You’re probably well aware that pretty pennies are regularly squandered keeping that air conditioner running in your room, all day and night.
If you don’t want to either melt into a puddle of your own sweat or spend a considerable amount on your electricity bill, you should consider investing in a powerful window fan as a viable alternative.
Feeling lost and don’t know where to start? No worries, I’ve got you covered. The following best window fan reviews will reveal some of the top-tier units on the market today.
I’ll also cover all the information you need to know about window fans and I’ll even answer some of the frequently asked questions that I usually receive. Let’s jump right into it.
What Are Window Fans?
Window fans are fans that are designed to be fitted into an open window and they often feature sliding side panels that are expandable, so that the entire window opening can be covered.
Most window fans on the market today come in two styles: two smaller side by side fans or just one large fan.
You’ll also find that most window fans tend to feature two or three speed variations, which allow you to control the speed of the air exhaust or intake.
And, speaking of functionality, there are models on the market that are electrically reversible, allowing you to switch between the exhaust and intake modes. These models are highly recommended over their single-mode counterparts.
Window fans are usually packed with awesome features, such as:
- adjustable grilles,
- shut-off timers,
- remote controls.
A window fan with a thermostat turns off automatically if the room temperature drops to a certain desired degree, which helps you save money that would have otherwise been wasted, if the fan remains on.
Adjustable grilles are a great feature to look for in a window fan because they allow you to control the direction of the airflow.
The remote control and shut-off timer features are pretty self-explanatory.
Most window fans today feature a plastic construction, which makes them lightweight, but takes away from their durability. Older models, on the other hand, tend to be made of metal and are much heavier and sturdier than plastic units.
Image credit: thekitchn.com
Things to Consider Before Buying a Window Fan
Just like all products, not all window fans are created equal, and navigating through the endless deluge of products on the market can be quite confusing. Here are some tips that you should take into consideration when shopping for a window fan.
Size of the Window Fan
The size of the window fan should be the first on your list of priorities. Ideally, if you’re looking to install a window fan on quite a large window, you should definitely buy a twin window fan. This way you’ll avoid gaps between the frame of the window and the fan itself.
To avoid buying the wrong size, you should look for a window fan that features sliding extenders. With these parts extended, you can obtain a customized fit for your window fan, which eliminates the existence of gaps, keeping bugs and insects from sneaking into your home.
You should also consider purchasing a window fan that features detachable legs, which allows the unit to be transformed into a stand-alone fan, when needed. And remember, a small window fan can be a very strong window fan, don’t let the size fool you.
Types of Window Fan
Window fans are mainly divided into two different categories: intake and exhaust fans.
The main idea behind an intake fan is that it draws cold air from the outside into the house, while an exhaust fan pushes the warm, stale air that’s inside the house to the outside.
How you choose between the two types will depend on the placement of your window fan. On the sunny side of your house, an exhaust fan is the ideal choice because it’ll help push out all the hot air from the room.
On the shady side of your house, however, an intake fan will help make use of the cool air outside by drawing it inside.
Luckily, there are quite a number of units available on the market that are able to perform both functions with equal efficiency. Keep an eye out for models that feature the reverse function because it will allow you to switch between intake and exhaust mode, whenever you want.
Nowadays, almost everything is controlled remotely and window fans are no different. Units that feature multiple speed variations usually tend to have a remote control feature, so that you don’t have to change the speed settings manually.
Durability and Safety
A window fan that’s made of a strong and solid material is certainly going to last longer than one that isn’t. Thus, you should pay close attention to the materials from which the window fan is made, to ensure its longevity.
Another thing that you should pay attention to is whether the blades of the fan are secured or not. Blades that aren’t secured properly by the outer grill of the fan can be quite hazardous. Also, the intake of any floating object can render the fan useless without proper blade protection.
Although window fans don’t consume as much electricity as an air-conditioning unit, I’m sure you still want to reduce your utility bills as much as possible. A window fan which features an automatic shut-off timer is certainly the smart way to go, as you can set it to turn off in a few hours when the house cools down.
You’ll definitely run across a lot of fans that are a bit noisy, which can limit your options if you’re a light sleeper. However, if some noise isn’t a big deal to you, then you can choose any fan you want.
Heavy window fans are extremely hard to carry and even harder to install. Make sure that the window fan you’re about to buy has a lightweight construction, to ease the process of moving it from one place to another.
Main Benefits of Using a Window Fan
Apart from their reasonable cost, window fans possess numerous benefits that will surely put an end to all your ventilation problems, without breaking the bank.
Constantly Refreshed Environment
A poorly ventilated area is just uncomfortable to be in, especially if there’s more than one person in the room contributing to the stale air through their exhalation. An example of this would be two people sleeping in a small room. This can lead to many respiratory health problems.
Window fans provide a simple solution to this problem by exchanging the stale air in the room with the air outside. It keeps the room refreshed and prevents any negative health effects.
Low Power Consumption
Did you know that your average central air conditioning system consumes around 3,000 to 5,000 watts of energy when used for about 9 hours per day? And, did you also know that a window fan uses around 35 to 100 watts to run for one hour? This is around 700 watts, on average, in 9 hours. To find out more about your AC’s power consumption, click here.
