Looking to move some air around in your garage? Here we look at five of the best pedestal fans on the market and what makes them so special.
Let me preface this by stating that these fans are geared more toward indoor applications or, better yet, bedroom usage.
Our Greatest Fan
Let’s start off with our top pick. This fan has almost everything a true fanatic is looking for.
Sifting through Amazon’s myriad of pedestal fans, you’d be hard-pressed to find one quieter than this model. The Rowenta boasts a sound rating of 40-57 decibels (dB).
What does that sound rating mean to me?
Rowenta relates that sound rating to the amount of ambient noise you’d hear in a library. For those unfamiliar with the library atmosphere, imagine yourself in your office, or perhaps your kitchen. The sound generated from your computer tower or fridge is a nice comparison. You almost have to concentrate and actively listen for those sounds. That’s pretty quiet!
So this fan has that in its arsenal. Very impressive! But what else does the Rowenta boast? What are its other features? Here’s a brief list:
- 4 speeds
- Five 16-inch blades
- Adjustable height of 42 to 54 inches
- Remote control (with storage on the fan)
- Output of 1695 cubic feet per minute (cfm)
- Mostly plastic construction
So where does this fan fall short? What should I know before I get this pedestal fan?
The biggest complaint is that this pedestal fan has no timer. That can be a deal breaker for some people. Primarily those who use fans overnight. Maybe they only need a breeze to cool down for the first hour before they fall asleep. But all that air movement and cooling could yield a poor sleep session or wake you up several times throughout the night.
If you can’t be around to shut this fan off, or you’re in need of only a partial cool-down at bedtime, this may not be the fan for you. On the other hand, if you like all the other aspects of this fan, you may want to consider a wall timer.
Other complaints cover the fact that it’s pretty expensive for what you get. Most pedestal fans top out at a $50 price point. And this one being more than twice that price, you’d expect a premium quality fan.
Be aware that the stainless steel fan cage has been noted to rust in tropical conditions. There’s science behind surface oxidation and the formation of chromium oxide from all the salt in the air. Just note that if you live in that climate, you may want to apply some marine wax to the grille. Otherwise you may end up with a fuzzy—and hideous—fan.
The power light is bright. If you’re planning to purchase this fan for the bedroom and you like a dark atmosphere, you will need to place some vinyl tape or other covering over the light source.
Also, the oscillation cannot be controlled from the remote. This was a commonly noted issue in the customer comments. Although, this is nitpicking a fan with so many other great features.
The Rowenta is a sturdy, solid fan that will wow you with its utter lack of noise production. The controls are simple and basic unless you want complete control of the fan’s features. For all this you do take a hit in the wallet compared to competitive model pricing. Still, it’s a top seller on Amazon. The people are fans.
Avalon A-16 Standfan
The Avalon A-16 is a similar fan to the Rowenta, both in components and price. While it may not have the impressive level of quietness, it does boast a few unique features that impress you just the same.
In addition to 6 speed modes, you also get 4 wind modes: normal, nature, sleep, smart.
What’s the difference between the speed and wind modes?
Let’s briefly touch on those:
- Normal: A constant and steady flow of air at one of the 6 aforementioned speeds. As its name would suggest, this is the typical behavior of a fan
- Nature: Picture yourself sitting outside on a bench. The cool breeze changing every few moments. The fan’s speed fluctuates to mimic the atmosphere outdoors.
- Sleep: The fan starts out at the highest speed you choose. As the evening rolls on, it progressively drops its speed until it reaches level 1. This is ideal for those who only want that initial cool down at bedtime.
- Smart: A temperature gauge inside the fan monitors the ambient temperature. Based on its readings, the fan automatically adjusts the speed to the needs of the room. This comes in quite useful if you plan to use this fan as an alternative to air conditioning.
If you have curious children in your home and the thought of a fan running is worrisome, you’ll be happy to know that this fan comes with a safety feature on the grille. If the grille is touched by a hand or a pet, it will automatically shut off for 30 seconds.
Other features include:
- Remote control that *does* control oscillation
- Metal base (compared to plastic)
- 5 16-inch blades
- Adjustable height from 48-57 inches
- Low noise output
The more technology you introduce, it seems like the more potential there is for the device to break. In this fan’s case, the safety feature seems to be quite buggy. Buggy in that it either works great or doesn’t work at all.
And while this fan runs rather quiet, this may be due to its relative cfm output. Owners complain that it’s not as powerful as they expected. Even on its highest setting, it doesn’t seem to displace enough air to reach across an average living room.
Honeywell QuietSet HS-1655
The QuietSet is a five-speed fan with some added features that set it apart from other fans in the market. The most notable difference is that some fan speeds incorporate a white noise function.
For those not in-the-know, white noise is a type of sound similar to static on the radio or television. White noise generators are used with newborns and young children to mimic being inside the womb.
Unless you live in a very rural area, you’re subconsciously used to white noise. At night, when the droning sounds of the day diminish, you might have difficulty falling asleep. Your brain is more alert and does the opposite of rest. White noise puts your mind at ease.
This fan is also available in black or white, giving you a better selection to match your decor. There are three 16-inch blades and a timer that can be set to 1, 2, 4, or 8 hour intervals.
