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Everything You Need to Know About Desktop Fan Features and Functions (March 2024 update)

  • 09 Aug 2023

A desktop fan is an efficient and cost-effective way of keeping your environment breezy while working from home or at the office. And with the sweltering heat of summer approaching, a table top fan can prove more convenient to use compared to conventional cooling methods.

Yet, finding the perfect table fan for your home can be time-consuming, especially with so many options available today. Fortunately, this article will guide you through the maze of choices and help you choose the best desktop fan that suits your needs.

Whether you're looking for a fan to keep you cool during the scorching summer or a quiet fan to create a peaceful working environment, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the key factors to consider when selecting a desktop fan including size, noise level, airflow, and power consumption.

Morris desktop fan

Are desk fans worth it?

A desktop fan is a worthy investment, depending on your cooling needs and circumstances. Besides it being a cooling solution for homes or offices, table top fans have a host of other advantages that we will discuss below. However, there are three things to consider before getting yourself a table fan, which include:

● Room size

● Climate

● Personal preference


Room size

Table top fans are ideal for smaller spaces, preferably offices, bedrooms, or a section of your living room. A desktop fan may not be as effective in larger rooms as large as 18 feet, and for that, you might want to consider an industrial floor fan, which will be more effective.



A table top fan is a great choice when it gets a bit hot, and you want to enjoy a cool breeze while working or studying. However, in extremely hot or humid weather, you might want to go for something more powerful to combat the increased heat. But if you do not have the budget for an expensive cooling solution, an easy hack would be combining a dehumidifier and a table fan, especially when it gets too humid.


Personal preference

If you are sharing a desk with someone, find out if they like the idea of a fan blowing closer to them. Fortunately, you can get an adjustable desktop fan that can be wall-mounted for convenience. The fan blows a directional flow from a distance, which works for everyone.

That said, here are some proven advantages of owning a table top fan:

Affordability: table fans are generally less expensive than larger cooling solutions like air conditioners or whole-house fans. They offer an inexpensive way to stay cool, especially in small spaces.

Portability: Desk fans are lightweight and portable, making them easy to move to different areas of your home or office where cooling is needed most.

Energy Efficient: Compared to air conditioners, table fans use much less energy, which can result in lower electricity bills, especially when only a small area needs to be cooled.

Versatility: table fans come in a variety of sizes and styles, offering a range of features and functions to suit different preferences. Some fans even have adjustable settings, so you can control the airflow according to your comfort level.

Spot Cooling: Desk fans provide spot cooling, which means they direct airflow to a specific area, such as a desk, bed, or workstation. This concentrated cooling can be more efficient and cost-effective compared to cooling an entire room.

Better airflow: Even if you have air conditioning, a table fan can improve airflow, dispersing cool air more efficiently around the room and reducing hot spots.

White Noise and Sleep Aid: Some people find the gentle hum of a desk fan relaxing and use it as white noise to promote relaxation and sleep.

Backup Cooling: In the event of a power outage or air conditioning failure, the table fan can serve as a reliable backup cooling solution.

Does a desk fan use a lot of power?

How much does it cost to run a table fan for an hour? The cost of running a fan depends on three key facts:

●      Fan wattage

●      Electricity charges

●      Duration of usage

Assume that your preferred table fan continuously draws 40 watts of power in an hour. If the cost of electricity in your area is £0.24 per kWh (the current standard electricity tariff in the in the UK, from 1 April to 30 June 2024). Below is how much it will cost to run that fan.


1.     Convert the watts to kilowatts by dividing 40 by 1000

 40w / 1000 = 0.04 kilowatts

2.     Multiply the kilowatts by the hours the fan is in use, in this case, an hour

0.04 Kilowatts x 1 hour = 0.04 kWh


3.     Now multiply your result by the cost of electricity

            0.4 kWh x £0.24 = £0.0098


Morris desktop fan with only 40 watt power consumption


It would cost £0.0098 to run a 40-watt fan for an hour. As you window-shop for desk and pedestal fans, always go for the fan with the lowest wattage.
Discover how much you can save on your energy bill by using our Morris electricity cost calculator (at the end of this article) to measure the consumption of your fan. It’s quick, easy, and can help you manage your electricity usage more effectively!

Where is the best place to put a desk fan?

Where you place your table top fan will depend on what you specifically want to get out of it and the layout of your space.  Here is a general guideline to determine the best place to put a desk fan.


1. Place it near you

If the goal is to personally cool yourself, then placing the desktop fan near you will do the trick. Whether you are at your desk, working in your garden, or building something cool in your workstation, pulling the fan closer will help you breeze through the hottest of days.


