Putting 3 Fans To The Test: Ceiling, Window, and Drum

updated Jul 17, 2020
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Want to cut back on your energy usage and save some money? Then skip the AC and turn on a fan. According to The New York Times, a standard window air conditioning unit uses 1,200 watts and costs 14 cents an hour to run, while a typical ceiling fan running at a medium speed operates on 30 watts an hour and costs just one penny every three hours to run. We know they save energy, but how well do they work? The Times tested three models—the Emerson Midway Eco ceiling fan ($450), the Air King Whole House Window Fan ($137), and the Air King 36-inch Industrial Grade Drum Fan ($400). See how they stacked up below:

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The Reviews

Emerson Midway Eco Fan: After a complicated installation due to a missing parts bag, the Midway Eco fan’s “motor and mount were squeakless,” and “the blades gave off a tranquil white-noise whir, with a faint cyclonic overtone.” The fan did lose points on style, though: the author called the all-white fan body “bulbous and amoeboid.”

Air King Whole House Window Fan: Described as “DMV chic” with an appearance “less industrial than institutional,” the author said the fan sounded like the “strained roar of a prop plane.” (Read: LOUD.) However, it still did the trick. The author writes, “Yes, the Air King is indifferent to fashion. Yes, it’s intolerably loud. And still it blows most cheap fans away.”

AIR KING 36″ Industrial Grade Drum Fan: this industrial fan was, well, pretty industrial. Loud and “brawny and all metal,” the author mused that the individual who’d like this fan “might be classified as livestock. Or maybe an artist who lives in an open 4,000-square-foot warehouse and enjoys listening to Stockhausen’s ‘Helicopter String Quartet.'” As a home fan, it was totally effective, but likely not very practical due to the noise level.