A window fan isn’t going to cost you anywhere near to what an air conditioning system costs. Get yourself a window fan and spare yourself an insane electricity bill.
When it comes to ventilation, air conditioners don’t perform that well. They might provide the desired temperature, but they usually can’t get rid of any unpleasant odors in the room.
Window fans have the ability to exchange the air in the room constantly, which not only helps keep the room refreshed, but also gets rid of unwanted odors and stale air, while maintaining a comfortable temperature.
Great Addition to an AC System
Okay, enough bashing of air conditioning units. You can also work hand in hand with them.
You can use a window fan inside your house to boost the efficiency of your AC system. Like we’ve established, AC systems aren’t capable of cleaning the air within the room, why not combine both appliances together to achieve the most optimal outcome!
Compatible with Most Windows
Most high-quality window fans on the market come with adjustable panels which allow for an easy installation process. In a nutshell, all you need to do is fit the window fan into the window frame with the aid of its panels, plug it in, and enjoy the cool breeze.
How to Use a Window Fan?
The idea behind the direction of a fan’s airflow is pretty simple.
A fan is comprised of two sides:
- the open side
- and the grille side
Air flows across the fan’s open side and moves towards the grille side. So, for intake fans, the open side should be facing outside and vice versa for exhaust fans.
Window fans are pretty simple to use because they rely on fairly simple principles.
If you turn the fan on when it’s warm outside, the fan will blow hot air into the room. So it’s advised to turn the fan on when it’s cooler outside, to cool down the air in the room and lower its temperature.
This could also spare you from using the AC at night since the outside air temperature might have cooled off by this time. It’s a good idea to have another window fan installed elsewhere, to help you achieve a cross breeze.
If the nighttime air in your region is not that cool or if it’s highly humid, you should steer away from intake fans, as they won’t be that effective.
During bad weather conditions, it’s extremely important to remove all fans from your window frames. Unless your window fan has a water-resistant motor, a drop of water can lead to serious electrical damage in the fan.
Generally, a common window frame should accommodate most window fans.
You’ll need to insert the fan into the window’s lower frame after the frame has been lifted and the sash has been lowered. This will ensure that the fan is securely sealed in place.
Units that are specifically designed for horizontally-opened sliding windows follow the same installation process.
How to Install a Window Fan?
It’s always recommended to hire a professional to install a window fan, or any electrical appliance, for that matter. However, if you’re planning on taking the DIY route, you should go about it using the following guidelines.
You can also follow this video demonstration of how to install your newly-bought window fan.
- Pick the Right Placement – Picking the right place for your window fan is pivotal to its performance. The placement of the fan can counteract the effects of condensation and help remove unpleasant odors. When positioning your fan, it should be fairly raised off the ground. Additionally, you should place the fan in the place where the effects of condensation are usually significant.
- Remove the Window Pane – Before proceeding to install your window fan, you’ll have to remove the window pane. Removing the pane can be done easily with a double-pane window. All you have to do it is simply take it out of the casing. It’s recommended to substitute the glass with a Lexan section, which is a sturdy, see-through material that’s ideal for this situation. You can learn more about Lexan and what it’s made of here.
- Trace the Fan onto the Lexan Section – Start by tracing the outline of the fan on the center on the Lexan section with the fan casing as a guide. To achieve optimal results, make sure that the fan’s casing is positioned level and straight before tracing it onto the Lexan piece.
- Cut a Hole for the Fan – You can go about this in two ways. You can drill a hole in all the corners, then cut the Lexan material with a jigsaw. The other way is to score the Lexan piece with a glass cutter and then tap it out.The last method is much more efficient than the first, as it produces extremely clean cuts without leaving behind any ragged edges. The first method, on the other hand, can accidentally splinter the material and render it useless.
- Install the Fan – After finishing with all the cutting and drilling, and after installing the Lexan section, you can now take the window and place it back into its casing. After that, remove the fan’s front cover and slide the motor into the casing.
- Drill Holes for Screws – Place the case onto the Lexan piece and then mark the position of each mounting screw with a felt marker. Proceed by drilling the holes using a cordless drill. Make sure that you’re standing straight without taking any angled stance and drill directly into the Lexan.
- Set the Fan Inside the Case – After drilling the necessary holes for the screws, set the case again onto the Lexan and start screwing in the screws. Follow this with adding some locking nuts, to ensure that the case is secured. Now, set the fan inside the casing, place the cover over the window fan, and plug it into the nearest power outlet. Voila, you’re all done!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can one fan perform intake and exhaustion of air at the same time?
There are a lot of models on the market that can perform double duty, just not at the same time.
But, you can use two reversible fans to achieve the desired outcome. One fan will draw in cool air from the outside, while the other fan pushes out the stale, warm air from the room.
Can window fans be damaged by water?
Window fans can very easily get wet during rainy weather conditions.
However, most high-quality models tend to be rust-resistant and have a water-resistant motor, which ensures a certain level of security against the rain. In case of heavy rain, it’s advised to turn the window fan off or even remove it completely, if possible, to ensure its longevity.
