When the summer heat gets oppressive again, you long for a bit of cool air. Or for a dip into a cold pool.
All sweaty you sit at home or in the office and get lost in thoughts. A quiet fan could provide a little help. Soon, the idea to buy a small table fan, a pedestal fan or a ceiling fan seems reasonable.
Thanks to online shopping, you do not even have to leave the house in this heat to buy such a means of relief. Going outside would anyway just result in breaking into a sweat. Unbearable sweat which every movement in the blazing sun triggers.
So you order a fan. But on first use often the next problem begins: The fan is humming and rattling like a helicopter taking off next door.
Next try! This time you look for a really quiet fan.
To make your search easier, here is a small selection of quiet fans to help you survive the summer:
The Rowenta Turbo Silence Extreme is a quiet table fan with 5 speed settings, including a Silent mode for ultra-quiet operation and a Turbo Boost mode for extra-strong ventilation.
At its lowest, the noise level is 35 dB (A).
The Silent mode is intended as a night mode. However, precisely in this mode a white LED lights up that can not be turned off. This may bother some people, who are actually trying to sleep next to this fan. In itself, the lamp is discreet, but light sensitive people might consider it in their purchase decision. If you like the fan otherwise, it may be sufficient to cover up the light with tape. In Turbo Boost mode, the light is blue. The other speed settings also feature blue light, but from smaller LEDs.
A further drawback for some: the fan beeps when you change a setting. Maybe not really what you wish for in a quiet fan.
However, coming to the ventilation function, the fan has plenty of power and circulates a lot of air. In silent mode a little less air is set into motion compared to the other settings. To span the distance from a desk the ventilation is perfectly adequate.
Oscillation can be set by pulling up or down a small knob at the back of the fan.
The Rowenta Turbo Silence Extreme is also available as a table fan with 4 speed speed settings and without remote control (this version is a little bit louder) and as a pedestal fan.
The Westinghouse Turbo Swirl is a very quiet ceiling fan with light and 3 airflow settings. The sound level is 36 dB (A) at the highest of the 3 levels.
In all 3 rotational speeds, the sound level remains very quiet. Naturally it increases a bit in the higher the speed settings. However, overall the fan is unobtrusive. Due to its low noise level, it is well suited for the bedroom. This fan is always worth considering if you are looking for a quiet fan for sleeping.
The fan can be operated in summer mode and in winter mode.
In summer mode, it produces a cool breeze, which helps you survive a hot day. The fan runs steadily and calmly, has a quiet engine and sets a lot of air into motion.
In winter mode, the fan rotates the other way round. As warm air rises and accumulates under the ceiling, the winter mode serves to distribute the heat back down. This can even save you heating costs. In any case, distributing the air evenly counteracts cold areas and drafts in the room.
The fan is operated by two hanging pull chains, one controlling the speed level and the other the light. 6 asymmetric, wide rotor blades take care of producing a cooling breeze.
When it comes to the installation of the fan, most people find it quite easy. The fan is mounted just like a lamp and is placed exactly in the same spot that would be suitable for a lamp. The fan’s lamp is inserted below the fan’s base. Thus, it is sufficient to find one suspension point and use it for both fan and light. In this way you don’t have several appliances hanging from your ceiling.
The Westinghouse Turbo Swirl is well suited for small rooms. A ceiling fan has the advantage that there’s no fan standing around the room and taking up space.
A matching remote control can be purchased separately.
The Honeywell Quiet Set is a quiet tower fan with a sound level of 35 dB (A) at its lowest and 48 dB (A) at its highest.
There are 5 speed settings, the lowest of which is designed for sleeping. Oscillation can be turned on, additionally. There is a timer function to automatically switch off the fan after a preset period of time.
In the lowest airflow setting – the sleep mode – the fan is very quiet but also produces a light breeze only. Overall, this setting is suitable for the bedroom, if the air flow is sufficient for your personal taste. At the higher speed levels the operating noise is more clearly audible. Some consumers notice a low humming in this fan, or a clicking noise when oscillating, which can be annoying.
There are LED lights on this fan as well, but these automatically get dimmed if you do not change settings on the fan for 15 seconds. There is no beeping in this fan.
All functions of the fan can be controlled with the buttons on the top of the tower and also with the remote control. The remote control can be stored in the back of the fan.
The Vornado 660 is a quiet room air circulator and fan. Its job is to whirl around and evenly mix all the air in your room in order to create a better indoor climate.