While this fan has a white noise option to assist with sleeping, it has a couple features that impede that function. The remote control beeps when entering in commands and the LED light on the main console is very bright.
The beeps on the remote aren’t abnormally loud. It’s when you’re using the remote late into the night that it seems to make unnecessary noise. You know you’re pressing the buttons, so why the need for a beep? This is an annoying function only dealt with during use. The bigger issue is the light that the LED gives off.
In fact, the light permeates throughout the entire console, making it very difficult to cover up the illumination. With no ability to disable it, the light could affect your sleep or concentration.
Another notable complaint is that the fan requires biannual maintenance (depending on the amount of use). Some owners reported that their fan just up and quit about a year after using it. Others mentioned that the fan start up began to slow after only a few months of use. Ultimately being rendered useless after about a year’s time.
If you’re comfortable with dismantling a fan and greasing some bearings every 6 months, this is an otherwise quiet and useful fan. Its base is constructed of plastic, but is also one-third the price of our top two picks.
If you’re looking for well-rounded fan with not so much emphasis placed on being quiet, the Lasko 1827 is a wonderful—and affordable—choice. It even comes fully assembled!
Just take it out of the box and it’s ready to go; no tools required. The five 18-inch blades provide a solid displacement of air. The caveat to this being it’s not as quiet as the other fans in this list. It comes with your standard 3 settings of speed: low, medium, and high. And sports a simple design with the ability to tilt-back the head.
This model does not come with a remote. It’s completely constructed of plastic, so it’s rather light, but that also means it’s subject to wobble. The grille can be difficult to install and some owners have reported that the center pole has the tendency to “creep” down on its own.
The medium and high speed settings are significantly louder than the lowest setting. This fan provides function at a low price. Lasko has a few other models that provide a remote and quieter operation such as the Lasko 1843.
If you’re on a budget but still looking for a heavy duty fan that you don’t mind getting dirty, the Optimus is worth a look. Right away, this fan looks as though it belongs on a movie set. The chrome and black color scheme gives it a sleek and stylish appearance.
Similar to the Lasko, this model sports three speeds. However, the wide conventional blades are powered by a 3/4HP, high-torque motor. This is definitely a high velocity fan. The low setting is enough to blow your hair back. To give you a comparison, the Rowenta’s cfm is 1695. The Optimus outputs a whopping 3639 cfm. That’s more than twice the power!
The Optimus is still a modest “industrial grade fan” that does one job well: it blows. There aren’t any fancy features to mull over. No remote or ability to oscillate. It just moves air where you need it: in your bedroom, the living room, or the garage.
While there aren’t many features to gripe about, there are still some complaints from owners. This is a heavy duty fan. As such, it has a bad wrap for being loud at any one of the settings. Sensitivity to sound is subjective, so as long as you go into this knowing that you’re getting power over pleasure, there should be no issue with the noise it generates.
You do have to assemble the fan and the instructions are of poor quality. Thankfully, there’s not a lot to it. All in all, not too many complaints about this fan.
Wrapping things up
So there you have it. While the majority of these fans are for indoor applications, they work just fine for the garage as well. Having read through each fan’s pros and cons, consider these main points to help you finalize your decision:
Do I need a remote?
Some see it as yet another item to lose while others see it as a necessary convenience. Most of these remotes simply control on/off and the fan speeds, the Avalon being the exception. If you know you’ll be using it in a room where the fan will always be at an inconvenient location, spring for the remote. You don’t have to use it.
How quiet is it really?
You would be surprised at how quiet these fans are, primarily the Rowenta. Especially if you have been out of the pedestal fan market for awhile. But being quiet still remains to be the most subjective element regarding fans. You really have to hear it for yourself to make that decision. You can’t go wrong with the top two fans on our review list. Their low noise output is sure to impress.
Is a timer necessary?
Having a timer will prove most useful if you plan to fall asleep with the fan on. While some people can have a fan blowing on them all night with no problem, others are subject to poor sleep cycles, lowering of their body temperature, or drying out of the skin. If the fan doesn’t have a special sleep timer mode—see the Avalon—you’ll want the timer as a fall-back.
Other features to consider
Remote controls, noise output, and a shutoff timer are three of the most common additional components. Fans can be a very basic tool that you use everyday. You turn it on, it cools down a room, you turn it off. If you still want more from your pedestal fan, or better yet you prefer a smart fan, being able to finely tune the speed and control sound should be a consideration.
Fan speeds range from 3 settings all the way up to 6. If the fan will be pointed arbitrarily in a room, it won’t matter what setting you’ve selected so long as it moves the air around. On the other hand, if the fan is going to be pointed directly at you, you’ll need that ability to fine tune.
There is only one fan in our lest that provided a white noise feature to condition sound: the Avalon. There’s a large market for white noise producers for both adults and children, so there’s no question that they can be a useful sleep aid. And if you have one on your fan, that’s one less small item to keep track of.
Your decision could be quite easy and you’ve already chosen a sturdy, 3-speed pedestal fan to take home. Or you could still be on the fence as to what additional features you’re going to need in order to be satisfied.
If you go with the Rowenta or Avalon fan models, you will not be disappointed. If it’s missing a feature you want, you’ll find that you can get by without it. Just don’t settle on a fan if it doesn’t have a feature you need. You don’t want to compromise on your level of comfort.