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Cheap Fans Buying Guide
Cheap fans are practical in hot climates and during the summer everywhere else to help circulate air and lower the temperature in a room. On hot days a cheap fan doesn't make up for not having air conditioning, but it can make a difference.
At the lower end of the market you'll find fans costing $5 to $40; this compares to the pricey varieties that can set you back $100 and more. What distinguishes inexpensive fans from those with hefty price tags is the type (design), build quality, number of speeds, noise level, and some bells and whistles. But for a relatively low price you can still get a first-rate bargain fan. A rough survey of the market reveals that table fans and floor fans, sometimes referred to as box fans, are the cheapest, followed by pedestal fans and then window fans; tower fans rely on a different air-moving mechanism and are generally beyond the Cheapism price range. Ceiling fans are a whole different ball game and cost well over $100 -- never mind the cost of having them installed.
Several things to look for when buying a cheap fan include the various speed options, whether the fan head tilts or oscillates, the warranty, and any extra frills, like a carrying handle, remote control, or built-in thermostat. User reviews of cheap fans also convey useful information. For example, most cheap fans are advertised as being quiet-operation units, but user reviews tell it like it is and seem to be much more accurate in assessing the validity of such claims. From the reviews that we read, users seem torn between wanting an inexpensive fan that's virtually silent and wanting a cheap fan to provide white noise. Whatever your preference, user comments will help you determine which way a specific fan blows. We found very few expert reviews of cheap fans, and even consumer reviews are limited in number and in the range of sites on which they're posted. That said, we used the evidence at hand to come up with our list of best and good cheap fans.
The bargain fans that blew us away include the Vornado Compact Air Circulator 530B (starting at $33, Amazon), the Lasko 1854 18-Inch Oscillating Stand Fan with Remote Control (starting at $35), the Lasko 3733 20" Box Fan (starting at $15), and the Vornado FA1-0007-06 Zippi Desk Fan (starting at $14). All these cheap fans have many must-have features, plus favorable user reviews. One cheap fan we're not too crazy about is the EntreeAir Door Frame Fan RR100 (starting at $22) because it lacks many desirable features and it garners mostly critical user reviews.
Best Cheap Fans
Vornado Compact Air Circulator 530B
Users shower high praise on the Vornado Compact Air Circulator 530B for its ability to quietly circulate a lot of air to cool down a room. This table fan features three speed settings and full-tilt capabilities to effectively direct air flow (up to 65 feet, which is a powerful punch for a table fan); it comes with a five-year limited warranty.
Lasko 1854 18-Inch Oscillating Stand Fan with Remote Control
Users give a thumbs up to the Lasko 1854 18-Inch Oscillating Fan for moving a lot of air. This pedestal fan oscillates, tilts, and can be height adjusted, and is suited to larger rooms. It features three speed settings, a remote control that includes a timer, and a round base for added stability; it comes with a one-year limited warranty.
Good Cheap Fans
Lasko 3733 20
A very cheap fan, the Lasko 3733 20" Box Fan doesn't disappoint. Users like its high quality motor, which moves lots of air and uses little energy, and its functionality: billed as a floor fan, the Lasko 3733 can be used on a table or set in a window. It features three speed settings, plastic feet for stability, a carrying handle, and a one-year limited warranty; some users grouse about the build quality.
Vornado FA1-0007-06 Zippi Desk Fan
Users deem the Vornado FA1-0007-06 Zippi Desk Fan best for desks and nightstands, and say it quietly and efficiently cools personal spaces; a few users report durability problems. The Vornado FA1-0007-06 Zippi Desk Fan is unique because of its soft cloth blades, a good safety feature for a fan that sits close to users and has no protective screen. It has two speed settings and comes with a three-year limited warranty.
EntreeAir Door Frame Fan RR100
The main complaint from users of the Entree Air Door Frame Fan RR100 is that it fails at its sole function: circulating air. Users also say it's very noisy and some report it breaks within weeks of purchase. A unique concept for a fan, the Entree Air Door Frame Fan RR100 attaches to the corner of the door frame while still allowing the door to be shut; there are no speed settings and it comes with a one-year limited warranty.
Lasko 3733 20 Review
Vornado FA1-0007-06 Zippi Desk Fan Review
Vornado Compact Air Circulator 530B Review
Lasko 1854 18-Inch Oscillating Stand Fan with Remote Control Review
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