No one wants to be hot and sticky while they’re trying to relax in their own house. Luckily, you don’t have to be with a powerful, user-friendly window fan. These fans are designed to be placed into your window, where they cool the outside air and blow it into your home. Of course, not all window fans are made equal. Some seem to perform acts of magic when it comes to cooling your home, while others don’t make much difference at all.
We reviewed dozens of window fans to identify the best of the best. We considered the durability, power, ease of control, number of blades, power options, and adjustability when rating each window fan.
After careful consideration, the Holmes Dual 8″ Blade Twin Window Fan quickly came out on top. This fan has two different control options, can be adjusted considerably, and has dual-blades that can function independently.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Window Fans
|Best Overall Window Fan
|Holmes Dual 8" Blade Twin Window Fan
|Best Compact Window Fan
|AC Infinity AXIAL 1238
|Best Budget Window Fans
|Best Battery-Operated Window Fan
|OPOLAR Mini Portable Battery-Operated Travel Fan
|Best Sliding Window Fans
|Genesis Twin Window Fan with 9 Inch Blades
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Window Fan Overall: Holmes Dual 8″ Blade Twin Window Fan
The Holmes Dual 8″ Blade Twin Window Fan is a decently inexpensive fan that can pull in refreshing cold air or push out stale, hot air. It has two different fans that can be controlled completely independently, which means you can use a single unit to exchange inside and outside air. Each fan also has two comfort settings, allowing you to control the amount of airflow they create. Set the temperature and let the fan automatically turn itself off and on, or operate it manually for complete control of your room’s temperature. Furthermore, the unit can be bought with two different control systems – LED, one-touch controls or manual controls. Both types of controls work very well, so it is a matter of personal preference.
Due to the utterly adjustable screen, this window fan can be adjusted to fit most winders, including double-hung and slider windows. Extender panels are included with your purchase, so you don’t have to purchase them separately. The whole system uses up to 60% less energy than most of the competition, bringing down your electrical bill and allowing you to feel good about your choice.
Holmes Dual 8″ Blade Twin Window Fan Key Features:
- Two fans that run independently
- Extenders included
- Two control systems available
- Uses 60% less energy
Best Compact Window Fan: AC Infinity AXIAL 1238
The AC Infinity AXIAL 1238 is not technically designed to be used in a window. However, its small size and astonishing output make it an excellent choice for anyone trying to ventilate a small space. Originally designed to be used in small projects, customers quickly realized this fan’s potential as a window fan and have reported excellent results.
It is made of heavy-duty aluminum with two fan guards and a mounting screw set. Due to this particular model’s square size, it is possible to use it in a window. The fan’s housing is black and designed to perform in harsh environments, like the inside of battery sheds for instance. It has plenty of durabilities to withstand your average window. The fan can run continuously for about 67,000 thanks to its long-life, dual-ball bearings. It also creates a remarkable amount of airflow – more than practically any small fan on the market. If your primary goal is to cool a small area down in a hurry, this is the fan you need.
With that said, this fan did have a few negatives. Because it isn’t technically designed to be a window fan, it can be quite noisy. Of course, it is tiny, so the noise is still minimum compared to some of the impossibly huge fans available.
AC Infinity AXIAL 1238 Key Features:
- Very small
- Heavy-duty aluminum
- Lifespan of 67,000 hours
- Maximizes airflow
Best Budget Window Fan: Holmes HBF2010AWM
This medium-sized fan is far cheaper than much of the competition. Despite this, the Holmes HBF2010AWM performs remarkably well. It is ideal for medium rooms like bedrooms and living rooms. With three speed options, you can easily control the amount of airflow and noise it creates. The blades are 20-inches in diameter, which should be plenty for most rooms. Attachable feet help the fan stay stable in the window – a common problem no matter what sort of window fan you’re using. The front grill comes off for easy cleaning after removing a few screws. The company recommends cleaning it often to avoid unnecessary allergens in the air and improve the longevity of the machine.
It comes with an integrated carry handle for portability. The handle also makes it far easier to remove the fan from the window. The cord wraps up neatly. This makes storage effortless and far more straightforward than many other models. The motor and blade are both very efficient, decreasing the amount of money it costs to run the fan each day.
With all of that said, this fan is boisterous. It creaks and moans rhythmically whenever it is on. If you don’t care much about noise or have a noisy home anyway, this probably won’t be a problem.
Holmes HBF2010AWM Key Features:
- 1-year Limited Warranty
- Highly efficient motor
- Produces lots of airflows
- Three-speed settings
Best Battery-Operated Window Fan: OPOLAR Mini Portable Battery-Operated Travel Fan
The small OPOLAR Mini Portable Battery-Operated Travel Fan is designed to be portable above all else. It is quite tiny when compared to other fans and runs off of batteries alone. You can change the batteries when they dry up or recharge them using a USB. If you don’t have time to charge up the fan for whatever reason, you may also run it off of a USB alone. Unlike most fans, this one is only designed for small windows or personal use. If you’re sitting directly next to a window, this is the right choice. However, it does not produce nearly as much airflow as other window fans and is not going to cool down a whole room.