In summer it produces a pleasant breeze and in winter it helps to distribute the warm air from your heating uniformly.
Temperature differences in the room, especially at different heights, i.e. differences in the temperature just above the floor compared to that under the ceiling, are dissipated.
The room air circulator features 4 airflow settings, the sound level of which ranges from 35 to 54 dB (A). The lowest speed is almost silent and the second speed is still very quiet. The higher settings will be somewhat audible, but unobtrusive. The lowest and maybe even the second lowest airflow setting should probably be suitable for the bedroom. However, this also depends on your sensitivity to noise.
In general, the Vornado 660’s function is to produces a concentrated long-range airflow that when directed at walls, results in an airflow being directed back to the starting point and across the whole room. Thereby, a steady breeze throughout the room results.
The Vornado Tower L is a quiet room air circulator, which comes as a tower fan.
It has 5 speed levels, which produce sound from 40 to 52 dB (A). This makes for a pretty quiet air circulator. The lowest level may even be suitable for sleeping if you are not very sensitive to sound.
Due to its special way of circulating the air in the room, the Vornado Tower does not need to oscillate. Thereby, it also keeps the background noise low – as many of you may have experienced, oscillation often brings obnoxious crackling noises with it. As a further advantage, there’s one weak spot less – the oscillating parts.
In contrast to conventional fans, the Vornado Tower stirs all the air in your room to improve the overall room climate. A concentrated, long-range and broad airflow sets the air throughout the whole room into motion.
Using the Vornado Tower during summer, you will always feel a pleasant breeze. In winter, when heating, the air circulator will bring the warm air back down from underneath the ceiling, where it accumulates. Thus, the heat will get distributed evenly in the room. This prevents differences in temperature across your room.
Furthermore, the air circulator has a timer for automatically switching off the fan after a certain period of time, which you can specify yourself.
For controlling the air circulator, there are buttons on the top of the tower and additionally, a remote control is included.
The Dyson Pure Cool is a quiet, rotorless fan that also serves as an air purifier. Its unique and unusual shape makes it a real eye-catcher.
For fine tuning the air flow the fan has 10 speed settings. This large number of choices is very useful for finding your optimal level.
At the lowest of the 10 airflow levels, the fan is almost silent. A light stream of cool air is produced at this level. Up until level 4 or 5, the fan stays very quiet. When choosing an airflow level higher than that, the operating noise becomes slightly more noticeable. At level 10, the fan produces a lot of wind, but is then also clearly audible. A conversation is still possible without much effort. At the highest level, the fan reaches about 64 dB (A).
Being rotorless has different effects. The background noise lacks the typical flapping sound of other fans. Furthermore, the cooling effect is not confined to a clearly defined jet of air that brushes the user in regular intervals. Instead, a uniform coolness is produced. Due to the lack of fast-rotating blades, children can not get hurt. And finally, a rotorless fan is visually very stylish and unusual.
The air purifying function relies on a HEPA filter and an activated-carbon filter. The HEPA filter can remove 99.97% of all particles up to 0.3 microns. All in all, the filters remove pollen, allergens, bacteria, mold, odors and fumes, pet skin particles, and potentially harmful, microscopic particles from the air.
In automatic mode, the Dyson Pure Cool Link monitors air quality and adjusts airflow and air purification according to the measurements of the built-in sensor. When the desired air quality is achieved, the unit goes into standby mode, just to turn itself back on when it detects deteriorating air quality.
Horizontal rotation by 45° to 350° can be set. It is also possible to program the fan to a preset time. Moreover, there is a sleep timer function and a night mode. In the night mode, only the quiet fan and purification setting are used and the display gets dimmed.
The fan can be controlled via remote control or the Dyson Link App. The remote control can be attached magnetically to the outside of the fan. The Dyson Link App displays the current temperature, humidity, air quality and much more information about indoor climate. All setting are available both via remote control and via the app.
The filter has to be changed about once a year. A notification in the app provides information about the estimated remaining life time of the filter.
The Dyson Cool AM07 is another quiet fan belonging to the Dyson family. While ordinary fans tend to be more of an eyesore, the Dyson Cool AM07 adds to every room with its unusual and futuristic design.
The special feature of the Dyson fans is their bladeless construction – this has an effect on the background noise it produces, on the airflow characteristics and on its looks.
The bladeless construction results in a continuous and even airflow. Unlike with conventional fans, there are not only periodical tides of cooling air, but a constant air flow is created.
