Oscillating fans are great for providing fast, widespread cooling to big rooms. They can be moved around, and because they rotate, there’s better airflow. The wide range of shapes and sizes oscillating fans are available in will make any fan connoisseur excited. Although there are many nice-looking designs and expensive brands available, they might not be the right fit for your personal or office space.
Below is guidance to help you on your fan purchasing journey. Read on to see the different types of oscillating fans available, which features you should look for, and find answers to some questions you might have.
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The 5 Different Types of Oscillating Fans
Oscillating Desk Fans
Usually compact, oscillating desk fans are lightweight and portable. They aren’t as powerful as other types, but they deliver sufficient air to cool off one person at an office desk or reading table.
Oscillating Wall-Mounted Fans
Perfect for rooms with limited space, oscillating wall-mounted fans can be extremely useful. Most models can oscillate up to 180 degrees, enabling them to circulate air through an entire room.
They’re a powerful type of fan, and though they’re generally used in office spaces or basements where floor space is limited, any room can benefit from having one. Design options are limited, but with some searching, you’re sure to find one that suits your style.
Oscillating Tower Fans
Marketed as the most popular oscillating fan choice for households, tower fans have eye-catching designs and unique features. Their slim, tall, and stylish aesthetic makes this fan an appealing option, though they aren’t the most powerful amongst oscillating fan types. The airflow provided is still sufficient to cover a large room, and each brand offers unique features.
Oscillating Pedestal Fans
When it boils down to features, oscillating pedestal fans are similar to tower fans. However, they tend to take up more room and deliver a more powerful airflow. They are also more durable than most other types of oscillating fans.
Oscillating Misting Fans
Although oscillating misting fans are often used in outdoor spaces like patios, industries, and factories, they’re suitable for use in any area where the surrounding air is likely to be dry or sultry. With the help of misting nozzles, misting fans spray tiny droplets of water while the air flows.
These droplets won’t make you wet since they evaporate quickly, but they do reduce the temperature.
Oscillating misting fans are a powerful choice for outdoor environments, and models with different pressure levels are available. Low to mid-pressure fans are an excellent choice for big rooms, while high-pressure models are ideal for industries and factories.
10 Features to Consider Before Purchasing an Oscillating Fan
Besides the power that a fan model delivers, certain other qualities also need to be weighed against each other. There will always be pros and cons to an oscillating fan’s different features, making it essential to have ample knowledge about them before purchase.
Energy-efficiency, adjustability, design, timing capabilities, automation, and overall functionality are all features that might be important for you.
Below, we break down the ten features of oscillating fans that we find essential to know about to help you form an idea of what you need to look for in an oscillating fan before shopping around.
Although superficial, the design of an oscillating fan can play a significant role. Once limited to big and chunky, models are now available in sleek, stylish designs.
Oscillating fans can now add to the aesthetic of your home instead of being an eyesore. Products from Vornado and Dyson have become household names for their modern designs. Classic retro designs are also popular amongst those trying to create such an ambiance in their rooms.
Size and Range
The size and range covered by an oscillating fan determine the area in which you can use it. You won’t be able to control a large room with a tiny unit, and if the radius of the fan’s head is narrow, it will only cool a narrow space.
On average, an oscillating fan covers a 90° range, though models covering up to 180° exist. For most rooms, an oscillation of 90° provides sufficient cooling. When you purchase an oscillating fan with a 180° range, you run double the risk of experiencing burnout over time.
Unlike an air conditioning unit that changes a room’s temperature, an oscillating fan’s function is to enable airflow, contributing to the rapid evaporation of sweat from your skin. A smaller size fan will create less airflow, leading to slower evaporation of sweat.
The cubic feet that an oscillating fan covers per minute are measured when the fan operates at its highest speed. When the CFM is greater, the fan is more efficient in terms of airflow and energy-use. Using an oscillating fan at its highest setting will enable you to reach an entire room, and if this is your goal, you need to look for a fan with a high CFM.
When the blades of an oscillating fan have an excellent chopping motion, the airflow increases. This combination helps sweat evaporate at a faster rate.
