Are air conditioners too expensive? If you are trying to decide between an air conditioner vs a fan, then it’s important to consider fans that cool a room like an air conditioner. These fans are far less expensive than air conditioners but can get the job done just as well only on a smaller scale. You may have thought that you are just going to have to shell out thousands of dollars for a new central air system but before you do that, take a look at our analysis of the fans that cool like air conditioners. These fans will feel like AC units and be able to save you a ton of money while delivering the cooling power you need for the rooms in your home.
Fans that feel like air conditioners can be a great substitute for dropping thousands of dollars on a standard air conditioner.
Fans that Feel like Air Conditioners
Best Oscillating Fan Option
- Feels like an Air Conditioner
- Blows cold air
- Powerful tower fan
- Great price
Best Temperature Control Option
- Temperature control
- Cools to 60 degrees
- Feels like an Air Conditioner
Best Evaporative Cooling Option
- Cools like an Air Conditioner fan
- Cools an entire room
- Generates excellent airflow
- Quiet operation
Best Bladeless Fan Option
- Cools the air in your home
- Also functions as an air purifier
- Circulates air efficiently
- Quiet operation
Fan vs Air Conditioner – Which is better for your home?
This is a question that many homeowners ask themselves every summer. The answer is not as easy as it seems. There are a lot of things that can weigh into one’s decision. First of all, where do you live? Some areas of the country are hotter than others. For example, using a fan in South Florida would not be sufficient enough to cool you down during the hottest summer days. On the contrary, if you live in Montana, the need for an air conditioner is much less.
Benefits of Cooling Fans:
- Easy to use
- Air circulation
Benefits of Air conditioners:
- More powerful than fans
- Cool your entire home
Drawbacks of Cooling Fans:
- Not as effective at cooling as an air conditioner
- Typically don’t last as long and need replacing
Drawbacks of Air conditioners:
- Can be very expensive
- Require maintenance
- Not portable
Here are some key questions to ask yourself before deciding to purchase a fan vs an air conditioner:
- How hot is the climate where you live?
- What is your budget?
- What size space do you need to cool?
- Do you need to cool your entire home or just one room?
- Do you want to deal with the maintenance of an air conditioner?
If you decide that an air conditioner is not the best route for you to take, then it’s worth looking into fans that cool like air conditioners.
What to Look for in a Fan that Feels like an Air Conditioner
If you are looking to cool the rooms in your home but don’t want to spring for a portable or central air conditioning unit, there are some features to look for that will steer you in the right direction. Here is a list of the most important ones:
- Multiple fan speeds
- Temperature control
- Cooling ability
Why Use Fans that feel like Air Conditioners?
Using fans, like the ones we have highlighted here, offers many different benefits. For example, some fans can actually make your indoor air healthier to breathe. With fans, you also get the convenience of portability. You can move these air conditioner fans from room to room as needed and get powerful cooling on the spot. With central air conditioners, the further the room is from the actual unit the weaker the airflow will be. And last but not least, fans will be cheaper than both portable and central air conditioners 100% of the time.
Fans that Feel like Air Conditioners Reviews
Bottom Line: The Toa Tronics fan oscillates 65 degrees improving airflow and circulation
Tao Tronics is a well-respected and trusted player in the home cooling and heating industry. Not only is this product durable, easy to use, and effective, but it’s designed and sold by one of the most well-respected companies in this space.
The TaoTronics a cooling fan that truly blows cold air and is very affordable, which makes it one of the best cold fans on the market. The fan offers 9 cooling modes and is powerful enough to cool an entire small to medium-sized room. Set to auto mode and cool the air as needed.
The fan has a sleek design, is painted black, and features an LED display. At 35 inches tall, 12 inches wide, and 6.3 pounds, this fan can be moved to anywhere needed in your home.
There is also a larger version of this cooling fan called the Tao Tronics 42 inch portable oscillating cooling fan. The main difference between the Toa Tronics 65° Oscillating tower fan and the Toa Tronics 42 inch portable oscillating cooling fan is power. Because the 42-inch fan is larger it will produce more air per square foot.
With the combination of this fan’s air conditioner-like feel and powerful oscillating fan, it will keep your home cool even on the hottest summer days.
When compared to the Dyson Pure cool, we actually think the Tao Tronics is built with higher quality materials. Additionally, the Tao Tronics fan is priced at a more reasonable price point when compared to the Dyson and Honeywell.
We didn’t like how the fan performs for extended periods of time. The fan seems to overheat when used for at least 2 hours. Although it didn’t get to dangerous levels, it’s something to note in your buying decision.
- 65-degree oscillation
- Lightweight and compact so can easily be moved from room to room
- Great for bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, and more
- 9 different fan speeds
- Quiet operation
- Not as powerful as larger fans
- Fan remote is not very easy to use
- No temperature control
Bottom Line: The Honeywell temperature control feature cools to 60 degrees
Honeywell is arguably the most well-respected company in the home cooling and heating industry. All of their products are rigorously tested for top-of-the-line performance and durability. The name speaks for itself. You know you are getting a quality product when purchasing from Honeywell.
The most notable feature of this fan is its programmable thermostat. The thermostat can be set to as low as 60 degrees for cooling, which makes it a “set it and forget it” device.
With the electronic temperature display and remote control, it is very easy to control this fan. It has 2 “breeze modes” with 3 fan speed options, which gives you a lot of flexibility, and the height is adjustable as well. Depending on your needs, you can assemble the fan to be 32″ or 40″, which is a feature unique to this model.
One customer raved, “This one fan cooled off our second-floor apartment, about 950 sq ft on medium setting when the temp was set to its the lowest setting(60 degrees).”
