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REVIEWING: 3 Tower Fans for Singapore’s Hot Weather (Plus: Standing Fan vs Tower Fan – Which is Better?)

Tower fans have a bad rep in Singapore. They don’t have the cooling power of ceiling or standing fans, they aren’t the most energy efficient, and they tend to be a pain to clean. So why are we reviewing them anyway?

When we tested the fans over the course of a week, in the midst of the humidity and heat of Singapore’s sweltering weather, we found that these looming appliances were advantageous in certain ways to more conventional pedestals – they were fantastic at creating a gentler – but no less cooling – breeze, which makes them great accompaniments at night when we’re sleeping, and they took up a lot less space, which is good news for folks with smaller apartments.

The tower fans we tested were from brands Cornell, Midea and Mistral. While we found more similarities than differences in them, there were a couple of features that stood out for some. Here’s a summary of their basic specs:

Cornell Midea Mistral
Wind speed at highest setting (m/s)* 1.6 1.6 1.6
No. of speed settings 8 3 6
Max. oscillation angle (deg) 360 60 120
Power consumption (W) 40 45 45
Height x width of air outlet (cm)* 45 x 8 50 x 7 58 x 7.5
Noise level (dB)* 45 45 43
Timer (max) 12-hr 2-hr 12-hr
Ioniser Yes Yes No
*We measured these ourselves

 

TESTING PROCEDURE

We tested the tower fans in a draft-free bedroom, positioning ourselves at a chair to test the fans. The distance between the chair and the fan was 1.5m. The distance chosen as it’s about half the standard width of a living room in a 4-room HDB flat. Measurements for the wind speed were taken from an anemometer from a height of 70cm from the floor (which accounts for the height of a standard chair), while readings for noise levels were taken from an app we downloaded.

The real deal: We took wind speed readings from this pro device.

 

Cornell CTF-P53D

$200 (promo price: $149), available at major electronic stores

What we liked: The 360 deg oscillation was useful in circulating air throughout the room more evenly, and more than made up for its small air vent.

What could be better: Bulky and modes were slightly confusing to figure out, since they all seemed to stop intermittently. LCD display was also distracting in a dark room.

Midea MTF 40R (also available in white)

$256 (Q-price: $79.90), available at Qoo10

What we liked: We liked how lightweight the Midea tower fan was. An easy-grip handle makes it easier to move it around – a good option if you’re looking for a tower fan that can move between rooms effortlessly.

What could be better: Wind speed readings for the Midea fan were poor when we faced it directly, and only picked up when we positioned it at a slight angle. This was probably due to the design of the air vent. It also had the smallest oscillation angle.

 

Mistral MFD488OR

$208 (promo price: $148), available at major electronic stores

What we liked: Aesthetically, the Mistral impresses. A curvaceous case envelops the air vent, which is the only part that oscillates. The touchscreen controls sit at the top, wrapped around an elegant, velvety cushioned border. Because of its curvilinear shape, we felt that it dispersed air at a wider range (when it stood at a standstill).

What could be better: It didn’t have an ioniser function unlike the other two fans we tested, which we might be an issue for some people looking for a tower fan that also cleans the air.

 

VERDICT

While wind speed is important in determining how cooling the fans were, we also found that the design of the fans played a crucial part in their effectiveness. As such, the Mistral tower fan whose curved vents helped to maximise air circulation, won our vote. It also helped that it had the largest air vent out of the three.

Both Cornell and Midea featured a similar boxy design to their air vent that limited air flow to a designated area at one time – oscillation notwithstanding. In terms of user-friendliness, the three models were pretty standard, although we liked Midea’s straight-forward buttons best. Go for Cornell if you’re not looking to place the cooling appliance at a corner as its 360-deg oscillation is notable.


 

STANDING FAN VS TOWER FAN – WHICH IS BETTER?

Sure, a good tower fan is all well and good, but what if you can’t decide if you want a conventional standing (pedestal) fan or a tower fan? We list out the pros and cons to see which you should get:

Wind Power
With larger blades, standing fans are indubitably more powerful than their tower counterparts.

Control
You get more control of the tilt with standing fans. Directing a standing fan’s airflow is a lot easier than with a tower fan. The latter tends to be limited in their flexibility.

Noise
Most tower fans are a lot quieter than the conventional pedestal, which makes them suitable for bedrooms.

Aesthetic
Tower fans are a lot sleeker and modern compared to standing ones.

Space
Tower fans take up less space than standing fans. So if you have a particularly tight room or small apartment, a tower fan is your best bet.

Movability
Because of their relatively slimmer silhouette, tower fans are a lot easier to move about from room to room. Most also come with handles that help with that.

Price
In general, tower fans come at a higher price point, which makes standing fans an easy, affordable choice for a fuss-free cooling device.

Features
Most tower fans do more than just cool the air. They usually come with additional features such as an air purifier or ioniser that help to clean the air as well.

Safety
Most tower fan’s blades are well encased behind vents with very small gaps, which makes them a lot safer for prying fingers compared to a standing fan. However, in terms of stability, standing fans would be sturdier due to their broader base.

Maintenance
Both the standing fan and tower fan are a pain to clean, often requiring the unscrewing of the main casing to get to the blades. However, the tower fan triumphs for regular day-to-day cleaning as you can just vacuum the vent.

So which will you go for? Let us know in the comments!

 


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