2. Near a window

If it is colder outside, then placing the fan close to a window helps draw that cold air in to make your room warmer. This works best in the morning or evening, when it's cooler. Also, placing a fan next to a window is great if you want to distribute air in a room to improve circulation.


3. Away from obstructions

Placing your desktop fan away from obstructions to ensure maximum airflow blows towards you or circulates in the room. Do not put your fan behind furniture, sculptures, tight corners, or anywhere else that may impede airflow.


4. Where it's safe

Keep your desktop fan away from pets or children, especially if the table fan is adjustable to work as a floor standing fan. Place the fan where it is not easily accessible, and ensure that the power cord is tucked safely away to avoid tripping hazards.


5. Adjust the angle

Sometimes the best fan placement can merely be a slight adjustment of the airflow angle. Fortunately, most desktop fans have an adjustable oscillation angle and a 90-degree rotation. This allows you to adjust the fan to blow air in a wide area or for spot cooling, especially if it's a room with potential obstacles.


6. In an elevated position

Since it's a desktop fan, placing it higher can ensure you get the best airflow. Ensure the fan is placed on a stable surface that does not wobble for the best performance.


Is it better to point a fan up or down?

Whether to point a fan up or down depends on the purpose and the desired effect you want to achieve.

1. When to point the fan up

● When Cooling the Ceiling: Pointing the fan upward can help cool the ceiling and create a breeze that circulates air throughout the room. This is particularly useful if you have vaulted ceilings or if the room has a high ceiling that traps warm air.

● For even air Distribution: When the fan is directed upwards, it can help distribute cool air more evenly throughout the room, preventing hot spots and promoting better air circulation.

2. When to point a desktop fan down

● Direct Cooling: Pointing the fan downward is more effective for direct cooling. The airflow is directed towards you and the immediate area, providing a more focused and refreshing breeze.

● For personal comfort: you can feel the intense cooling effect of a table top fan when it is pointing downwards towards you. When the fan is pointed down, you can feel the cooling effects more intensely, making it ideal for personal comfort, especially during hot weather.


In hot weather, it is ideal to point your fan downwards towards you in a room. This will create a direct cooling breeze that helps you feel comfortable without having to lower the room's overall temperature significantly. However, if you want to improve air circulation throughout the room, and prevent warm air from getting trapped near the ceiling, pointing the fan upward can be beneficial.

Morris desktop fan

Moreover, some desktop fans come with oscillating features that allow the fan to move from side to side, which is an excellent compromise. It can provide direct cooling when pointed towards you and improved air circulation when oscillating to cover a larger area.


Ultimately, the best fan direction will depend on your preference, room layout, and your immediate cooling needs.  Experiment with different fan angles to find the setup that provides the most comfortable and effective cooling for your specific situation.

Is it safe to leave a desk fan on all day?

It should be safe to leave your desktop fan on all day if it is in perfectly good working condition and is dialled to the best settings. Here are a few things to keep in mind in case you want to leave your table top fan running while you are away.

Fan quality: get the best quality table fan to minimise the risk of overheating or malfunctioning. 

Fan placement: leave the fan on a flat, level surface to prevent it from tipping over while you are away. Ensure the fan is placed away from flammable materials as well.

Clean your fan regularly: cleaning the fan ensures it maintains optimal performance. This will save you money when you leave the fan on all day.

Noise level: ensure the fan is quiet while running, especially if you leave it on in the baby’s room or beside you while working at home all day.

Energy consumption: a desktop fan, like any other appliance, does consume a significant amount of electricity. Ensure you get a fan with a high Energy Saving Star or SEER rating. It assures you that the fan will consume less electricity despite how long it runs.



Can a desk fan cool a computer?

A desktop fan can provide some cooling to a heating computer. However, the airflow may not be adequate to maintain optimal temperatures inside the computer, especially for a desktop computer. It is advisable to get a dedicated cooling system that can be installed inside the computer.

Do desk fans work?

Yes, a desk or table top fan is a great choice for providing focused cooling to a small area. They can be used to direct cold air from outside into a room or to help recirculate air to improve indoor ventilation.

Do any fans actually cool a room?

Yes, fans do provide cooling to a room if you choose the right one. A desktop fan is perfect for cooling a small area, and it is quiet enough to disturb you while you sleep or nap. For cooling larger spaces, consider getting a floor-standing fan instead.

What is the use of desk fan?

A desktop fan primarily provides spot cooling, either on the desk or next to a bed or couch. Modern table top fans are height-adjustable to work as floor fans or can be conveniently mounted to function as wall fans.

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