One keynote about this fan is that the temperature setting does not actually change the temperature. This fan does not offer the ability to set a certain temperature, rather, it reads the temperature in the room.
- 60-degree temperature setting
- 180-degree oscillation
- Adjustable height
- Great value (low price)
- A little too powerful for a smaller bedroom
- Poor remote construction
We tested the power, cooling, oscillation, and digital features of this fan. The test results for this fan were great! It took only 13.5 minutes to cool our 450 square foot room when set to the lowest temperature of 60 degrees. Based on our results, the fan oscillates around 180 degrees. The digital display allows you to set the fan to two different breeze modes and monitor the temperature in the room with a thermostat. We noticed that the fan seems very powerful even on its lowest setting. This can be annoying if you are trying to use it to sleep. Additionally, putting together the fan was pretty difficult as the directions were hard to follow.
Bottom Line: This evaporative cooling fan uses water to physically cool the air that flows through it.
The Comfy Home evaporative cooler is a neutral white with a beautiful chrome accent around the bottom. It stands 43 inches tall, is 12 inches wide, and is only 11 pounds, making it perfect for any size room in your home.
The evaporative cooling feature actually operates like an air conditioner. Fill the air conditioner fan’s tank with water and let it run. The fan will suck in air, use water evaporation to cool the air, and disperse cold air into your room. You can also add ice to the tank for even more cooling power!
The Breezewell tower fan comes with infrared remote control, which is easy to use and has a long-range. With 3 wind speeds to adjust, you can find the perfect comfort level for your home. It has a 1-12 hour timer with an auto-shutoff and a noise level of 45dB, which makes it easy to use this fan overnight without it interrupting your sleep.
In front of the air-cooler is the water level indicator which lets you know when the tank is getting low. There is also an auto-stop feature that will shut off the fan when the tank runs dry. The control panel on top is very intuitive, with visuals as well as words, and conveniently placed.
We noticed that the bottom of the machine, called the reservoir, is not easy to slide out and actually only comes out about half of the way. This could lead to mold issues down the road. Additionally, the frame is attached to the machine with mounting screws that do not take a typical-sized screw driver to remove.
- Ability to add ice to the water
- Powerful motor
- Multiple fan speeds
- Easy to move from room to room
- Quick and quiet cooling
- Boasts an elegant design
- The water fill hole is on the back, can be hard to access
- The ice pack can be difficult to get out of the water tank
We tested the power, design, portability, and performance of this AC fan and the test results were as expected – great! Our favorite feature is the ability to use ice packs to further cool the air in your home. After placing the ice packs in the water tank, our testing room went from 76° to 68° in only 17 minutes. This was made possible by the machine’s powerful fan that blows 20ft of air per second and its 60-degree oscillation. The fan can be used with or without water and with ice.
The name Dyson speaks for itself. Dyson air conditioners and fans are the best on the market. Although they are pricey, you definitely get what you pay for with Dyson.
The Dyson bladeless tower fan stands 40.1 inches tall and 7.7 inches wide. It comes in several different colors including silver (our favorite), blue, and red. As you can see above, the fan does not have blades. Air is sucked in through the bottom and forced out of the top.
The Dyson fan does not technically cool the air like the other options above, but it’s so powerful that it feels like it cools the air. The fan delivers 77 gallons of air per second. This results in maximum airflow and circulation throughout the room.
At first, we were taken with the design of this fan. It sports a futuristic shape that makes it look more like a piece of modern art than a fan. The Dyson has 10 fan settings and it can really cool down even large rooms.
Another feature that makes this fan so special is its ability to clean the air. The Dyson bladeless cooling fan has a wrap-around HEPA filter that can remove 99.97% of particles larger than .03 microns in size. The combination of this high-velocity fan (at speeds 4-10), effective air purifier, and 70-degree oscillation make this fan one of the best available.
The problem with this fan is the price. The Dyson pure cool is very expensive at almost $500. Although this is a great fan, the price is so high that it’s almost not worth the cost. On top of that, it doesn’t actually cool the air. When compared to the Breezewell Air Cooler, the Dyson is not able to cool the air like this fan.
- Activated carbon filter for eliminating odors
- HEPA filter that removes 99.97% of air contaminants
- Suitable for cooling large rooms
- Sports is one of the most unique and attractive designs we have seen in a fan
- Doesn’t take up a lot of space
- Does not actually cool down the air (just a fan)
- Noise level
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best air conditioner fans for cooling?
Lasko and Dyson units like the ones we have here on our list, are among the best rated fans that feel like air conditioners (AC units) by consumers and professionals.
Do fans actually cool a room?
While fans may not actually affect the temperature of a room, they can lower your body temperature. And in the end, that is a more direct means of feeling cooler.
Is it bad to sleep with a fan directly on you?
If you are sleeping with a fan in your bedroom, it is better to have it oscillate. This is because fans can blow dust and microparticles and it’s best not to have them aimed right at you all night.
We went through a lot of fans before we came up with this list. The fact is that most fans on the market simply circulate air in a room without making you or the room any cooler. The fans on our list will make you feel like you are using an air conditioner. They are a great alternative to paying hundreds or thousands of dollars and work just as well for individual rooms.
Frank is the chief editor and director at Specialty Air, where he oversees testing, research, and editing for all air quality-related articles. Frank is an expert in the air quality space with extensive experience testing, researching, and reviewing air purifiers, air conditioners, air filters, air fresheners, fans, and more. He also has over 4 years of experience with issues surrounding mold remediation, radon mitigation, moisture management, air duct systems, HVAC, and insulation.