For a period last summer, I was obsessed with the idea of an air circulating fan. It was because the idea was fairly new to me…even though they’ve been around for years, I never really paid enough attention to realize that there were different types of “propellered air blowers”; I had always assumed a fan was just a fan.
But then, after buying a couple for our hot room that ended up doing nothing but blowing hot air around, I stumbled on an air circulator. Naturally, my interest was piqued. So what are the differences between the two types of fans? Basically, a regular fan just “grabs” the air that immediately surrounds it and throws it back around the room at roughly the same temperature it was going in. This can be great if you need to cool off in moderate temperatures, but again, not so great if the air in the room is already warm and you want to cool off.
And that’s where the air circulator comes in. The idea is that, rather than just sucking in air around it, it attempts to get all the air within the room constantly moving. This allows it to cool rooms down by a couple of degrees without the need for A/C or any other fancy, expensive devices. Now, obviously, this idea is all relative to room size, so if you’re using a teeny circulator for a large room, it ain’t gonna work. Our rooms are small, though, so we figured even the most basic models would manage to do the job.
We had previously purchased the most popular inexpensive name brand one we could find. That seemed to work for my wife’s side of the bed, as she basically uses it as a fan and focuses it on herself, but didn’t really do much to cool off my side of the room. Meanwhile, the old pedestal fan that I was using, just wasn’t getting the job done. I would frequently wake up sweaty, even when the fan was at its maximum setting and blowing directly on me. I was in a constant state of discomfort, as if my body was trained to ignore its output.
Then we saw that Aldi was carrying a small circulator for just $9.99 through their Easy Home brand, that was roughly the same size as the one my wife used. It was $5 cheaper, too, which made it an even more enticing deal—my brain had barely even registered the pricing information before I was already at the store, ready to buy one.
Unfortunately, this thing “blows” in just about every bad way possible. It looks kinda stupid, for starters, not having nearly the same depth that most air circulators have. The speed of the blades vary tremendously, no matter what setting it’s on: I keep it on the lowest setting and one moment it will be almost quiet, then the next minute it sounds like it’s shifting power gears on its own. This weird fluctuation continues for several minutes before it seems to just permanently set itself to a higher setting. As tempted as I am to just write it off as “normal function”, and pretend it’s just working twice as hard to make sure the room stays cool, I’m a little skeptical; I don’t notice this happen, and the way it sounds suggests a fan that’s glitching out, as opposed to one that knows that it’s doing.
Speaking of glitches, ever since its first use, it starts off with this weird “clicking” sound that tends to last for about half an hour before it either goes away, or we get so used to the annoying fucking noise that our brains adapt to just block it out.
As for whether or not it works, I will say it’s usually better than not having a fan at all, which I guess is small praise. And it also works better than the pedestal fan I replaced, so that has to account for something. The $9.99 price tag also makes it all too enticing. But between the excess noises and loud function, I just can’t recommend it, especially when there are other (name) brands in the same general price range that are much quieter, even on higher settings. Between the appearance and noises, it sounds like it’s going to fall apart at any moment.
And that’s not a reassuring quality.
Overall: 2.5/10. Save your money and go with the name brands on this one. While I suppose it technically does work, at least better than the pedestal fan we replaced it with, it comes with a huge caveat that the $5 price difference doesn’t justify: it’s loud. No matter what setting it’s on, it seems to randomly jump between speeds frequently, which is rather jarring when you’re trying to fall asleep at night. But even more troubling is the random “clicking” sound that continuously runs for about 20-30 minutes after it starts up. If we’re lucky, it stops then, but is prone to starting back up again whenever it feels like it. This not only adds to the cacophony, but gives it the feeling that it could break apart or suddenly die at any given moment. And that’s not a desired trait in any product, even if it is only $10.