In addition, the background noise is different from that of ordinary fans, since the characteristic buffeting sound of the rotor blades is missing. Instead you will hear the swoosh of the airflow.
When it comes to safety, children’s finger can not be injured by the rotors blades like with many regular fans.
To adjust the fan, 10 airflow speeds are available. Already the low levels cool effectively and very quietly. At the higher speed levels the noise is noticeable, but not unpleasant. At 64 dB (A), the noise level of the highest speed is not that quiet anymore, but this level also produces a strong airflow for fast cooling. However, using the fan is also about finding an effective balance between noise level and airflow strength and not just about letting the unit run to the max.
The fan can be controlled with a remote. When not in use, the remote control can be stored directly on the fan using its magnetic feature. With the remote control, however, you have to aim pretty well at the base of the fan for the commands to be put into action.
There are other models by Dyson with the same or very similar functionality – the table fan Dyson Cool AM06 and the pedestal fan Dyson Cool AM08.
Dyson also offers fans that are equipped with an additional air cleaning function, a heating function or both these functions.
The Dyson Hot + Cool AM09 is a high-end fan and fan heater that attracts attention with its rotorless build.
Visually, it is more reminiscent of a design object than of a fan heater and exudes a touch of luxury.
For cooling and heating, 10 speed settings are available. Up to level 5, the fan and heater is pleasantly quiet. After that it becomes clearly audible. The maximum noise level is given with 64 dB (A).
It is possible to set a precise temperature from 33° F to 99° F. Moreover, the fan can oscillate and be tilted.
Cooling and heating work with the Air Multiplier and Jet Focus technology.
The Air Multiplier technology makes use of the air from the surroundings and re-emits it in a reinforced – or multiplied – form, so to speak.
The term Jet Focus technology means that it is possible to set the fan heater to produce a direct and concentrated – or focused – airflow, which is useful for warming up a single person or one specific part of the room. This is called personal mode. Alternatively, the fan heater can distribute the airflow widely across the room to allow for even heating. The latter option is called the diffused mode.
To one-up this unit, there is also the Dyson Hot + Cool Link, which is not only a fan and a fan heater, but also an air purifier.
The Hunter Low Profile 42” is characterized by very quiet operation at all speeds, given it is installed correctly and smugly.
The fan is equipped with a so-called WhisperWind motor, which is designed for especially low-noise operation.
Three different airflow speeds can be set. The speed levels are either controlled by a pull chain or with a remote control. The remote control is separately available.
The fan can be used in summer and winter.
In the summer mode – or downdraft mode – the breeze from the fan produces a cooling effect.
In winter mode – or updraft mode – the fan rotates the other way around and mixes the air in the room. This improves the indoor climate and helps to distribute the warmth from your heating evenly. Thus, even in winter the fan proves useful, as it can be used for heat recovery. In this way, you can not only save air conditioning costs, but also save heating costs.
The Hunter Low Profile 42” is suited for rooms with low ceilings.
The Lasko T42950 Wind Curve is a very quiet tower fan with an air ionizing feature.
The fan can be used in 3 different speeds and features oscillation that can be switches on or or off. Besides, there is a timer for automatic turn-off.
When it comes to the sound level of the speed settings, the low and the medium setting are very quiet to almost silent, while the highest setting is somewhat audible.
As a plus for some people, there are no beeping sounds when changing settings.
The fan produces a nice airflow and is quite powerful, although there are certainly more powerful fans out there, especially when comparing maximum settings. However, the air coming out of the Lasko Wind Curve surprisingly has a cool feel to it, although there is no air conditioning taking place.
A green light signals that the fan is turned on and an blue light indicates that the ionizer is turned on. In case the lights annoy you, covering them up with tape may resolve the matter.
The remote control is included with this fan and can be stored in the back of the tower when not in use.
Some fans provide a decibel rating, but not all of them.
The decibel spec is usually indicated either as a range of the noise level or as the maximum noise level.
In general, it can be said that up to about 50 dB (A) sounds are still perceived as quiet.
With a fan, however, it is important to find the right balance of air flow and sound level. There is no completely silent fan.
Larger fans are usually quieter than small fans. In order to produce the same airflow that a big fan emits with a simple turn of the rotor, a small fan would have to spin like crazy.
Given the same speed, fans with a larger diameter circulate more air than small ones. Therefore the cooling sensation of large fans is higher. Thus, in order to set the same amount of air in motion as a large fan, small fans must be much more energetic. This is usually noticeable in the noise level.
