If you've been balancing a box fan in your bedroom window or carefully placing your tower fan in front of your screen door to maximize airflow, it's time for a window fan that's specifically designed to do the job.
To help you find the right cooling solution for your space, we've rounded up our picks for the best window fan of 2021, along with some useful information to help you make the right choice.
Pros and Cons of Window Fans
If you've never owned a window fan, you're probably wondering how it compares to other popular house fan models like a tower fan or box fan. To help you determine if a window fan is a right choice for you, let's highlight a few pros and cons of these convenient fans:
By increasing air circulation, a window fan can reduce your reliance on air conditioning, helping to reduce your electricity bill as a result. Similarly, they provide a great alternative for houses and apartments that don't have AC.
Window fans are incredibly efficient at cooling the air inside your home when the temperature outside is lower than the temperature inside the room. By using less energy than a window air conditioner, they offer a cost-effective way for users to cool their bedroom while they sleep or circulate air through a workshop, garage, or kitchen window.
In addition to cooling the room, a window fan can help remove bad smells and muggy air from your home. Units with an exhaust mode or reverse feature suck the air out of the room instead of bringing new air in. By doubling as an exhaust fan, they help remove pet odors, smoke, and cooking smells.
Another added perk of window fans is that they don't waste floor space. Unlike stand fans, box fans, and tower fans, they won't be such an eyesore in your space.
If you live somewhere where there are high temperatures or high humidity outside, even the highest quality fan won't be able to cool your space effectively. While it will increase airflow, it won't be able to reduce the temperature inside your home if it's drawing in hot air from outside.
Window fans only effectively remove odors and circulate fresh air if there's good air quality outside. Using a fan in an area with bad smells— such as placing it in a window next to your trash cans— will only blow these odors inside.
Because a window fan requires you to leave the window open, it may pose a safety hazard if you live in a first-floor apartment or an unsafe neighborhood. If you're leaving the house for an extended period, be sure to remove the fan and lock the window.
When it comes to safe installation, placement is everything. It's crucial to ensure the model you purchase is compatible with your home's windows to ensure it stays securely in place and operates safely. Window fans don't always fit in oddly-shaped windows or sills found in old homes, so you may want to read the customer reviews to double-check you're making the right choice.
What to Look for in a Window Fan
These days, there are a variety of sizes and styles of window fans to choose from. Here are a few features to help you narrow down your search:
- Size— First and foremost, the fan needs to fit in your windows. You'll want to measure the window opening to be sure the product you choose is compatible with the size and style you have in your home.
- Noise Level— If you're sensitive to noise or plan to use the fan while you sleep, look for models with noise control for quiet operation.
- Reversible Intake— The best window fans offer multiple fan speeds and reversible intake settings. The regular intake setting circulates fresh air in from outside, and the exhaust function helps suck hot air and bad smells out of your home.
- Additional Features— Many models offer additional comfort features like auto-shut-off, self-timers, digital thermostat panels, and remote controls.
The Best Window Fans of 2021
If you're looking for the best window fan at an affordable price point, you can't beat Holmes' Twin Window Fan. This budget-friendly option fits most double-hung and slider windows thanks to an adjustable extender panel. It comes equipped with a control dial on both sides for easy access should you choose to manually reverse the fan.
The Holmes Twin Window Fan features two 7-inch blades and water-resistant motors that are safe to use during rainy weather. Despite its simple design, it's powerful enough to cool the entire room in no time. It offers two-speed settings so you can customize the breeze.
While Lasko's Reversible Window Fan boasts just one blade, it offers all the power and control of other multi-blade models. The 16-inch window fan comes equipped with an electrically reversible intake to allow for air movement both from the outside-in and the inside-out. It fits windows 26.5 to 34.5 inches wide and 22 inches high or taller.
Plus, the exhaust motor can help cool down your kitchen by expelling accumulating heat along with lingering smoke and pesky cooking odors. The convenient Storm Guard feature allows operators to quickly close the window behind the fan without needing to remove it from the window frame.
Though the Eco Breeze Smart Window Fan from Nature's Cooling Solutions looks more like a window air conditioning unit than like your average twin window fan, it offers the same cooling great benefits. The smart fan works alongside your AC unit to maximize its effectiveness and lower your electricity bill. Plus, it improves ventilation and eliminates the need to open and close the window as temperatures fluctuate.
It's easy to install and features adjustable side screens that fit most double-hung windows from 22 to 36 inches wide. The unit itself measures 22 x 8 x 11 inches.
Bionaire's Twin Window Fan with Adjustable Thermostat makes it easy to customize the temperature and direction of airflow. It features a comfort control thermostat with a digital LED screen and three programmable speed settings.
The Twin Window Fan features dual fan blades that can be operated separately. Both blades feature reverse modes for maximum ventilation and heat expulsion. The product fits both window types, double-hung and slider, with an adjustable extender screen that ranges from 24 to 27 inches.
Comfort Zone's Reversible Twin Window Fan with Remote Control offers all the features one could ask for in a window fan. The convenient remote control allows users to adjust the speed settings, reverse the fan function, and turn the power on and off from the comfort of the couch or bed.
Comfort Zone's Twin Window Fan comes equipped with two reversible 9-inch blades that can be used at three different speed settings. Its intake and exhaust settings increase airflow and provide the room with maximum ventilation. The adjustable accordion-style expanders adjust to fit window frames ranging from 23.5 to 37 inches wide.
The Whole House Window Fan from Air King is one of the best window fans for cooling large rooms in your house. With just one blade, the unit offers enough power to cool your whole living room, bedroom, toolshed, or garage. It fits window openings from 27 to 38 inches wide and 26.25 inches high.
The Whole House Window Fan from Air King is constructed from powder-coated steel and impact-resistant plastic housing. Its front-mounted rotary switch can be adjusted to three different speeds ranging from a light breeze to a powerful breeze. This model is both OSHA and ETL-approved.
Utilitech's 3-Speed Indoor Window Fan offers a straightforward dual-blade design with an adjustable thermostat for easy climate control. With three speed options to choose from, users can adjust airflow strength to suit their personal preferences. Each blade can be operated independently and can be used for both air intake and exhaust.
The fan can be used in most windows from 24 to 31 inches, thanks to expandable side panels that customize the fit. Its small feet provide a bit of added stability while installing and removing the model.
Bionaire's Thin Window Fan has a slim design with three blades and a digital control panel for easy temperature adjustment. The unit offers three electronic speed settings and reverse mode for precise airflow control. It's great at both refreshing the stale air inside with fresh air from outside and expelling hot air from inside the house using the exhaust fan function.
Bionaire boasts their Thin Window Fan offers 40% greater air velocity and a 25% lower profile than traditional window fans. It's designed to fit frames measuring at least 25.5 inches wide and 8 inches tall. The side panels can be extended to fit frames up to 37 inches wide and lock the fan in place for extra security and convenience.