I would like to purchase a window fan for one of two windows (24" x 24"
or 35" w x 21" h) but have been surprised by the poor quality of fans I
see in stores. Can anyone recommend a model with perhaps three speeds
and of build that will last more than a few years?
We will use the fan to help cool a small 1100 sq ft house off in the
summer after the sun has gone down (we are in southern California).
I'm in the La Crescenta area so I understand the need for a fan. Take
a look at www.vermontcountrystore.com and look for item 17602. It's
all all metal dual. Not cheap!
My brother had a larger house (1350SF) that he cooled with a combination of
10K BTU window A/C unit, centrally located, and a dehumidifier with a (I
think it was 5 gallon) collection tank. He paid a little over a hundred
bucks for the dehumidifier, and the A/C was used, so cost next to nothing.
It worked surprisingly well. The A/C wasn't strong enough to dehumidify the
whole house (humidity is what makes a house uncomfortable, not heat), but
the dehumidifier was. The A/C WAS strong enough to keep the house cool
(~74F, which feels cold at low humidity). Central air conditioning!
Install it yourself! Supposedly, his electric bill didn't go up too much,
I don't know about that. It felt pretty comfortable in his house in
mid-August when they had several days in the 90s with high humidity. It
must not dump that much heat indoors . . . the 10K window a/c took care of
it nicely. -Dave
Have you thought about a "whole house" fan, otherwise known as an attic
fan? We've got one in our 1,300 sq ft home and it makes quite a
Here is a link to learn more about how they work and how well they work:
I bought a window fan and found it didn't fit my window very well
and was cheaply made (all plastic), so I returned it. In its place,
I ended up buying a cheap box fan. It has a metal frame and plastic
blades, and it seems well-made enough. Plus it was way cheaper than
the window fan -- something like $15 or even $10 whereas the window
fan was closer to $30.
So now, I just put the box fan in the window along with a piece
of plywood that is there to prevent air from flowing right back
the opposite direction around the fan. The window I use the fan
in is one where the sash moves up and down. It's tall enough that
I can put the fan almost against the screen, then lower the sash
on top of the fan snugly to hold it in place. That covers all
the excess vertical space.
For the horizontal, I cut a piece of spare 1/4" plywood so that it
and the fan together are just as wide as the window opening and it
(the plywood) is just a little taller than the fan. That allows me
to put the plywood next to the fan and drop the bottom of the plywood
into the slot that the sash would fit in if it were closed, anchoring
it on the bottom, and since it's slightly taller than the fan, the
top side is held in place between bottom of the sash and the screen.
And because the fan is going, there's pretty much constant air pressure
on the plywood, which keeps it from rattling around.
All in all, cost me about $15 and works just as well as the window fan
did. And it's actually easier to install in the window than the window
I like Lasko's $52 2155A... 3 speeds, electrically-reversible, built-in
thermostat, and sliding panels to fit windows, which can be closed and
locked without removing the fan. It moves 2470 cfm with 90 watts. My $12
(Holmes) window box fan moves 800 cfm with 100 watts.
Ace Hardware sells it for $45 but then there's tax and shipping.
I wouldn't even know how to go about measuring how much air a
box fan moves when mounted in a window. When I tried it, it
seemed that covering all but the area of the fan blades seemed
to work better.
Years ago, window fan were made like that. Them mounted in the window and
had baffles on either side so it sucked air through the house. To make them
cheaper and more portable, the box fan was invented. Often, they suck air
in from the window and blow it right back out and not from through the
house. The cfm is an important measure, but lower cfm drawing across the
room is better than higher cfm just sucking in air and blowing it right back
I agree that the general build quality of fans is far lower than it was
20 years ago. Very few high-quality window fans are produced any more.
Patton stopped making their excellent whole-house window fans long ago.
Lakewood discontinued their all-metal high-velocity window fan (model
HV18WR) a couple years back, but I recently heard that some Ace
Hardware locations might still have them in stock. You might want to
check into that.
Otherwise, the best window fan I know of that is still being produced
is the Air King 9166D. It's not cheap, though: $249.99 at Amazon.com.
(Amazon.com product link shortened) />/
I've seen them cheaper on eBay. Of course, with an item of this size,
shipping is an issue.
The Lasko 2155A window fan used to be good, but I don't know if they've
cheaped out on construction in more recent models. It's not metal, but
it is fairly heavily built (or was, the last time I saw one). Ace
Hardware has this. You might want to check it out.
All of the fans mentioned above can be mounted in a window so that it
will close behind the fan when not in use.
The only decent box fan being produced any more is the Lakewood P-25.
If you're interested in a box fan, see:
(Disclaimer: I haven't dealt with this company personally.)
You can also check eBay (or yard sales and thrift stores) for older
fans, many of which are still in serviceable condition.
From www.froogle.com, these guys sell it for $180.
The Air King 9600 (16 inch) sells for $88.
Just as a point of reference, I've done the bolting a
20" box fan in a window and it seems to work just fine.
I used a piece of cardboard with a circle cut out to fill
in the rest of the open window. The only drawbacks are
that it doesn't reverse and there is no thermostat.
most "box fans" are around 2ft by 2ft, 3spd, and run bout $15 or so. ive
got a couple of those.
to cool a similarly sized place, i use 2 20" floor fans- one sucking air
in through the cool front screen door, and one blowing the warmish air
out the back patio door. run em both for mebbe 10mins, clears the stale
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.