The summer months are the best time of year for long days at the beach and BBQs in the evenings. But all those pink skies and days off can paint over the less appealing parts of summer. The mosquito bites and hot, sweaty, sleepless nights.
Keeping cool in summer is a challenge. And here in New Zealand many of us turn to fans in an effort to beat the heat. But with so many different fans, it’s hard to know which is best for you
Canstar guides you through what options you have, and which option is best for your needs.
What options are there?
There are plenty of different types of fans out there. But the most common, and the ones that come to mind for most, are pedestal, floor, tower and, more recently, bladeless fans. Which are the best fans isn’t clear cut. It all depends on your needs, budget, and preferences:
Pedestal fans are common, cheap, readily available and effective. They are, in many ways, classic summer fans. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t remember standing in front of one of them and talking like a robot.
Lower-end models can be found for around $20 at popular stores such as Kmart and the Warehouse. Of course, for that price, they aren’t the best quality options, or the quietest, and they can be knocked about pretty easily.
So if you’re a light sleeper or have energetic toddlers or pets, they are probably not the best option for you. But they do have plenty of grunt and provide lots of airflow. So if you’re on a budget, they’ll do the job (keeping you cool), and for a great price.
These tend to look like a pedestal fan, without the pedestal. And, pretty much, it’s what they are. The principle is the same, but by removing the pedestal you get a sturdier, and somewhat more portable, machine. Although perhaps they’re even more unsafe for your curious pets and toddlers, because they’re on the same level.
While similar to pedestal fans, you can find some models that are a little bit gruntier. So if you think a pedestal fan may not quite cut it, but don’t want to fork out too much extra cash, these could be a good option.
Additionally, because cool air sinks while hot air rises, a floor fan can help push cool air upwards, better circulating it around the room.
Shop around for the best electricity deals
Whatever fan you choose, you’ll have to pay for the power to run it. And finding affordable power involves shopping around. So to help you find the best value electricity retailer, Canstar Blue rates NZ power companies for customer satisfaction and value for money, see the table below for some of the results, or you can click on the button below for the full results of our survey.
Canstar Blue’s latest review of NZ power companies compares them on customer satisfaction. The table below is an abridged version of our full results, available here.
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Tower fans are a popular choice thanks to their small size and quiet operation. Their tall and slender design means they’re less top-heavy than pedestal fans, so won’t topple as easily. Additionally, they can easily be slotted into a corner without taking up much space.
Their biggest appeal is their noise level, which for the most part is whisper quiet. As such, they are a great choice for a light sleeper who likes a silent bedroom.
However, the quiet operation does tend to mean they don’t blow about a huge amount of air. So if you’re trying to cool a large space, they may not be your best option.
Furthermore, if you enjoy the feeling of sitting in front of a fan on full blast and being pelted by a gale-like wind, then a tower fan won’t really satisfy.
Additionally, some tower fans have air purification and heating modes. So if you want something that has benefits outside of just a few sweltering months, they could be worth considering.
Bladeless fans have steadily grown in popularity since they were introduced by Dyson back in 2009. These fans feature a ring-type design, as opposed to external or visible blades.
If you’re looking at the Dyson models, well, then they are basically the best of the best. As a fan, they produce plenty of cooling power, with the quiet and safety that comes from having no external spinning blades.
Dyson’s Air Multiplier technology means they push out more air than they take in, meaning they outperform other fans for a fraction of the power usage. And not only that, but they also have plenty of added features and the latest tech crammed into them.
Importantly, they double as air purifiers and some models as heaters, making them great for those with allergies or asthma. As you would expect, these particular models are costly, so you have to be willing to fork up the cash. Prices start from $899. But if you do, bladeless fans make excellent, and even stylish, additions to the home that have benefits long after summer is over.
Great cooling (or heating) power, safe, quiet, stylish, energy-efficient, easy to clean, good for your health and jam-packed with the latest tech. These have it all.
Other bladeless fans
Do note that the popularity of Dyson’s bladeless fans has seen an influx of alternative models hit the market. These cheaper models look similar but they may not actually offer any of the same benefits as the Dyson fans.
But despite this, the safe and stylish design, lower operating noise, and ease of cleaning can make any bladeless fan a great option (even without all the bells and whistles). Plus, while they may not employ the same Dyson Air Multiplier technology, many of these fans do still offer something similar, providing more efficient airflow than traditional fan designs.
So, just keep in mind that while a $99 bladeless fan from Kmart may still be a great option for you, don’t expect it to be employing much of the same design, tech, or benefits of the pricier models.
Which fan is best?
Purely on specs, Dyson’s futuristic and expensive bladeless fans are without question the best of the best. But that doesn’t mean they are right (or an option) for you. After all, the Dyson Purifier Cool comes in at a casual $899, or around 60 Kmart pedestal fans…
Specific models aside, there isn’t really one answer for which type of fan is best. If you want a cheap fan that does the job, pointing a pedestal fan straight at yourself will do the trick. If you want a quiet fan that won’t disturb you, a tower fan may be better. And if you want safety and style, or lower power bills, you could even look at a bladeless fan, regardless of whether it’s a Dyson or not.
The best fan will depend on what is most important to you.
How to position your fan
Regardless of the fan you choose, you need to use it correctly. Some tips that can help to keep you cool this summer are:
If the air inside the room is warmer than outside
If it’s hotter in your house than it is outside, open up windows and doors and place fans near the opening (facing inwards towards the room). Fans draw air in from behind and push it out the front. This way you are drawing in the cooler air from outside and pushing it indoors.
If the air inside the room is cooler than outside
In this case, you should avoid letting the hot air from outside in and the cool air inside the room out. So you may be best off closing all doors and windows. If it’s just you, facing the fan directly at you can provide the most relief.
If there are several people in the room, you may want to use multiple fans to create the greatest airflow. Try using fans low to the ground or in shaded parts of the room to best disperse the cooler air.
If you have an air conditioner or heat pump, you can use it in tandem with a fan. Using the fan to disperse the cool air from the heat pump can better keep you cool, while allowing you to operate your heat pump at a higher temperature and your fan at a lower speed, saving on electricity.
About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Andrew Broadley. Andrew is an experienced writer with a wide range of industry experience. Starting out, he cut his teeth working as a writer for print and online magazines, and he has worked in both journalism and editorial roles. His content has covered lifestyle and culture, marketing and, more recently, finance for Canstar.
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