Last updated: August 5, 2021
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The beads of sweat are already visible on the forehead and it is hardly bearable in the flat or in the office. Even at night it is far too warm in the bedroom to sleep comfortably - we all know it. A simple solution is to buy a fan. But the market is full of different types and manufacturers. Which fan suits you and what should you look for when buying one?

With our big fan test 2022 we want to help you find the right fan for your purposes. In our guide, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of floor fans, tower fans and table fans. Our goal is to help you with your purchase decision.




Summary

  • Fans make it possible to circulate the air in a room within a short period of time and are a cost-effective way to endure a hot summer in the flat, house or office.
  • The market is full of options and in our guide we compare the advantages and disadvantages of pedestal fans, tower fans as well as table fans.
  • Inexpensive fans can be purchased for as little as 10 euros, but the price range is quite high and high-quality devices can cost up to 200 euros.

The Best Fan: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for fans

In the following, we will list the criteria you can use to decide between the many possible fans. The criteria with which you can compare the fans with each other include:

In the following paragraphs we will describe the buying and evaluation criteria for fans in more detail.

Power consumption

Basically, the power consumption is one of the most important purchase decisions of a fan. The power consumption of a fan is calculated in kilowatt hours (kWh). But how many watts per day should a fan actually consume? Depending on the type of fan, the setting and the manufacturer, the power consumption can vary from 720 kWh to 1680 kWh per day.

Therefore, before buying a fan, you should be aware of how many hours a day the fan will be used. If the fan will be used 24 hours a day, low power consumption is very important. However, if the fan will only be used for a few hours a day, power consumption is rather irrelevant.

Noise level

The noise level of a fan should definitely be taken into account when making a purchase decision. A supposedly inexpensive fan that emits very loud noises can be very frustrating and pose risks. To measure the noise level, there is the sound level unit which is measured in decibels (db). The following table helps you to get a rough overview of the unit:

Decibel Example
0 db Lowest level defined as "unimaginably quiet"
25 db Comparable to breathing sounds
30 db Comparable to whispering
40 db Defined as concentration disturbance threshold
50 db Comparable to soft radio music
60 db Comparable with the volume of a normal conversation
70 db Comparable with a hoover or hair dryer
80 db Comparable with the volume of heavy traffic
90 db Comparable with the noise of a heavy vehicle or a hand-held grinder
100 db Comparable with the volume of a disco

Now the question arises, at what point is a fan considered quiet? Basically, this question cannot be answered because we humans perceive noise differently and have different sensitivities.

As a rule, a fan that is louder than 40 db exceeds the concentration disturbance threshold. Therefore, such a fan should not be used in offices or workplaces.

Air flow rate

The air flow rate, also called air volume flow or air flow, defines how powerful a fan is. It is usually given in cubic metres per hour. The air flow rate indicates how much air a fan can convert within a period of time.

Larger rotor blades and higher rotational speed lead to a higher air flow rate.

The air flow depends on the number and shape of the fan's rotor blades. Larger rotor blades and a higher rotational speed result in a higher air volume flow.

To fill a room sufficiently with air, a powerful fan should also be used for a larger room. Therefore, the rule of thumb is that a fan should have converted at least 4 times the room volume after one hour. For example: A room with 30m³ needs a fan with at least 120 m³/h air flow to fill the room sufficiently with air.

Decision: What types of fans are there and which one is right for me?

If you want to get a fan, there are three different options to choose from:

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Pedestal fan Adjustable height, oscillating design, high performance Comparatively high noise level, heavy weight
Tower fan Stylish design, take up little space, low noise level Lack of height adjustability, low airflow
Table fan Very portable, low power consumption, low noise level Poor performance, short range

If you want to learn more about the different types of fans, you can read more about their advantages and disadvantages in the following paragraphs.

Pedestal fan

Pedestal fan

Pedestal fans are usually built larger than other fans and can therefore produce a greater air flow. A feature of the pedestal fan is the telescopic rod, which allows the height of the unit to be adjusted.

Furthermore, pedestal fans are usually designed to oscillate. The oscillating function means that the fan can automatically rotate from side to side and thus have a greater range of approx. 90° to 180°. Due to this rotating movement, the air flow reaches a significantly larger area and the entire room can receive fresh air more quickly.

