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Best Box Fans

Updated October 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 37 Models Considered
  • 5 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 131 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best box fans

    Last Updated October 2018

    When temperatures start to rise, we all need a little help keeping cool and comfortable at home. An air conditioner is an effective option, but it can be costly to operate. A fan may be a more economical and efficient choice, and when it comes to affordability and convenience, it’s hard to top the box fan.

    Box fans are one of the most common fan types on the market. If you want the right one for your home, you have to figure out the proper size, CFM, power settings, and other features that would make it most effective. At BestReviews, we strive to help make your shopping decisions easier.

    If you’re ready to buy a box fan, we’ve got a matrix full of fantastic options up above. For more tips on selecting the right box fan for your home, read on.

    While most box fans are square, there are some models that are rectangular, oblong, or even round in shape.

    Anatomy of a box fan

    A box fan is a large, portable fan that’s usually square in shape. It contains a propeller blade that helps circulate air. The back and front of the fan feature a grille or lattice-work design to encourage air flow.

    This type of fan is ideal for placing in a window or a doorway to help draw cool air from one area to another.

    Box fans are usually large enough to cool bigger rooms. However, they’re still light enough to move from room to room, so you can place your fan wherever you need it most.

    Powerful fan for tight spaces

    The highly effective Air King Box Fan offers three speeds and a maximum CFM rating of 2,140. Its compact design makes it ideal for rooms with limited space, such as a kitchen or office. With its permanently lubricated motor, the Air King boasts extremely quiet operation, too, so you can cool off your home without disturbing anyone.

    Box fan benefits

    There are several reasons why a box fan can be such an effective cooling appliance for your home.

    • Easy setup: Many box fans come fully assembled. Simply plug the fan in, and it’s ready to cool your home.

    • Portability: While box fans can be fairly large, they’re usually rather light, and they don’t require an exhaust or drainage system like an air conditioner does. As such, you can easily move a box fan from one room to another.

    • Energy efficiency: A box fan uses less energy than an air conditioner. If you’re trying to minimize your energy costs, a box fan is an economical option.

    • Easy maintenance: Unlike an air conditioner, which requires you to clean and/or replace filters, drain water, and perform other maintenance chores, a box fan doesn’t require much upkeep at all. As long as you keep the blades and fan interior clean, it should operate well.

    • Budget friendly: A box fan demands less of your wallet than an air conditioning unit or central AC system. In fact, it’s one of the more affordable fan options in general.

    • Environmentally friendly: Because it uses less energy and no refrigerant, a box fan is an eco-friendly cooling option for your home. If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, it’s helpful to have a box fan in your arsenal of cooling options.
    EXPERT TIP

    Box fans with plastic housing tend to be the lightest. If portability is of utmost concern, consider such a box fan. For added convenience, select a fan with a built-in carrying handle.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Want a box fan that’s easy to clean? Look for a model with a removable front grille. It’s much easier to wipe away dust and debris from the interior and blades when the grille is removable.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Because box fans are larger than other freestanding fans, they circulate air through medium to large rooms better. Many box fans also come with one-year warranty to protect your investment.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Features to consider

    Fan size

    Most box fans are roughly the same size, with a blade diameter of 20 to 21 inches. Because they’re fairly large, they require more space than some other types of fans. However, they typically provide more effective cooling power as a result.

    CFM

    Like all fans, a box fan’s power is measured by how much air movement it provides. Airflow is typically rated in cubic feet per minute (CFM), which helps indicate how quickly a fan can move the air in a given area. For example, a box fan that’s rated at 2,000 CFM will cool a room of 2,000 cubic feet in one minute.

    To determine the cubic foot measurement of a room, multiply the height of the ceiling by the room’s square footage. So, for example, a 250-square foot room with an eight-foot ceiling contains 2,000 cubic feet.

    Experts suggest that when choosing a box fan, you should look for a model that can move the air through your room in five minutes or less. But for the most effective air movement, look for a model that can get the job done in three minutes or less.

    Speed settings

    To allow you to customize the amount of airflow in your home, a box fan typically offers multiple power or speed settings. Most models offer three speeds: low, medium, and high. However, some box fans only offer two speeds: high and low. The more speed settings there are, the easier it will be to customize airflow in your room.

    Noise

    Box fans usually make noise when they’re working, though some models are louder than others. To determine how noisy a box fan will be, check out its decibel (dB) rating. If quiet operation is a priority, look for a model that emits 35 dB or less.

    Remote control

    Some box fan packages include a remote control that allows you to operate the fan from across the room. With the remote, you can turn the fan on and off and adjust its speed.

    Portable and effective

    The Lasko 3-Speed Box Fan offers up to 2,500 CFM of cooling power and three speeds. With its built-in handle and six-foot cord, it’s extremely easy to move around – a bonus if you’re looking to cool multiple rooms.

    Box fan prices

    Because most box fans are roughly the same size, their prices typically vary based on how many speeds they offer and their CFM rating. However, you can usually expect to pay between $15 and $60 for a box fan.

    Lower-priced fans tend to have only two speeds and a CFM rating under 2,000. If you’re looking to spend the minimum, expect a cost of $15 to $25.

    Looking for a mid-range option? A box fan with three speeds and a CFM rating between 2,000 and 2,500 will likely cost you between $25 and $35.

    And if cost is not a factor, you may be interested in a fan with a CFM rating over 2,500. For a fan such as this, expect to pay between $35 and $60.

    Make sure your box fan is stable and sturdy, so you don’t have to worry about children or pets knocking it over.

    FAQ

    Q. Where’s the best place to put a box fan?

    A. Many homeowners place their fan in an open window, where it can draw fresh air in from outside. You can also place the fan with the front portion facing outward, so it draws out the warm air from inside your home.

    Otherwise, it’s a good idea to place the fan on a table, bookcase, or another piece of elevated furniture. Elevating the fan allows it to more effectively circulate air in the room.

    Q. Can I use a box fan with an air conditioner?

    A. Yes. A box fan actually pairs very well with an air conditioner. It can help circulate the cool air from the AC throughout your space to make it even more comfortable. In fact, running a box fan at the same time as the AC may allow you to raise your thermostat by three to five degrees. Place the fan near the AC vent for best results.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Enid
      Enid
      Editor
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor

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