If you place oscillating fans in a strategic position, it can make a huge difference to the room’s airflow. Modern-day oscillating fans have thin blades powered by sophisticated electromagnetic actuators, making their velocity higher and more efficient than models from the past.
Another important feature to inspect when you’re searching for an oscillating fan is its adjustability. If a fan’s head can tilt up and down, you’ll have more control over the airflow. When you have more control, you can target specific areas in a room that requires cooling. The more adjustable an oscillating fan is, the more freedom you’ll have on deciding how and where you want airflow improved.
Like an oscillating fan’s adjustability, the control buttons decide how much freedom you have over its use. A user-friendly control panel and different features will provide you with comfort over controlling your fan.
Although most older models only have low, medium, and high-speed control settings, modern models have a timer and oscillation degree control as well.
Oscillating fans can harm small children and pets. Therefore it’s crucial to choose one that will fit your circumstance.
Tower fans should be sturdy and robust to prevent them from falling over. Oscillating fans with blades that spin rapidly should always have their blades guarded by a grill that makes it impossible for tiny fingers or paws to poke through. A safer alternative is an oscillating fan that uses modern technology to generate a cool breeze instead of blades. Wall-mounted fans are also a safer option when you have children or pets around.
Another safety feature to keep in mind is a fan’s ability to detect electrical faults in its system. Some models can detect these faults and will automatically shut down to prevent malfunctions.
Not only for convenience, a timer setting on an oscillating fan is a big advantage. While it allows you to cool down your house when you’re not there, it also benefits the environment. You can set a timer to run through the night and switch of during the day, set it to keep your fan running while you’re at work, or keep it on for specific periods and not worry about forgetting to switch it off. Having your oscillating fan run on a timer is convenient, saves energy, and will help you cut down your electricity bill!
Another convenient feature is an oscillating fan that can operate with remote control. A remote that fits in the palm of your hand allows you to control your oscillating fan from a distance. Whether you’re on the couch for a movie night or at your office desk, you’ll be able to control how much airflow should be generated and where.
The amount of noise that an oscillating fan generates is primarily dependent on its blades and the velocity they operate with. While this white-noise can be soothing to some, many people find it annoying. Most modern-day oscillating fans have a solid structure and aluminum blades, contributing to a low noise level. Bladeless technology also reduces noise.
Frequently Asked Questions About Oscillating Fans
If you still have doubts about purchasing an oscillating fan, read through the five most frequently asked questions about oscillating fans below to see our answers.
Does an oscillating fan work the same as air conditioning?
No, it doesn’t. Unlike air conditioning, an oscillating fan does not influence room temperature. Instead, it will decrease your body temperature by generating airflow around your body.
Is an oscillating fan better than a standard fan?
Oscillating fans are far more superior than standard stationery fans. Since they oscillate, these fans can cover more than one area, creating better airflow. An added benefit is that you can use it as a fixed fan if desired.
Is an oscillating fan energy-efficient?
A standard oscillating fan consumes 100-150 watts. When you assume that your chosen fan consumes the highest value, you can use the following calculation based on the average cost of electricity in the USA:
0.150kwh x 10 cents = $1.5 per hour
(watts x cost per kilowatt-hour electricity = running cost per hour)
Is it easy to keep an oscillating fan clean?
Keeping an oscillating fan clean is easy. With most models, you’ll only need to disassemble the fan grills and clean them alongside the blades and other parts that may have become dirty. A dry cloth and liquid cleaner will make your oscillating fan look new, but if you don’t have time to clean the necessary components in this way, you can use a blower to clear the dirt and dust.
Can I keep my oscillating fan on when I sleep?
Although it isn’t preferred, sleeping with an oscillating fan blowing on you is safe. If you have allergies or asthma, the dust and dirt which clings to the blades and inside parts of the fans might irritate you as it flows into the air.
If you shop around, you’ll quickly find an oscillating fan within your budget that suits your needs. Hopefully, this post explaining the types of fans and different features has given you enough insight to pick a model suitable for you. As always, ensure that you read reviews of whichever fan you end up choosing before making your final purchase.
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