How to Choose The Best Bladeless Fan
Keeping cool during a heatwave can be difficult, especially in modern British homes which are built to retain heat (a blessing in winter, of course!).
When summer temperatures climb, having a cooling fan to hand can make it a lot easier to work, relax and sleep.
In particular, a bladeless fan is a good choice for families with children and pets. No spinning blades reduces the risk of accidents, and they tend to be a lot safer if knocked over too.
As with many products, there’s a baffling number of bladeless fans on the market; if you’re trying to work out which model to go for, the following information may help make things clearer:
Why Purchase a Bladeless Fan?
Bladeless fans boast a number of benefits over traditional fans, although they may not suit every household. If you’re wondering why you’d even want one in the first place, these are some of the most common advantages:
- Bladeless fans are considered to be safer than traditional pedestal fans. This makes sense – there are no fast-spinning blades in sight. For this reason, they tend to be a better option for households with children or pets. Even though traditional fans have mesh grates, small fingers and animal fur can often still get through to the blades. Plus, if a rotary fan is knocked over, it’s not uncommon for the front grate to unclip and come off, exposing the blades.
- Bladeless fans are easier to clean and harbour less dust than those with a metal grill or grate. A bladeless fan can generally be wiped down with either a dry or damp cloth. Unlike traditional blade fans, the dust has less places to gather; therefore, less dust is blown out into the room.
- Bladeless fans tend to be quieter to fun than traditional fans – with no spinning blades, and no rickety metal casing, this seems logical.
- Many people are attracted to the design of bladeless fans. Bladeless fans have a modern, minimalistic look, blending in with most contemporary décor. They’re generally sleek and understated, meaning they don’t detract from the space.
Power and Air Flow
Firstly, let’s briefly overview how a bladeless fan even manages to produce air. Bladeless fans work by pulling in air in several different ways. They often have a small bladed fan concealed in their base, which draws in some air. Then, the low pressure created within the fan’s hoop pulls in more air from behind. Air is forced out through the narrow slits in the hoop of the fan, and continues in this cycle.
How powerful the bladeless fan is will depend on its motor and how efficiently it carries out the previous steps.
Having more speed settings available doesn’t necessarily mean more power, it just gives you more choice to create your ideal environment for work, leisure or sleep.
Most fans do not work to cool down a room, as they have no way of cooling down the air – they only help it to circulate (which can produce a heat-wicking effect on skin). However, if you are trying to cool down a larger room, using a bigger fan (especially one positioned to draw air in from an open door or window) will be more effective than a smaller model.
Reading customer reviews online can give an accurate overview of how powerful a particular model is. Sometimes reading first-hand experience is the best way to get a feel for how a product really performs in the home.
Size, Shape and Style
Ensure you purchase a fan suited to the space you have available – bladeless fans are available as both free-standing and table-top models.
Tower fans are a great option for large rooms, and they can easily be tucked away in a corner. However, they will require more space to store away when not in use and might need to be left out. If you won’t want to leave the fan out year-round, make sure you have enough storage space as well. Alternatively, you could consider a smaller desk fan.
Desk fans stand at a height of around 60 cm and are good for side tables, bedside tables and desks. When buying a desk fan, it’s a good idea to check if there is a ‘tilt’ feature, because you may need to angle the airflow either up or down in order for it to reach you.
If you’re particularly keen to create a perfect working, relaxing or sleeping environment, you may want to look for a bladeless fan with more adjustability when it comes to settings.
Even the most basic fan will tend to have at least two speed settings; however, more advanced fans can have around 10.
When there are fewer fan speeds to choose from, the lowest setting will likely be the least noisy. However, it might not be very powerful. The more speed settings there are, the slighter the gradient between each one. Therefore, you might be able to get slightly more fan power, whilst still keeping a volume that you can comfortably sleep and work with.
Some bladeless fans go one step further than just having speed settings and offer a choice of modes to choose from too. You may come across fans with:
- Sleep mode: An easy way to put the fan on a quiet setting that shouldn’t be disturbing to sleep.