The number of rotor blades can also affect the sound level of a fan, but it is a factor that must be considered together with the overall design of the fan. As far as the number of blades is concerned, neither the minimum number nor the maximum number of rotor blades are preferable. Instead, the optimum lies somewhere in between and depends on the overall design of the fan. The right number of rotor blades also guarantees smooth running of the fan. Smooth running is necessary to make the fan quiet.
A good profile of the rotor blades is also very important. Profiling means that the rotor blades are curved and not perfectly symmetric. Thereby, they will move more air.
Badly profiled rotor blades, or such completely without profiling, cause an undesirable side effect, namely a high volume.
The angle of attachment of the rotor blades to the base is also important and must be matched to engine performance.
Power and noise
As not every fan has a decibel rating in its specifications, another indicator is needed in order to estimate the sound level.
The power of a fan usually provides a good clue as for the noise level. The lower the power of a fan in Watts, the lower the sound level that can be expected.
Speed setting and noise
When choosing a quiet fan, make sure that a few different speed settings are available. If you can decide between different settings, this gives you more control over the sound level.
Most fans have 3 different speeds, while some even have up to 10 and more different airflow settings. Especially with the latter, chances should be good to find a speed setting that is quiet enough for daytime or for the night.
A lower speed setting usually means lower volume.
Some fans also have a special silent or night mode. These are usually particularly quiet, but also provide only a weaker airflow. This may be suitable for some people to sleep comfortably the whole night long, while others may feel this setting is too faint. If you want to use this mode during the day for its low noise level, the airflow may be too weak, too.
Fans with a silent mode are not in general your best option, as other fans may be just as quiet without giving special, descriptive names to their speed settings. Not all fans explicitly promote the fact that they have a quiet or weak airflow setting.
Which is quieter – table fan, pedestal fan or ceiling fan?
Table fans have the smallest diameter of the three types of fans. Therefore, they are the loudest in relation to the cooling sensation. Their advantage is that they can be set up on the desk without taking too much space. Also, table fans provide direct ventilation. Carrying them around or from room to room is hassle-free. In winter you can store them in a closet or in the cellar in a relatively space-saving way.
Pedestal Fans, at the same sound level, are more effective than table fans. This is explained by their size. Conversely, they take up more space, and not only a tiny corner on your table but on the floor. In winter you also need a place to store them away.
One advantage of pedestal fans is that they can usually be adjusted in height and pointed in a certain direction. In addition, pedestal fans are flexible and mobile. If necessary you can carry them into another room. Furthermore, no installation is necessary as with ceiling fan.
Tower fans are narrow and thus relatively space-saving, flexible and mobile. They tend to be on the quieter side. In contrast to the pedestal fan, however, it is not possible to adjust the height. Again, there is no installation necessary.
Ceiling fans are the most space-saving, provide superior air circulation and are usually very quiet. In winter, ceiling fans can also be used for heat re-circulation.
As the air in the entire room is affected by the table fan, you have to find a middle ground when more than one person is in the room.
A prerequisite for the installation of a ceiling fan is a sufficiently high ceiling. When choosing a ceiling fan, the room size also has to be taken into account.
In the beginning, on initial use, ceiling fans may cause a humming noise. This is quite normal. One should give the engine and the components some time to settle in their place. This may take 24 hours or more. For this purpose, you can run the fan at a deliberately high level, first.
Power consumption is another thing to consider when choosing a fan.
A low power input basically means that the fan will consume less energy. Usually the fan will then also be a more energy efficient fan and, in most cases, also a quieter fan.
Although many consumers equate more power with a better, stronger or faster appliance, high power actually just means higher power consumption. An unnecessarily high power input is thus a thing you can easily do without.
In fans, more power does not causally lead to a greater sense of cooling. Instead, the design of the fan and an optimal ventilation mechanism are crucial.
Air flow and range
The quiet fan should have a strong enough air flow to effectively give a sensation of cooling. The range your fan should have depends on your personal requirements. If you are just looking for a table fan to use while sitting at the desk, the airflow naturally does not have to reach the other end of the room. However, if you want the fan to improve the indoor climate for the entire room, then you need a fan with a sufficient range.
Ceiling fans fulfill this requirement. But since ceiling fans can hang relatively high, depending on ceiling height and mounting, the range of the fan’s airflow must be large enough to reach you on the ground. Virtually all ceiling fans can run in summer mode or in winter mode. In summer mode, airflow throughout the room ensures a pleasant feeling of cooling. Winter mode is about counteracting cool spots and drafts in the room. This can not be achieved with airflow that travels only short distances.
