Three Types of Oscillating Fans for Cooling Any Room

A portable fan is ideal if you don’t have the headroom for a ceiling fan, or you need to circulate air in different rooms.

Fan in a bedroom
Some oscillating fans can clean the air as they cool.Lasko

In most climate zones, at some point in the year, a room fan is essential to any indoor space without central air. That could be a bedroom or den in an older home, a workshop, or a basement in need of more air circulation. The old stationary box-style fan has been largely replaced by contemporary oscillating designs that are more powerful, efficient, and stable. Here are three styles to choose from, depending upon the area you are trying to cool.

Tower Fans

Lasko Wind Curve Tower Fan with Remote Control and Fresh Air Ionizer
Ceiling fans can move air, but some oscillating fans can also trap dust and pollen.Lasko

A tower fan is a great choice where space is a concern, but you still need to move a lot of air through the room. An oscillating action and adjustable fan speed mean greater coverage, and many tower units also feature a built-in ionizer that traps dust, pollen, and other airborne irritants to make household air feel fresher.

Pedestal Fans

Lasko Elegance & Performance Adjustable Pedestal Fan
Pedestal fans have a bulky footprint, but they’re great for cooling down large areas.Lasko

If you need more versatility, look for an adjustable-height pedestal fan. They are bulkier than tower fans but will reach hard-to-cool places like a workbench surface, the kitchen counter, or a top bunk.

Floor Fans

B-Air FIRTANA-20X High Velocity Electric Industrial and Home Floor Fan
Traditional box fans are inexpensive and a great way to get air moving, especially if you’re trying to dry something out.B-Air

While traditional box fans manufactured in a square frame were long the standard for home use, a modern floor fan is more likely to be built on legs that prevent it from rocking or toppling backward under the force of its own breeze. They can be positioned on a floor and tilted up or down, hung from a wall or rafter, and even used in a window. While floor fans don’t have the range of a pedestal model, they are more portable and therefore great for home or shop use, indoors or outside.