What is a Window Fan?

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  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Lindsay D.
  • Last Modified Date: 22 February 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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A window fan uses an electrically-powered fan blade to draw fresh cool air from the outside or ventilate stale hot air from a room. Window fan manufacturers design units to fit into open windows and sills with the addition of vertical and horizontal extenders. The result should be an airtight comfort system which keeps the air in a room circulating.

A window fan unit may only have one fan blade which can run in two different directions. One direction draws air from the outside into a room and keeps it circulating, much like a standard room fan. The other direction pulls warm air out of the room and into the outside environment. This feature may prove useful for ventilating excessive smoke or cooking odors.

Another window fan model features two independently controlled fans. These fans may work together to draw air in or ventilate air out, but quite often they work in opposite directions. The result is a more temperate room temperature, especially if a thermostat is used to control the operation of the fans. A comfortable room temperature can be set at night and the window fan's thermostat will decide to draw in cooler air, turn both fans off, or ventilate the warm room air.


Sometimes consumers will seek the same benefits from a window fan as they receive from more powerful room fans. Window fan manufacturers offer power fan options which may resemble air conditioning units or large room fans. The blade inside a power window fan unit is designed to revolve at higher speeds and provide more cooling power. A window fan can be very noisy during operation, but some manufacturers offer a 'sleep' setting which reduces noise during overnight usage.

A window fan is designed to be installed in a standard window and remain secure. Brackets included with the unit can added even more stability. Some consumers make the mistake of using a box fan inside an open window in place of a window fan. This can be a very costly error, because box fans are not designed to fit inside a window frame and can fall out unexpectedly. Besides the potential for severe damage to the fan itself, the unit may land on a passerby or valuable property. Many window fan units are also resistant to light water exposure, but should be brought inside during heavier rains and winds for protection.



Discuss this Article

Post 3

@Andras- You should check out some window fan reviews. That should help you pick between all the brands and types out there. A lot of websites have rated reviews available with the product information.

I always make sure to read the reviews if I don’t know quite what I am looking for. I think you get more genuine feedback than you might get by asking a sales person. I usually ask around my group of friends. Someone might have what you are looking for. Then you can check out the fan in action and see if you would be getting what you want.

Post 2

I am looking for window fans for the small windows in my home office. There are so many makes and models to choose from. I’m glad to have a better idea of what to look for. I really like the models with dual fans. I think the dual fan type would really keep a more temperate room temperature in the relatively small area of my office. I was surprised to find the prices are quite reasonable. The small fan would be a lot more economic than running an air conditioner, too.

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