The 7 Best Energy-Efficient Fans of 2022

Vornado's Energy Smart pedestal fan is our top pick.

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Silver fan

Getty

Using fans in the home is one of the easiest and cost-effective ways of staying cool. Not only are fans cheaper to run than an air conditioner, but they also use a fraction of the electricity consumed by A/C units and use no planet-heating refrigerants

If you do have an A/C unit, a fan can help circulate that cool air and is also ideal for those early summer days when an A/C unit isn’t yet necessary. Whether it’s a window fan moving air in and out, bathroom fans removing steam, or ceiling fans keeping people comfortable in the living areas, modern fans are more energy-efficient than ever.

Here are the best energy-efficient fans:

Best Overall: Vornado 6803DC Energy Smart Medium Pedestal Air Circulator Fan

4.8
Vornado 6803DC Energy Smart Medium Pedestal Air Circulator Fan

Walmart

As a trusted company that got its start in the 1940s, Vornado’s signature vortex air circulation technology is still used to keep air flowing throughout an entire room. Its new Energy Smart products are up to 80% more efficient, yet still just as powerful and backed by a 10-year warranty, making this fan our top pick.

The Vornado 6803DC Energy Smart Medium Pedestal Air Circulator has touch-speed controls with 99 settings that can be set anywhere from a soft, silent flow to full-throttle circulation. In addition, there’s an energy-saving timer that can be set between one and 12 hours that can also be controlled by a remote. The fan’s pedestal height can be adjusted between 31 and 39 inches.

Best Budget: Vornado VFAN Jr. Vintage Air Circulator

Vornado VFAN Jr. Vintage Air Circulator

Walmart

Although this table top fan isn't one of Vornado's Energy Smart products, it's stylish and affordable, and can help you keep the AC turned off. At just under 1 foot in height, it's the perfect size to place on a desk or side table for personal cooling. It has two speeds, and the grille is removable so that you can clean the blades.

Best Window Fan: Genesis Twin Window Fan

Genesis Twin Window Fan

Amazon

A quality window fan can move hot air out and cool air in, and the dual-blade, Genesis Twin Window Fan has the ability to do both at the same time. Other window fans operate in one direction, but the reversible airflow of the Genesis allows one side for exhaust, and the other for fresh air intake (or they can both be used in the same direction).

Three speed settings and a built-in thermostat with LED lights helps control room temperature (and save energy), and the expandable side panels can add up to 6.5 inches on either side, ensuring a snug fit in any windowsill. A great option for renters or anyone who wants an easy-to-install alternative to a heavy window A/C unit.

Best Tower: Lasko Electric Oscillating Tower Fan

Lasko Electric Oscillating Tower Fan

Amazon

The Lasko Portable Electric tower fan is an ultra-quiet and highly effective tower fan that’s great for living rooms (you can still hear the television when the fan is on high), dens, offices, or any room that needs increased airflow. An energy-efficient auto shut off timer is programmable from 30 minutes to seven and a half hours, plus there’s a night setting that automatically dims controls and decreases fan speed.

Controlled manually or with a handy remote, the fan has three speed settings as well as oscillation. Plus, there’s a special safety feature that cuts off the current if it detects any electrical issues. The fan is 42 inches tall and is available in woodgrain and grey, or in sleek silver.

Best Ceiling Fan: Monte Carlo Maverick 60 in. Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan

Monte Carlo Ceiling Fan

Home Depot

The Monte Carlo Maverick is extremely energy efficient, and also visually appealing and versatile. It has a contemporary yet elegant design, and is Energy Star rated. It features rounded, hand-carved wood blades that are available in a number of colors and finishes to accent any room – from living areas to bedrooms. There are several sizes to choose among.

This ceiling fan is also damp-rated for use in covered outdoor areas. A 13-degree blade pitch is designed for optimal air flow, and costs just $6 per year on average to operate. The fan also comes with a remote, six different speed settings, and reverse flow for winter operation.

Best Oscillating: GreenTech PureFlow Oscillating Table Fan

GreenTech Environmental PureFlow QT7 - Bladeless Quiet RC Oscillating Table Fan

Walmart

If you’re looking for a desk or table fan, the GreenTech Environmental PureFlow is an excellent option. It’s bladeless design makes it quieter than some similar fans (meaning fewer distracting noises at the home office). The unique 90-degree vertical tilt and 90-degree horizontal oscillation ensure that air will keep moving in every direction with up to 30 feet of airflow.

Designed to conserve energy, the PureFlow fan can use as little as two watts of power and operates at just 13 decibels. With 12 different air speeds, a remote control, and an automatic shut of timer (for up to nine hours), this fan is a versatile option for many small spaces.

Best for Bedrooms: Dyson Pure Cool TP01 HEPA Air Purifier & Fan

4
Dyson Tower Fan

Best Buy

For a whisper-quiet, yet capable fan for the bedroom, the Dyson Pure Cool TP01 HEPA Air Purifier & Fan is a worthwhile splurge. The sleek, bladeless design is safe to use around children or pets, and cleaning is a breeze. The powerful HEPA filter removes 99.97 percent of pollutants and allergens, to help you breath easy while you sleep.

The fan rotates on its base to cool a wide swath of the room, and there's a night setting to quiet the machine's noise. Plus, the LED digital display comes in handy when the fan needs to be adjusted at night, but it can also be dimmed.

Final Verdict:

Our top pick is the Vornado Energy Smart Medium Pedestal Air Circulator Fan, a versatile option with a wide range of air speeds, while the Lasko Portable Electric Tower fan is a solid choice from another well-established company.

What to Look For in an Energy Efficient Fan

Energy Star

If you're shopping for a ceiling fan, look for an Energy Star rating. However, this label doesn't apply to many types of floor, window, or table top fans. But the good news is that these smaller units tend to use very little energy compared to ACs or other appliances. Just keep in mind that a fan only cools you down went you're sitting in the breeze, so be sure to shut it off when you leave the room.

Automatic Shutoff

When shopping for an energy-efficient fan, look for products that have a timer with an automatic shut-off option so the fan won’t be wasting energy when not in use.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Is a fan more efficient than air conditioning?

    Fans are more energy efficient and cost efficient than air conditioners, however, they do not lower the air temperature in a room the same way that air conditioners do. Fans and air conditioners work in different ways: Air conditioners remove heat from the air inside your home, then cool the air and recirculate it. Fans increase the velocity of the air flow, that in turn helps to cool a person inside a room (but not the room itself).

  • Are bladeless fans more efficient than fans with blades?

    Bladeless fans can often use less electricity than fans with blades, however, efficiency can vary with each product, and there are many types of cooling fans available including floor fans, desk, mounted, or ceiling fans. 
    When comparing efficiency of cooling fans, the Department of Energy states that “Ceiling fans are considered the most effective of these types of fans, because they effectively circulate the air in a room to create a draft throughout the room.” 
    Bladeless ceiling fans are gaining popularity in part because they are quieter than traditional fans, but options and availability are more limited than fans with blades. 

  • Can you increase fan efficiency?

    There are a few easy ways to maximize a fan’s efficiency, such as changing the direction the blades rotate (for ceiling fans). In the summer they should rotate counterclockwise to push the air down, and clockwise in the winter to distribute the warm air. Placing your fan on a lower speed setting will also keep energy use down. In addition, properly maintaining a fan and keeping it free and clear of dust and debris will increase the overall efficiency.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Treehugger is dedicated to helping our readers find the best solutions for heating and cooling with the fewest possible planet-heating emissions. The author, Amber Nolan, lives off-grid in the Florida heat year-round and has tried many types of fans to stay cool.