Today, I’m going to take a different turn in the usual articles I’ve been writing. I started noticing these “air movers” on various retail sites as of late under the “fans” section and since summer isn’t quite over yet and California is known to have some pretty extreme heat waves, I started looking into it. Not to say that the fans I have at home aren’t adequate to do the job on a pinch but certainly, they don’t seem to push enough air to keep the room well circulated and in a quiet enough manner. So, as a consumer, I’m looking for a couple of things in a fan:
- Does it push enough air to circulate it around the room?
- Is it quiet when it’s set at the maximum speed?
- Is it energy efficient?
And upon further research, I found these type of fans differ greatly from the other type of “boxed fans” or “ceiling fans” or even the standard “tabletop fans.” As you may know, I’ve already tried the boxed fans and tabletop fans and even when they are turned on, they don’t move nearly enough air as I would like them to move and they are awfully loud while they are at it. On top of that, my energy bill has certainly gone up ever since I started using those fans. Not by a whole lot but enough that it made me want to search for a fan that is a bit more energy efficient and that can do the job of a standard tabletop fan.
If you take a moment right now and look up “air mover” on Google, you might notice that its design is rather unique. It looks like a snail of sorts. The other type looks like an upside down snail with an attached handle to it. In any case, I’m going to count these type of fans the same as the regular right side up snail fans.
Now, here’s where things get tricky. There’s a lot of brands out there. So how does one know if one brand is up to snuff compared to another brand? Well, that would depend on how long you expect to keep this fan. For most folks, I think that answer would be “as long as possible” because, let’s face it, we all want to save money. Given that, how does one go about differentiating the quality in one relative to the other? To answer this question, one may first want to see what brands are actually out there. After a quick search, I found the following brands:
- XPOWER Manufacture
As you can see, the list goes on. There are many other brands that I’ve chosen not to list here as the list is quite extensive. But the interesting thing here is that if you pay attention to the pictures offered by each of the respective websites and/or retailers and distributors, you might begin to notice some similarities. You might start noticing that the CleanFreak, ElectroLux, and XPOWER brands look distinctly similar, if not, the exact same. The only differences here may be the color of the exterior, the color of the power cord, or maybe even the included accessories. Obviously, the logo sticker will change but otherwise, you can easily tell if they are basically the same product but re-labeled under a different brand as a sort of private label. This is similar to how grocery stories have brand name products and then the generic store brands that are exclusively found only at certain supermarkets. You can find numerous examples of this in various other industries like cars, computers, TV’s, soaps, gloves, glasses, perfumes, mops, etc. It shouldn’t be too surprising if the same is happening here in these air mover fans.
After skimming over the brand names, I started to notice that certain brands seem to price their products a lot higher than the competition. And then there are certain brands that seem to price their products far below the competition. Then I started noticing that some of these brands keep touting the “CFM,” “RPM,” and “HP” rate like that’s their main selling points. Perhaps in the industries that these products are made for, CFM, RPM, and HP might actually mean something. But for the average consumer, I would take an educated guess and say that the CFM, RPM, and HP probably doesn’t mean much, if at all. Especially when it comes to the types of uses that we, as a consumer, will likely use it for. So we’re throwing out CFM, RPM, and HP as markers for product quality. But then there are these other features like daisy chain (aka built-in power outlets on the unit themselves), whether they are stackable, and the number of operating positions. Do they even matter? Probably not but since this seems to be the “industry standard,” and virtually every air mover I’ve browsed so far has these features, I think that it’s safe to say that if they don’t have these features, then they are probably inferior products. (Or at least products that have a very limited amount of versatility).
That leaves us with the price point and amperage as the only indicators of quality. And interestingly enough, the only brands that seem to tout amperage as a part of their selling points are: XPOWER Manufacture, Air King (owned by Laskos), BlueDri, B-Air, and Shop-Vac. Put side by side, you might find that the Air-King is the superior product followed closely by XPOWER Manufacture, then Shop-Vac, BlueDri and finally B-Air, if we’re measuring them based on amperage alone. However, if we’re measuring them based on price point alone, Shop-Vac is, by far, the clear winner here as they are priced well below the $60 mark while the others are priced well above that but just shy of the $100 mark. Bear in mind now that, as a consumer, I would never buy a fan that’s more than $100. I can’t justify paying more than that for a fan that I’ll be using for basic cooling and air ventilation.
Now, between the above brands, if I had to choose one to go with as a trial run for my first fan, I’d probably go with Shop-Vac. And for the sheer fact that it’s the cheapest of the bunch and like the other brands, it has all the same features: daisy chain, stackable, 3 operating positions, quiet (at max settings) and low amp usage (under 2 amps). I’m also choosing that because out of all the brands, this one has, by far, the most visible reviews on the internet. What do I mean by visible? By that, I mean that if you did a simple Google search for said product, you can immediately find reviews by other users of said product quite easily within the Google search results without having to dig through online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay to find them. But if you’re a Millenial like me, you would do your due diligence and actually love doing your research about the product before making a purchase. Besides, this is the digital age. Even if you weren’t a Millenial, doing your research before making a purchase is the smart way to go. After all, you could be paying more for a product when you could have gotten it at a substantially lower price elsewhere at another retailer.
Getting back to the topic, if I had choose a runner-up to buy as my first fan, it would probably be XPOWER Manufacture. Why? I like the fact that there’s this neat feature called “dual thermal protection.” I’m not entirely sure what it means but it sure makes me think that it’s awfully safe, even in really bad conditions (like when the area is wet or dusty). I’m thinking that there’s some kind of fail-safe switch on this thing that when it gets triggered, it’ll automatically shutdown the machine to keep it from burning up and catching fire. That would be my guess. Other than that, the amp usage seems rather low as well (under 3 amps at max settings). And based on the reviews I’ve read scattered throughout the internet, it seems to be about as quiet as the Shop-Vac even when set at the maximum speed setting.
As for the other three, B-Air seems to have the highest amp usage out of all the air movers and tend to be the priciest. Also, it’s hard to find reviews of their products unless you’re digging through Amazon and eBay and even then, there’s not enough reviews about the products and in enough detail that gives you a better understanding of their performance. BlueDri is about the same as B-Air and they tended to be on the pricier end as well. Plus, their reviews were mixed, if you spent some time digging through them and like B-Air, not enough in-depth details in the reviews that are there already. Most of them tended to be from people in the industry, which from the consumer’s perspective, wasn’t terribly helpful. Lastly, Air King seems to be a pretty reputable brand amongst consumers as it is owned by Laskos and we all know Laskos quality when it comes to fans. Pretty good overall but the downside is that they don’t list the amp usage in any of their products (whether Air King or Laskos), which makes me think that the amp usage is their drawback–hence, the reason why they don’t advertise the amp usage specs either on the manufacturer’s website or any of the online retailers.
So that about sums it up. Choose Shop-Vac for the price point and features and choose XPOWER Manufacture for the added dual thermal protection, similar features and price point, if you plan on using it in the worst of environmental conditions.
To get the XPOWER air mover at $69, click on the link below:
To get the Shop-Vac air mover at $47.99, click on the link below:
Read my next article on some Creative Ways to Use Air Movers!