Can I close my windows with the window fan fitted in?
It depends on the type of window fan that you have.
The majority of single-blade fans allow you to close your window without having to take the fan out. On the other hand, some fans lack this ability and you’ll be forced to take them out manually to close the window.
If you’re looking for a more cost-efficient alternative to your air conditioning unit, these best window fan reviews may be for you. Window fans can be viable AC replacements in some conditions and make for good investments if you want a particular area of the house to be well-ventilated. The ones listed below are among the very best on the market now and should see your ventilation and cooling needs properly taken care of.
Bionaire Twin Reversible Airflow Window Fan
This fan has both a remote control and an onboard electronic one with an LCD screen. It is designed for windows anywhere from 24 to 37 inches wide and comes with a programmable thermostat that turns it on or off automatically in order to maintain a set room temperature. It has reversible blades, 3 speed settings, and water-resistant motors. It supports both vertical and horizontal mounting.
- Fans can be set to move air in directions independent of each other
- Relatively quiet at the 2 lower speeds
- No night-dimming/off switch for LEDs
- Can be a little noisy in the switch from one speed to another when being managed automatically by the thermostat
This fan is a solid product with some nice motor muscle behind it. It’s far from being a whole-house fan, but it’s still strong. It can move a lot of air quickly and functions well whether on intake, exhaust, or exchange mode. It’s not the quietest fan around, but it’s far from being the noisiest—at the lowest and middle speeds, it’s even decently quiet as far as these fans go.
Lasko 2155A Electrically Reversible Window Fan
This ETL-listed window fan is made for windows at least 22 inches tall and 26.5 to 34.5 inches wide. The three 16-inch blades can be reversed so you can use them to blow air in as well as out. The fan comes with a safety plug and also permits you to shut the window behind it when desired. Costs almost twice as much as the previous one.
- Moves a lot of air
- Reasonably quiet
- Doesn’t impede window closure in bad weather
- May not be sufficient for whole-house cooling in medium-to-large homes
This is an excellent fan for the money given how strong it is and how well it performs, but if your place is more than 3 rooms, it probably still won’t be enough to do whole-house cooling duty. Nevertheless, it’s a powerful instrument, and it doesn’t put out as much noise as one might expect from its size. With 16-inch blades, this is no baby, yet it operates very nearly as though it were one.
Whole House Window Fan
This AirKing model has huge 20-inch blades married to a 1/25HP motor. The fan has 3 speeds, durable plastic housing, a front-mounted switch, and OSHA approval. It is designed to fit windows 26.75 x 11.25 x 26.25 inches. More expensive than the previous one.
- Feels quite durable
- Storm Guard works
- Decently strong
- Can be noisy
- A touch pricy
This fan isn’t among the cheapest, but it does have some nice features to justify its cost. Among these are the 20-inch blades—these move a lot of air, and they will serve to cool most modest spaces within minutes even on warm days. They can be noisy, though, although a big part of it might be improper mounting, as the fan tends to rattle if you haven’t mounted it the right way. The casing is not all metal, but it still feels rather strong, so you do not have to worry that it will collapse after a few months of use.
Holmes Dual Blade 8” Twin Window Fan
This dual-bladed fan has 2 separate motors that can move independently of each other. They are reversible, offer 2 speed settings, and carry 8.5in blades. It comes with water-resistant motors and a 3-year limited warranty. It also has a one-touch thermostat. It is priced on the lower end of the price scale.
- Fairly easy to use
- Comes with a thermostat for automated powering-on and shutdown
- Moderately quiet
- Could have better controls
This is a modest little fan with better performance than one might expect for its price. It moves air well—just don’t expect to feel gusts—and is about as quiet as one might expect for a fan of this size. The thermostat is a particularly useful feature. It doesn’t have the best controls ever, but they’re easy enough to figure out; they’re just not as quick to set as many other fans’ controls are. It’s also quite energy-efficient. It will probably suit people who only need to cool single rooms.
Holmes Dual Blade 6” reversible Twin Window Fan
Fitted with a pair of 6-inch blades, this twin window fan is designed for slider and double-hung windows. It has 2 speed settings and water-resistant motors. This is the cheapest one in our review.
- Reasonably priced
- Very easy to install
- Comes with a screen that you can use as an extender
- Blades cannot reverse flow by electronic control
- A bit noisy
This is one of the smaller window fans, so of course it costs less than the rest of the items on this list. Still, it’s reasonably priced. It won’t wow you with automation or electronic features like thermostats or independently-controlled twin motors. Instead, it’s just a plain little window fan—and that’s probably what most of the people for whom it’s designed will like best about it. It’s relatively low profile, easy to put in and put out, and is good value for the smaller rooms.
This really depends on the size of the space you need to cool, but most buyers will probably agree that the best buy here is the Lasko. It’s not the biggest fan in the group, but it is a fantastic performer nonetheless and will cool more than one room quite effectively. If your cooling needs are lower, you can go with the Bionaire instead, which has a number of really nice features to go with its decent muscle-power.