Now that it’s the middle of summer, many consumers are looking for an economical and efficient cooling alternative to air conditioning. One such option that not only provides adequate cooling but is also energy efficient and budget friendly is the tower fan. Unlike an air conditioner, this tall, slim device technically doesn’t cool the air but instead creates airflow and is much easier on your utility budget. The oscillating feature included on most tower fans allows the device to move up and down and left to right and back while it pushes warm air outward. The lightweight, compact tower fan is conveniently portable and takes up very little space.
How Do Tower Fans Work?
Unlike a convention fan that features blades spinning in one direction, a tower fan pulls in air and pushes it out in a wide area. Inside the fan, an electric motor spins a cylinder, which contains impeller blades that quickly move the air through the slim column and out vents that are designed to either allow the air to escape or block it from escaping. The air blower contains an air impeller that moves air through a vertical shaft. This vertical flow ensures a more even distribution of air than that of a conventional fan. The cooling efficiently takes place at floor level.
An inlet for air to travel to the air guide and out the vents is located on the outer cover of the column. Unlike a conventional fan in which airflow is mostly horizontal, a tower fan contains blades that push air up and down within the column.
Because of the tower fan’s vertical design and enclosed casing, air can become trapped and result in overheating, especially in older models. Most newer models now come equipped with a polarized plug, which minimizes the potential for overheating. For added safety, you should place a tower fan in a dry space away from windows where it could be exposed to moisture.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Tower Fan?
A tower fan can prove to be an extremely energy-efficient alternative to air conditioning, especially in cooler climates where summer heat is short lived or not so extreme as that of warmer climates. Tower fans can actually use up to 60 percent less energy than other cooling methods.
You can place a tower fan in a corner or other small area where an ordinary pedestal fan might not fit. This makes it ideal for a small room or office, on a desk or bookcase or even between pieces of furniture for maximum comfort. It’s even possible to completely hide the fan if you prefer.
Exceptionally sturdy for its size, a tower fan is less likely to be tipped over than a conventional pedestal fan.
Perfect for homes with small children or pets, tower fans that contain blades are equipped with a special cover that shields the blades from curious hands or paws.
For the home or business owner who prioritizes aesthetics, a tower fan is an excellent choice. The tall, sleek design can complement virtually any décor.
Compared to many other types of fans, tower fans are very quiet, and you need to listen carefully to hear the soft sound of a tower fan oscillating. Thus, it’s an ideal choice for a bedroom.
Many tower fans now feature options you’d only expect on a costlier cooling device. One unique feature that comes on most tower fans is an ionizer, which allows the fan to purify the air. This feature emits charged ions that attract impurities in the air; and in turn, forces the particles to the floor, minimizing exposure to the lungs.
Most tower fans also feature the oscillating option, which helps cool the air much more quickly than on a stationary setting. The oscillating feature is also advantageous for preventing mold or mildew growth in a room that has experienced a flood or leak, as it circulates the air in different directions. Because of the length of tower fan vents, the fan can cool a much larger space than can a conventional fan. Another setting that comes on some tower fans is a « natural breeze » option that imitates shifting outdoor winds.
A majority of tower fans now come with a remote feature, which allows you to change speeds and settings with the convenience of a remote control. Many also feature a timer than lets you program when you want them to start and stop. Some even include a control to release a scent, ranging in strength from low to high. The dual-purpose Honeywell With Febreeze Freshness Cool & Refresh tower fan comes equipped with controls that allow you to choose between two speeds and that also let you set your preferred levels of fragrance. You can also choose to use the cooling feature alone without the fragrance option, if you prefer. To use the fragrance option, you just use the large flip-top lid located on top of the device to open the scent cartridge compartment. You then insert your desired fragrance cartridge, which can last from two to four weeks. Next, you use the fragrance dial on top of the unit to control the amount of scent you want released while the fan is operating.
How to Choose a Tower Fan and Features to Check When Buying One
There are many factors to consider when choosing a tower fan, and every consumer needs to decide which features are most important for their individual needs. One feature that most tower fans offer is a relatively compact and slender size. However, they do come in different heights. Be sure to choose one that easily fits into the space you’ve set aside for it.
Although most tower fans include an oscillation feature, they do vary as to the number of speeds from which to choose.
If you want a fan that also filters the air, you’ll need one that includes an ionizer. Remember, you’ll need to periodically replace the filters, so be sure to double check its efficiency rating and how much energy it will actually consume. An auto shutoff is another valuable feature that’ll save you from unnecessary energy expenses.