- Nature/Breeze mode: This mode can simulate the eb and flow of a natural breeze. Instead of constantly blasting out air, the fan will vary the pressure with which air is expelled.
- High-power mode: A pre-set mode that will instantly choose the highest power settings to give a strong blast of air.
Most, but not all, bladeless fans will be able to oscillate. The degree of the oscillation may also vary. Some bladeless fans are able to oscillate through 360°, whilst those designed for desktop use may oscillate around 90°. If you’re hoping for the fan to circulate air around a smaller room, 360° oscillation may help you better achieve this. Otherwise, for personal cooling, 90° will likely be sufficient.
Decibel Noise Level
Whether trying to sleep, work, or watch TV, you don’t want any loud whirring, buzzing or clunking disturbances interrupting your work.
Bladeless fans tend to be relatively quiet, although their higher-power modes may be no more silent than a traditional fan. It’s normally the lower settings that are touted as being particularly quiet. Their descriptions should mention how many decibels they produce.
If you’re after a particularly quiet fan, be wary of models that simply describe themselves as ‘quiet’ without including a decibel rating to back up the claim. Customer reviews can also be helpful to gain an honest overview about the noise a fan creates.
Likelihood is you’ll want to use the fan whilst sleeping in the summer, which means looking for something that ideally produces under 50 dB of noise. This is roughly the same level as the hum of a refrigerator.
If you’re a very light sleeper, you may need something quieter. For reference, 30 dB is considered equivalent to the sound of whispering, whilst 10 dB is considered similar to the sound of breathing.
As previously mentioned, fans with a lot of speed settings (over 10, for example) will allow more choice when it comes to noise. You may be able to have the fan on slightly stronger, whilst keeping the noise level down. If a fan has only three speed settings, the leap between each option will be more noticeable – you may find only the lowest option is sufficiently quiet.
Ability to Purify the Air
Some fans contain filters and can double-up as air purifiers. The ability to clean and purify the air is important for some people, especially those with allergies. A bladeless fan with a filter can actively capture dust, pollen, smoke and odours.
In general, bladeless fans seems a more logical choice for allergy sufferers than traditional fans. Not only because some models can actively purify the air, but because less dust gets trapped on a bladeless fan as well.
Bladeless Fan FAQs
How does a bladeless fan work?
Bladeless fans have a very different mechanism to traditional blade fans. They use ‘Air Multiplier’ technology, which ‘multiples’ the air that is brought into it. Air enters the air at the base of the fan and is then pushed through a set of blades inside the fan. So technically the fan does have blades, we just can’t see them!
The air is then directed upwards where it is forced out of a narrow slip running around the circular hoop on top of the base. Where the slip narrows, the air is forced out faster and at a higher pressure. As the air flows through the slits in the tube, air behind the fan is drawn through the tube, while air surrounding the edges of the fan will also flow in the direction of the breeze.
How should I clean my bladeless fan?
Cleaning a bladeless fan is very simple.
Unplug the fan to prevent risk of injury, then wipe the inside of the hoop with a damp cloth. Use long, swift strokes.
Next clean the outer surfaces of the fan using a wipe or damp cloth. Then use the tube part of your vacuum cleaner to vacuum any vents that are visible around the base of the fan. Use a dry paper towel to remove any excess dust or dirt.
Remove the circular section from the base of the fan (provided this is possible with your model) and wipe away any dust from inside the fan with a cloth. Reassemble the fan once both pieces are free from dust and fully dry.
Are bladeless fans strong?
As bladeless fans multiply the airflow that enters at the base, they do produce a good airflow. However, they don’t tend to be a huge amount stronger than pedestal fans, and instead are more expensive due to their design and technology.
Are bladeless fans better for allergies?
Dust can sit on the blades of traditional tower or pedestal fans and get blown into the room when the fan is switched on. Bladeless fans manage to avoid this issue which makes them better for asthma and allergy-sufferers. They deliver a steady and powerful airflow which, provided you clean your fan every once in a while, shouldn’t affect those with allergies.