It has three adjustable speeds and decently long battery life. Of course, the amount of time it will run on a single charge depends mostly on the speed you’re using. At high speed, it will only run for about 3 hours. But, on the lowest speed, it will run for upwards of 13 hours. The side of the fan comes with internal LED lights that you can use to light up a dark area in a pinch. Of course, using this light is going to run the batteries down as well.
OPOLAR Mini Portable Battery-Operated Travel Fan Key Features:
- Comes with rechargeable batteries
- Very small and portable
- Side flashlight
- Decently quiet
Best Sliding Window Fan: Genesis Twin Window Fan with 9 Inch Blades
The ultra-adjustable Genesis Twin Window Fan with 9 Inch Blades can fit nearly any window thanks to the expandable side panels. The panels can expand an additional 6.5-inches on each side, making this fan compatible with almost any type of window. It has three speed settings – low, medium, and high. Plus, it also comes with a built-in thermostat that you can set between 60 to 80 degrees. The LED lights allow you to keep track of the temperature it is set at.
Two dual motors drive both blades independently. They are made out of copper, which helps them withstand the elements. Because this is a double fan system, you can set the fan to both operate as intake and exhaust at the same time. Both fans can be controlled independently in a variety of settings. The whole fan is very lightweight and has a carry handle built into the back, allowing you to move it from room to room easily. It can be installed into a window or stand independently with its two removable legs.
Like many fans, though, this one is quite noisy. It has two fans, which means double the noise. With that said, it is nearly impossible to find a window fan that isn’t noisy. Plus, with all the other great features, this fan does a great job despite the noise it creates.
Genesis Twin Window Fan with 9 Inch Blades Key Features:
- Expandable side panels
- Two motors and two fans
- Can function as an intact and exhaust at the same time
- Thermostat with a range from 60 to 80 degrees
Who Should Buy a Window Fan
There are several reasons why you might want to consider purchasing a window fan. If there is inadequate air conditioning in your home, one of these fans can be a lifesaver. Even if you have AC, it isn’t uncommon for back rooms and bedrooms to become stifling during the hotter months, especially if you tend to keep doors closed.
These fans can also be beneficial in areas where electricity is expensive. They often cost less to run than a full AC system. This is especially true if your home is more significant. With two fans going at once, you can often produce more airflow than an AC would give you by itself anyway. These factors make window fans the go-to for many who are trying to stay cool in the hot summer.
It is important to note that these fans are powerless against humidity, however. They produce amazing results on dry, hot days, but can do very little against muggy temperatures.
Important Features to Consider
A window fan should have several key features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a fan for your home:
- The number of fans. All window fans have at least one fan. However, some have multiple fans, which can usually be controlled independently of each other. If this is the case, you can use the fan system as both an intake and an exhaust, which can significantly improve the airflow in your home without the use of two different fans in two separate windows.
- Durability. These fans are going to be exposed to the elements at least somewhat and will likely be used consistently. Because of this, sustainability is essential. The last thing you need is for your window fan to shut down during one of the hottest days of the year. Check the material of any fan you buy. Cheap plastics are a no-go.
- Noise. All window fans are going to produce at least some sound. The amount of noise depends, however. Some fans clank and constantly wobble and make sleeping in the room with them nearly impossible. Other fans are quieter, though they will still create at least a little noise. If the fan is going in a bedroom, checking the noise level can be extra-important.
- Adjustability. Getting a window fan actually to fit in your window is a vital consideration. The more adjustable the fan, the higher the likelihood that you’re going to be able to get it to fit. In some unusually long windows, a fan with extendable side panels will probably be necessary. We recommend measuring the window you want to put your new fan in before making a purchase. A fan that won’t fit in your window isn’t going to do you much good.
- Thermostat. Some fans have a built-in thermostat that controls when the fan goes off and on. This can be especially useful if you don’t want to control the fan manually or if you’re trusting it to keep your house fresh while you’re away. The accuracy of a thermostat can vary widely. Just because a cheaper fan can tell what temperature it is doesn’t mean it can read the correct temperature.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are window fans good for?
Window fans improve the airflow in our homes and can help decrease the overall temperature in a room. For hot, dry summer days, a window fan can produce exceptional results and help keep your house at an appropriate temperature.
They are not very good at handling humidity, however. If you use a window fan during a humid, muggy day, you’re going to make your house moist and damp. For all of those living in the southern United States, a window fan is probably not a very good option. In these cases, you’ll need a dehumidifier instead.
Will a window fan cool a room?
A window fan’s purpose is to cool a room. However, whether a particular window fan cools a specific room is a different story. That depends mainly on the power of the fan and the size of the room. A compact fan is likely going to have difficulties cooling down a large room – no matter how powerful that little fan might be.
Is it better to have a window fan blowing in or out?
For a maximum cooling effect, you need both. With a fan pulling air in and another fan pulling air out, you’ll create lots of airflows and cool your house down substantially. This is why so many window fans nowadays come with two built-in fans. But it is not always possible to have two different fans going at the same time.