Because they contain few, if any, exposed blades, tower fans are generally safer than conventional fans. Just make sure the grate over the fan is sturdy and narrow enough to protect children’s hands and pets’ paws. In the event curious kids or pets happen to access the fan blades when the fan isn’t operating, make sure the blades are soft and not able to result in accidental cuts.
When choosing a tower fan, you also need to consider how large a space you want to cool. If the room is small, select a fan that features low air circulation, as the speed and the sound of a high-circulating fan might cause discomfort. If, however, the room is a large, such as a commons or conference area, opt for a fan with more powerful circulation.
If you’re looking for convenience, go for a tower fan with a remote control feature, an option that’s especially handy in a bedroom or busy work space. A fan with a programmable timer can offer additional convenience, such as when you’d like to set the fan to turn on just before you get home or turn off when you leave. Some optional high-tech controls, however, can be difficult to understand; so if you’re not tech savvy, avoid these sophisticated features.
Examples of Types of Tower Fans
Various companies offer many different types of tower fans from which you can choose, each featuring its own unique options. Best Review Guide’s top-ranked tower fan for July 2019, the 38-inch Lasko Wind Tower fan with remote control, features three quiet speeds and wide-span oscillation, a seven-hour electronic timer and a patented polarized safety plug. There’s also a handy built-in carry handle for ease of portability.
Ranked fifth on the Best Reviews Guide, the Honeywell Digital Triple tower fan features easy-to-use electronic control buttons with display, three speeds with oscillation and a timer with a choice of one, two, four or eight hours.
Home expert Bob Vila’s website rates the 40-inch Pelonis oscillating tower fan as the best overall tower fan for its sturdiness and quietness. You can adjust the speed to one of three settings via either the LED display on top, which turns off in 30 seconds to ensure nighttime darkness, or by the convenient remote control. There’s also a timer you can set up to eight hours. This fan is capable of oscillating a wide span of 60 degrees.
Although most tower fans include small blades, there are a few models without blades in which air flows through hollow tubes. The 43-inch Air Choice bladeless tower fan features three speeds and wind modes. Exceptionally quiet, this fan includes remote and timer options and is an ideal safe choice for homes with small children or pets.
If budget is a major priority, the consumer won’t be disappointed with the features offered on the 40-inch Costway LCD tower fan. You can control the three speeds and modes either on the LCD display or via the remote control. There’s even a timer on this compact fan, which is a great value for the price.
If you’re looking for a tower fan to cool a large room, the 43-inch Airvention provides 100-degree oscillation at a maximum of 50 decibels on the highest setting of three speeds. Featuring convenient remote and timer options, this fan is also an exceptionally safe choice for homes with kids or pets because of its grille design that covers the moving blades.
For the consumer who wants a tower fan that features the ultimate in technology, the 44-inch Ozeri 3x tower fan with Bluetooth allows you to program either with the LED touchscreen control panel, with a remote control or via a mobile app that you can install on your smartphone. The tower features three independent fans, each with three speed settings that you can choose to run separately or together, which adds up to a choice of nine levels of customized airflow. A mere three inches thick, the fan features 90-degree oscillation. It also features a timer that you can easily program in half-hour increments.
On his website, The Architect’s Guide, Brandon Hubbard chooses the Alen T500 tower fan as his pick for best tower fan. This compact Energy Star-certified fan is virtually silent and can cover up to 500 square feet. Its top-of-the-line air purification system includes a choice of HEPA filter options. The Alen T500 is not only portable enough to move from one room to another, but you can even take it along with you on the road.
Another highly-ranked tower fan, the 41-inch Vornado 184 whole room tower air circulator, features V-flow circulation, in which a large volume of air constantly moves throughout the room and allows for optimum comfort. There are four speed settings and a timer that you can program for one, two, four or eight hours to ensure energy-saving efficiency. Unlike most tower fans that oscillate, the Vornado 184 features air outlets uniquely contoured to provide a wide area of continuous airflow.
Ideal for small spaces, the slim 32-inch Holmes oscillating tower fan with remote control can easily fit in corners and other small spaces. You can set the fan’s timer up to eight hours and control multi-mode settings, including breeze and sleep, for personalized comfort. You never need to misplace the remote control, as the unit contains a handy storage space for the remote.
Another compact tower fan that’s ideal for small spaces, desks or countertops is the Seville Classic UltraSlimline tower fan combo pack, which features three customized speeds, as well as three timing selections in a choice of one, two or four hours. This sleek fan is great for a kid’s room, as the one-push control with LED lighting can comfortably accommodate even the smallest of hands.