Advantages
  • Adjustable height
  • Oscillating design
  • High efficiency
Disadvantages
  • Comparatively high noise level
  • High weight

In addition, the impellers of pedestal fans are protected by a grille housing. In addition, the units have more stable feet. This makes pedestal fans more powerful, but at the same time heavier.

Due to the enormous performance and the oscillation function, some floor fans have a high noise level. The noise level should definitely be weighed up before making a purchase.

Tower fan

Tower fan

Tower fans are often referred to as column fans. As you can see from the name, this is a fan in the shape of a tower or column. Most of the devices have a stylish and modern design.

In contrast to the stand fan, the air flow of a column fan is ejected through a blade construction instead of a large impeller. This creates an air flow over the entire height of the fan – but this height cannot be changed manually.

Advantages
  • Stylish design
  • Take up hardly any space
  • Low noise level
Disadvantages
  • Lack of height adjustability
  • Low air flow

One advantage of tower fans is that the unit can be easily positioned in the corner and does not waste unnecessary space. The narrow shape makes it possible to position the fan in a space-saving way. Due to its light weight, the tower fan can be carried from one room to another without any problems.

Although the air flow is distributed over the entire fan height, the column fan usually has a lower air flow rate than a floor fan. However, tower fans are comparatively quieter than other fan types and are therefore suitable for living rooms or bedrooms.

Table fan

Table fan

The table fan, which is similar to a smaller version of the floor fan, is perfectly suitable as a room fan. Mostly, table fans are axial fans, which means that the impeller is on one axis together with the blades. As a rule, table fans are driven by an electric motor.

As the name suggests, table fans are deliberately designed to be placed on a table or shelf. They are therefore ideal for blowing fresh air into an office or study.

Advantages
  • Very mobile
  • Low power consumption
  • Low noise level
Disadvantages
  • Weak performance
  • Low range

A table fan weighs comparatively little and is also smaller in size than other fans. This makes the table fan very mobile and makes it easier to set up and take down the fan at short notice.

Compared to floor fans and tower fans, the power output of a table fan is very low and therefore affects the range. On the other hand, the table fan scores with low power consumption and quiet volume.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about fans answered in detail

In the following guide, we want to answer the most important questions about fans. We have selected the questions for you and will answer them shortly.

What size fan should I buy?

The size of a fan differs depending on the type and manufacturer. However, the performance of a fan does not necessarily depend on the size of the device.

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Fans are ideal for refreshment, especially when the temperature is high in summer.
(Image source: Bruno / pixaby.com)

The decisive factor for the performance of a fan is the strength of the air flow. As long as the air flow is high enough, the fan refreshes the room with cool air. Furthermore, there are stand fans with a telescopic rod. These allow the height of the unit to be adjusted.

How much electricity does a fan consume?

In the following, we have listed the average power consumption of fans. We have differentiated between the three types of fans: floor fans, tower fans and table fans. Depending on the setting and model, the following data may of course differ:

  • Pedestal fan: The power consumption is approx. 1,680 watt hours per day
  • Tower fan: The power consumption is approx. 1,000 watt hours per day
  • Table fan: The power consumption is approx. 720 watt hours per day

The list shows that the table fan consumes comparatively the least electricity, closely followed by the tower fan. The stand fan consumes the most electricity on average.

What does a fan cost?

There is a very wide price range between the different fans. Depending on the quality and type of fan, the cost varies. Inexpensive table fans can be bought for between 5 and 30 euros. Larger floor fans or tower fans, on the other hand, can cost between 40 and 200 euros.

Type price
Stand fans approx. 40 - 200 euros
Tower fans approx. 40 - 200 euros
Table fans approx. 5 - 30 euros

In principle, there are some very inexpensive fans, but we advise against these because the power consumption and noise level of these devices is usually extremely high. Furthermore, it is important to note that a fan that is used daily for a longer period of time should be selected with low power consumption.

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Battery-powered mini fans are now available on the market. These fit on any desk and provide instant refreshment.
(Image source: Siniz Kim / unsplash)

What are the alternatives to fans?

An alternative to the fan is the air conditioner. The difference with an air conditioner is that it actually cools the air in a room. This is why air purifiers are already partly integrated into air conditioners. The fan, on the other hand, only blows the air through the room and the temperature never drops below room temperature.

Air conditioners can cool, heat, humidify and dehumidify. However, this is also reflected in the costs. An air conditioner is comparatively extremely expensive.

Image source: Saensing/ 123rf.com

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