The air flow rate and the range of the fan are determined by the total surface of the rotor blades, the angle at which the rotor blades are attached to the base, and the speed of the engine. It is, of course, far-fetched for the layman to take this into consideration. Therefore, it is best to rely on manufacturers with a good reputation, where adequate know-how can be expected. A good construction is rather not to be expected in no name or strikingly cheap products.
Air flow settings
The majority of fans provide between 3 and 10 airflow settings.
Having enough options is helpful for finding the right balance of airflow and sound level.
The speed or airflow settings should be well differentiated in order to provide the user with the maximum customization options. If all three settings produce hurricane winds or light breezes, this will not be helpful.
As a minimum requirement, there should be three airflow settings covering light, medium and high airflow. Thus, airflow strength can be varied depending on circumstance, use and the outside temperature.
If your fan features more speed settings than that, this is only advantageous, as it allows for better fine-tuning. You will have an easier time finding the right combination of breeze and sound for sleeping or for the daytime.
Oscillation means the rotation of the fan, usually horizontally, rarely vertically, to reach more parts of the room with the cooling effect of the airflow.
If the fan can oscillate both horizontally and vertically, the chilling air is spread much further.
Mostly, oscillation is possible somewhere in the range of 45° to 180°.
How much weight to attach to oscillation angle depends on the individual requirements. If the angle is large, evidently a wider area of the room gets ventilated, but it takes longer for the air flow to reach the same spot again – including the spot where you are sitting. If the oscillation angle is small, cooling will be quite concentrated and the person using it will have to sit almost exactly in front of the fan.
Programs and features
The amount of additional features of fans ranges from Spartan to extensive. Although these features are not relevant for the fan’s function, they can allow for more comfortable use.
Some fans are equipped with various airflow programs, offering different patterns of airflow. For example, fans may have modes that simulate natural wind or interval modes.
Facing the problem of noise, some fans have a special silent mode in which the fan should work quietly. In addition, or alternatively, some fans feature a night mode.
There are also fans which combine the cooling airflow with different, but related functions. Some fans also serve as air purifiers or fan heaters, or both. Fans with an integrated humidifier are also offered.
A remote control makes using the fan much more comfortable. Many times you end up adjusting the fan settings much more frequently than expected. Then, a remote control proves much more useful than you first thought. Because who wants to stand up all the time to adjust the air flow or the oscillation.
It is preferable for the remote control to not require visual contact with the fan’s base. Otherwise you would have to aim as precisely as possible or, depending on your position in relation to the fan, have to get up after all.
Some fans come with the remote control included. In others, it must be purchased separately.
Quiet fan for sleeping
Finding a quiet fan for sleeping can be quite difficult.
Some fans will beep or produce another acoustic confirmation signal, every time you change a setting. If you are using the buttons on the base or the remote control – it beeps no matter what . At night, this is clearly suboptimal, especially if other people sleep in the same bedroom. Regulating the fan’s speed or oscillation may not be possible without a disturbance.
If you plan on running the fan at night in the bedroom and are sensitive to light, you should make sure that the fan has no flashing LED lights. In many fans it is impossible to switch the LEDs off – even in night mode.
For use at night, a timer function is useful. The fan can turn itself off after a given period of time, which you set in advance.
Ease of use
The quiet fan should be easy to use. Well-labeled buttons or buttons with intuitive symbols prove useful.
Size and weight
Large fans take up a lot of space in the room or on the desk. In addition, they must be stored away in the winter, which may be a challenge if you do not have plenty of space.
Ceiling fans have the edge in this respect. They do not claim any usable space in your room nor do they have to be stored away in the winter. Instead they just stay in place to be used again the next summer. It gets even better than that: ceiling fans mostly feature a winter mode. In this mode, they run in reverse, which serves the purpose of heat re-circulation. The warm air that naturally accumulates just below the ceiling will be set into motion and move down to the ground again. Thereby you can save heating costs, as the warm air is forced to circulate where it is needed – close to the ground.
With regard to the fan’s weight, a too high weight can make the fan difficult to move, whereas a too light fan may not have the necessary stability.
The quiet fan, if it is a free-standing one, should in any case have a firm stand. Otherwise, children or pets might accidentally knock the fan down.
When there are children or pets living in your household and you have a fan with rotating blades, these should be covered by a fine protective grid. Reliably protecting children’s fingers and animals’ noses or paws from injury is the first priority.