In the case that you only have one fan with one set of blades, things get a little more complicated. You want the fan to pull hot air away from the heat source. If the heat source is inside, like an oven or even a lot of people, you want the fan to be blowing air out. However, if it is a super-hot day, the direction you want the air to flow on depends on the hot area. If the sun is heating one side of the house, you want to fan to pull hot air away from that area. This could mean pointing the fan inwards on the cool side of your home or outwards on the warm side. When in doubt, put the fan facing out.
Is it cheaper to run a fan or the AC?
In dry, hot weather, it is almost always cheaper to run a fan than the AC. Plus, with a fan, you can spot-treat your house and put it in the warmer locations. An AC can’t do this, which often creates some rooms that are hot and some cold rooms.
If it is humid and muggy, though, it will likely be cheaper to run the AC.
Other Window Fans We Reviewed
We also looked at 20 other window fans. Even though they didn’t make our five best window fan list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still an excellent option for your home. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
- Best Compact Window Fans
- Best Battery-Operated Window Fans
- Best Sliding Window Fans
- Best Window Fan with Remote
Best Compact Window Fans
Though it is more expensive than many other options, this fan has all the features you could need. It has a programmable thermostat, fits nearly all windows, and has an LED display.
- Intact and exhaust
- LED display
- Comes with a remote control
With remote control, fabric cover, and bug screen, this window fan has many of the extras you might enjoy. There are three fan functions and speed intakes.
- Extensive locking panels
- Remote included
- Comes with a bug net cover
This Comfort Zone fan has a 2-speed dial and comes with auto-locking expanders. It can be reversed and has a removable cover for cleaning.
- Comes with two sturdy feet
- Removable cover
- 2-Speed dial control
This smart fan is much different from the rest of the competition. It removes dust and pollen and is completely automated.
- Cleans incoming air
- Programmable thermostat
- Variable speed
This slim fan comes with three different blades that can be independently controlled. It is designed for both vertical and horizontal configurations and has locking extender screens on each side.
- Manual and comfort controls both available
- Three independent blades
- Extender screens on both sides
With a very slim profile, this fan allows you to maintain an outside view and stays out of the way of your daily activities. The extender panels allow it to fit nearly any window.
- Blue Pen Patented safety fuse technology
- Fully assembled upon delivery
- Expander panels for a custom fit
With a low-profile design, this modern-looking fan is designed to help circulate the air inside your home. It has three-speed selections and is very quiet.
- Quiet operation
- Moves air up to 60 feet
- Low profile
Best Battery-Operated Window Fans
This small fan is designed for camping, travel, or power outages and other emergency needs. It can be used in a window and has very long battery life.
- Runs for 214 hours on low speed
- Very easily portable
- 180 rotation design
This smaller battery-operated fan is designed for portability. While it isn’t designed only to be used in a window, its slim profile makes it possible to prop it up on a window sill.
- Two-speed operation
- Durable construction
- Can be plugged in or run with batteries
Best Sliding Window Fans
With many speed functions, this fan allows you to customize the airflow in your home carefully. It is created with high-impact styrene housing and an ABS plastic blade.
- Three-speed functions
- Permanently lubricated
With three independently controlled comfort settings, this fan is a good choice for keeping your room cool. It can be used either horizontally or vertically.
- Reversible airflow
- 5-year limited warranty
- Adjustable thermostat
This window fan is designed to fit double-hinged windows. It has a reversible airflow function so that it can act as an exhaust. Plus, out of all the fans we reviewed, this one is very aesthetically pleasing.
- Extender panels
- Three fans
- Electronic thermostat
This fan is designed to sit on a table, but it can also easily be propped up in any window. There are three-speed settings and it features a unique, self-standing design.
- Easy to use
- 9-inch blade
This fan has expendable side panels and can be reversed to become an exhaust. It has a thermostat with ranges from 60 to 80 degrees and LED lights to help you keep track of the temperature setting.
- Three-speed settings
- Built-in thermostat
- Dual motors
Featuring 9” twin fans and high-velocity reversible airflow functions, this fan can cool nearly any space. Plus, it can be adjusted to fit nearly any window.
- Thermostat ranges from 60 to 90 degrees
- Can be expanded an additional 6.5 inches on either side
- Three-speed settings
With 2 two motors and two speeds, this fan is more than enough for most spaces. It has a rain-resistant motor and can be manually reversed to work as an exhaust.
- 2-speed motor
- Can reverse
- Speed controls on both sides
Window Fans with a Remote
This very quiet fan has a multi-speed controller for ultimate airflow levels. It contains a CNC machined aluminum frame ad features a modern black finish.
- Powered by wall outlet or USB port
- Modern, black brushed finish
- Multi-speed controller included
With 3-speed controls and expanders, this fan is a good choice for most consumers. It fits nearly every window available and comes with a remote.
- Universal fit on most windows
- Three functions
- No assembly required
With two removable covers and 2 Snap-On feet, this fan has plenty of extras. It comes with three fan types, including cool, exhaust, and circulate functions.
- Fabric Cover included
- Adjustable side panels
- A remote control
Out of all the fans we looked at, this one has the most settings. It has six-speed levels and seven settings for timer turn off. It can also be manually reversed to act as an exhaust.
- Free replacement guarantee
- Reversible airflow direction
- Universally fits most windows