems, then you should check if the electric fan needs to be cleaned or moved to another spot.

On the other hand, if your fan seems ineffective at keeping the heat at bay, consider trying the following tips:

Place the fan near the bed but make sure the blades are looking away from you. The fan should face away from you and your baby’s face; otherwise, it may lead to shortness of breath during sleep.

Wear thin, loose-fitting sleepwear when going to sleep and use lightweight bedding as well.

Take a cooling shower or a dip in the pool before bedtime and drink plenty of water to keep hydrated during the night. Give the baby a bath too to help stabilize body temperature. This will help you both sleep well right through the night. It’s important to note here that babies should be washed in lukewarm water because even though they enjoy cold water, it may not be appropriate for their night-time bath.

Dust mites play a major role in enhancing allergies or so says the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI). This organization recommends that you clean your bedding, rugs and fans regularly to avoid flare-ups.

As you can see, there’s very little risk in sleeping with a fan on, and the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. The most important thing is to keep your fan clean by dusting the blades regularly and keeping the fan facing away from you at night.

Ceiling fans are often the easiest to deal with because you can get them serviced by someone else so you won’t have to clean them yourself. They’re also easier to operate and can circulate air in a large space or area.

Why You Should Go Big If You Decide to Buy a Ceiling Fan?

Recent legislation requires ceiling fan manufacturers to place the efficiency rating of their product on the box label. This gives consumers an indication of how much power the fan has in comparison to the amount of energy it spends. This is measured in cubic feet per minute of air movement per watt of electrical power input (CFM/watt). Blade length will also affect the efficiency rating as well so keep that in mind when looking for a ceiling fan.

To generate more air, manufacturers either need to increase blade size or maximize fan speed. Either way, this will increase air movement and energy use at the same time. But in all fairness, a faster fan will use up more energy than a fan with larger blade size.

What does this mean for you? Well, if your goal is efficiency then you should choose a big fan with large blades over a faster fan with short blades. But you must also look for the ENERGY STAR on the box to determine the efficiency of the fan. Generally, it’s recommended that you get the smallest fan for your needs to help maximize efficiency.

Electric Fan Safety Tips

Safety is of paramount importance when you’re looking for an electric fan regardless of the style, make or brand.

Here are a few safety pointers to keep in mind while shopping:

Never buy a second-hand electric fan as they almost always come with technical problems, which seem to surface only after you’ve bought the fan.

Buy your fan from a trusted and well-known dealer that has positive customer feedback.

Install the fan according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Be sure to register your electric fan with the manufacturer as soon as you buy it. This will make it easier for them to reach you if there’s a recall of the product or a safety notice related to it. You’ll also find it more convenient when you need to return or repair the fan.

Make sure you have a residual current device (RCD) in your home to protect against electrical fires, electric shock and other safety hazards that come with owning an electric appliance. RCD is typically located on your fuse box. If your fuse box doesn’t have RCD protection, you should install an RCD plug or socket just to be on the safe side.

Check your plugs and sockets regularly for weird buzzing sounds, burn marks and overheating, all of which are common signs of damage onset. Be sure to seek out a registered electrician if you notice problems like tripping breakers and blown fuses.

Invest in heat detectors and smoke alarms to protect your home from electric fires whose onset may be hard for you to notice. You should at least have one detector or alarm on each floor to make sure that all your bases are covered. Test them regularly to make sure they’re working at all times.

Online Resources About Electric Fans

Family Tree Magazine
US Inventions
Edison Tech Center
Butter Fly Fields

What do you get from three nerds (Joe, Ray, and Paul) that decide to create a functioning tech gadget review site? The first is data-driven arguments lasting way into the night. You can read more...

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