electric fan
Worried about the bills in the warmer months? Fans move large amounts of air in the room to displace hot air - try out our picks below. Image Credit: Unsplash/Valery Fedotov

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In the highs of summer, when the air conditioner is routinely turned on, an electric fan can lighten what otherwise would be a hefty electricity bill. Today's fans blend into the decor of your house, so it's not even a question of whether these units will disrupt your home's interiors. Economical, portable and cooling, fans are available in various shapes and sizes. Perhaps you want a desk fan to keep you cool as you work, or a bladeless fan for a home with curious pets and children around.

We've rounded up the best options for you below, but even as you jump into the pros and cons, scroll down to hear from our home appliance expert on fans. The user should know that, ultimately, a fan does not effect a drop in the room temperature, like a portable air conditioner would, for instance. So, how are fans a good cooling alternative?

We spoke with Shahzaman Rafik Siddiqui, the owner of Novafix Electronics and Equipment Repairing in Dubai and a former engineer with Singaporean technology company Dyson. Read what he had to say below. Find all of his recommendations and more in our list, curated with the help of our expert's advice and user reviews on Amazon. Remember to subscribe to Prime for free, fast delivery.

1. Best Overall: Black+Decker 16-Inch Box Fan


  • Large fan at 16 inches
  • Five blades move a lot of air
  • Three speed settings
  • Fitted with a safety grill


  • No oscillation

Black and Decker is a solid choice, says Siddiqui, if you're looking into conventional blade fans. This high-velocity fan moves air using five powerful blades. You can place the large 16-inch unit on any flat surface, but do note it cannot be wall mounted. Choose from three speed settings, and manually angle the fan in any direction you prefer. Our only qualm is that where most fans would oscillate from side to side on their own, the Black and Decker unit only tilts 180 degrees. Reviews point out how stable it is on its base, even when running on its highest speed. It's the summer purchase for many buyers, who say the fan helps them stay cool on warm nights. Some find its higher speeds noisy, while others set it up in the bedroom without a hitch.

2. Best Bladeless Fan: Dyson Purifier Cool Formaldehyde TP09


  • Great for removing odours, allergens and dust from the air
  • Projects cool purified air
  • Voice control feature
  • Comes with a magnetic remote that's stored on top of the unit
  • Catalytic filter doesn't need replacing


  • HEPA and carbon filters have to be replaced
  • Not a dedicated cooling fan

Resembling more an abstract decor and less a fan, the Dyson Purifier Cool fan beats the summer heat and cleans the air in your room. The HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) H13 and activated carbon filters in the base of this bladeless fan capture particles as small as 0.1 microns, along with any odour. In cooling mode, it draws in air to expel an uninterrupted powerful stream of purified airflow to cool you. If you just want the purifier when the air conditioner is running, for instance, the diffused mode diverts the airflow through the back. At this premium price, expect voice control, a magnetised remote controller, app control with complex scheduling and a 350-degree oscillating base. Compared to the Black and Decker, this one-metre-tall fan is only a kilogram heavier. Reviewers compare the airflow to a cool breeze, which is gentler and quieter than the projection of a blade fan. But, it's worthwhile to factor in the future costs of filter replacements.

Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh200 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh142 and two years for Dh202.

3. Best Floor Fan: Vornado 660 Large 


  • Quiet but powerful performance
  • Can move air up to 30 metres ahead
  • Four speed settings
  • 90-degree tilting head


  • Needs a voltage converter in the UAE
  • Doesn't oscillate

Air circulators by the American manufacturer Vornado earn thousands of five-star ratings on Amazon, and it's due to their signature vortex design. This large Vornado 660 fan moves about 30 metres of air across four speed settings, a throw far enough to cover an entire room. Despite having three blades, the 660 is engineered carefully to perform as one of the best floor fans - from wide contoured blades to a duct that sculpts the airflow. The result is cooling air circulation felt throughout the room. Those who live in studio flats say it's powerful enough to keep the air moving and cool them at night. Even at the lowest speed, reviewers add, the 660 does its job more than well without being noisy. They've come back to buy one for each portion of the house. As for upkeep, the fan is fairly simple to disassemble and wipe clean.

Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay D54.29 for 12 months with select banks.

4. Best Tower Fan: Lasko Oscillating Tower Fan


  • Slim and space-saving
  • Three speed settings
  • Oscillates
  • Timer of up to 7.5 hours


  • Needs a voltage converter in the UAE
  • Can be loud on higher speeds

Lasko's tower fan has a bit of curvature that allows the unit to oscillate, despite being stationary. Its slim body tucks into any corner of the house, measuring one metre tall and weighing a solid 6.8kg. Thanks to its height, the fan works best in spaces that need both vertical and horizontal cooling, like the living room or the home office. You can set a timer of up to 7.5 hours and adjust the speed across three levels. In night mode, the fan becomes quieter, decreases its fan speed and dims its control panel. Like our Dyson pick, the remote controller can be stored in the fan. Reviewers prefer to set up their Lasko fan in active areas of the house, since higher speeds can be loud for the bedroom. Luckily, the lowest speed is enough to keep the AC off, they add.

Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay D57.24 for 12 months with select banks.

5. Best Budget: Midea Pedestal Stand Fan


  • Tilts, oscillates and is height-adjustable
  • Five-blade fan
  • LED display with remote controller
  • Quiet operation


  • Can be complicated to assemble

If you're looking for a temporary solution, opt for budget-friendly pedestal fans. This five-blade standing unit by Midea is still contemporary in its looks and function, coming with an LED display and a remote controller. There are few directional limitations - the 16-inch head tilts, oscillates side-to-side and has a height-adjustable neck. So, it doesn't matter if you're working at a high tabletop or lounging on the sofa, the fan will match your height. Plus, you get to pick from three speed levels, including a quiet performance for the night. Repeat buyers purchase several units to dress their rooms, which has helped them forgo the AC for months at a time in Dubai. They find it stable and commend the wide, silent airflow.

How do fans cool the air?

bladeless fan
Image Credit: Unsplash/Annie Spratt

Without any integrated water tanks or cooling equipment, fans rely on their environment to work.

Siddiqui says fans ultimately achieve their goal by moving extra wind in the air. They displace the warmer air around us with a fresh gust of wind as they run, making us cooler in the process. The absence of a dedicated compressor means it costs less to run a fan than an AC.

Bigger fans move more air, thus, size matters when it comes to picking a fan for a room. Siddiqui tells us that a fan's power indicators are the number of blades and the revolutions per minute (RPM). "Always go for more blades in a fan, if you can. A five-blade fan will move more quantity of air than three. And, a motor with a higher RPM will also be quieter, last longer and perform better, since low RPM blades have to meet with more friction against the air," he explained.

Cooling is determined by how thin of an airflow your fan can produce. This is where the pricier, bladeless fans could appeal to a large number of users. "Bladeless fans have a propeller inside the base that sucks in air and throws it out. Some bladeless fans of brands purify the room by capturing dust and other particles using air filters. They're also child-friendly as the blades are hidden," said Siddiqui.

But, most importantly, bladeless fans "give out the thinnest properties of air", so it's going to feel cooler, even though fans don't have any cooling mechanism. Other form factors include tower fans, which are slim, vertical units with a small footprint. They're great for targeted airflow and a less obtrusive cooling option for any limited space.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.