Window Fans vs. Window A/C’s – Who Wins?


Should You Get a Window Fan or a Window Air Conditioner?

Your home or apartment is hot, has stale or cigarette smoke. Should you buy a window fan or window air conditioning unit? Who wins in this important question?

What’s the Difference Between a Window Fan and a Window A/C Unit?

First, it’s important to know the difference between a window fan and a window a/c unit. Basically, the biggest difference is that a window a/c unit uses a compressor and compressed gasses to generate cold or cool air using outside air. The air only moves in one direction with a window a/c unit – in. Additionally, the home, condo or apartment must be fairly sealed (with no open windows or doors) or the colder, compressed air will escape as the the air is only coming into the home – and no leaving. As a result, a window a/c unit does very little to clean or freshen the air.

A window fan, however, brings in outside air and, in some models, actually expels the stale inside air as well. Using a window fan actually cleans the inside air, while bringing in fresh air from the outside while exhausting the inside air to the outside.

The Benefits of a Window Fan

Except in very hot and humid climates, in most cases, a window fan can be better than a window a/c and has these advantages:

  • Window Fans Use Less Electricity than a Window A/C Unit
  • Window Fans Exhaust Inside Air, Window A/C Units Do Not
  • Window Fans Are Easier To Install
  • Window Fans Are Less expensive Than Window A/C Units
  • Window Fans Have Less Movable and Breakable Parts

So in general, except in very hot and humid climates that need extreme cooling, a window fan wins the war against a window air conditioning unit.


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