The Best Garage Fans of 2022

Summer heat can make your workshop an unpleasant place. Stay comfortable working all day long with one of these cooling garage fans.

By Bob Beacham | Updated Jan 13, 2022 9:58 AM

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Best Garage Fan

Photo: amazon.com

Garage workshops, while often well designed for the types of household jobs you need to tackle, don’t always deliver on personal comfort—but a garage fan does. It provides enough air circulation to cool a large area efficiently while withstanding the sometimes-harsh environment. These fans also offer a variety of features that maximize your comfort.

If you’re unsure which garage fan is right for your space, this guide covers what you need to know to choose the best garage fan for comfortable ventilation in the workshop.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Lasko 20″ High Velocity Quick Mount Floor Wall Fan
  2. BEST VALUE: Hurricane Classic Wall Mount Oscillating Fan
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Maxx Air Industrial Grade Air Circulator for Garage
  4. BEST WALL MOUNTED: Air King 9020 1/6 HP Industrial Grade Wall Mount Fan
  5. BEST REMOTE CONTROL: Tornado 16 Inch Digital Remote Control Wall Mount Fan
  6. BEST HIGH VELOCITY: B-Air FIRTANA-20X High Velocity Electric Floor Fan
  7. MOST FLEXIBLE: Vornado EXO5 Heavy-Duty Shop Air Circulator Fan
  8. BEST PORTABLE: Ryobi P3320 18 Volt Hybrid Battery or AC Powered Fan
The Best Garage Fan Options

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Garage Fan

Anyone shopping for a garage fan will be pleased to find so many different models available. That said, a wide selection makes it hard to deem any particular one the best garage fan. The following section focuses on the most important technical aspects of these devices to aid in decision-making.

Type

Each of the numerous fan types comes with beneficial features:

  • Tall pedestal fans provide air circulation at approximately head height, but these easy-to-knock-over models may not withstand the bustle of a busy workshop.
  • Floor fans don’t lack stability like pedestal fans, but they can get in the way from their position on the floor. Still, most are easily portable. A drum fan, also called a blower fan, may be the most robust option.
  • A wall-mount garage fan stays off the floor and out of the way. However, the fixed position may limit its range, in which case the garage may require a second unit.
  • Convertible fans sit on the floor, mount to the wall with an optional wall bracket, or clip to a fan stand.

Safety Standards

A number of different safety and performance standards serve as metrics for the quality of a garage fan, but tests to determine whether a fan meets these standards come at a cost to the manufacturer. Because manufacturers don’t face legal requirements to meet safety and performance standards, few bother to submit their products to these tests. That investment in certification often reflects a manufacturer’s greater confidence in their product.

The following organizations administer tests of safety and performance:

  • ETL (Electronic Testing Laboratories) and UL (Underwriter Laboratories) are NRTLs (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories) that test products on an agreed-upon set of safety standards.
  • The AMCA (Air Movement and Control Association) is an international body set up by manufacturers of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning equipment to provide ratings for associated equipment.
  • OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is a section of the US Department of Labor that sets and enforces standards in commercial environments.

Noise Level

OSHA recommends hearing protection for any device that consistently produces 85 decibels or more, but few of the best garage fans reach even 60 decibels. In fact, most run at considerably quieter levels on lower speeds. So, while likely not harmful, the consistent drone of a garage fan may be a bit annoying, at least. If that’s the case, basic earplugs should provide sufficient personal comfort.

Many garage-based DIYers often wear ear protection to protect their hearing against the noise of impact wrenches, grinders, and sanders anyway, so the fan’s sound output may not be relevant.

Airflow

Airflow ratings, a key indicator of garage-fan performance, come in the form of cubic feet per minute (CFM), the volume of air moved. Both the diameter of the garage fan and its speed in RPMs (revolutions per minute) affect the CFM. The best garage fan for the designated area should provide one CFM per square foot of space.

A large-diameter industrial garage fan will deliver a higher CFM than a smaller-diameter model when running at the same speed. Higher speeds, though, can make an area feel cooler regardless of the CFM. For that reason, buyers should consider both CFM and fan speed.

Controls and Timers

All the best garage fans, even budget-friendly models, offer multiple speeds. Different times of the year demand different levels of cooling. Models with two to four speeds provide the necessary flexibility to match performance to climate variations.

Speed controls themselves vary. Floor fans often come with a rotating dial, and wall fans frequently use a pull cord. A few, usually wall-mounted fans, come with remote controls. Remotes seem convenient, but remember that fuels, oils, degreasers, paints, and other substances around the workshop can get into the device and ruin its functionality.

Many types of household fans offer timers, but garage models rarely include this added convenience. Wall-mounted exhaust fans used in commercial garages may come with timers, but cooling fans are only really needed when the garage is occupied, which makes timers largely redundant.

Durability

A good garage fan needs to put up with some harsh conditions. DIYers will eventually knock over or drop something on a floor fan, so these models need a particularly tough exterior. Painted or powder-coated steel, the most common construction material, helps prevent rust. Impact-resistant plastics reduce the damage caused by accidents and may result in a more lightweight product.

Industrial garage fans known as drum fans have a deep protective shroud around the perimeter of the fan itself. Other models have cages, which keep users’ fingers from harm and stop debris from reaching the blades and causing damage.

Wall-mounted models, which avoid physical damage due to their position, tend to have plastic blades and steel cages. Their pull cords come in nylon or thin chain. The former can be prone to wear, but replacement is relatively easy.

Portability

One of the main benefits of floor-standing garage fans is their portability: They will move to whatever space requires cooling. Lightweight models, at 10 to 15 pounds, move easily due to their size. Attached wheels can aid in the transport of heavier industrial garage fans, though these seldom weigh more than 35 pounds.

Some garage fans use innovative tripods that sit on the floor or a bench and offer limited height adjustment. Strong clamps may allow for clipping onto a shelf or other support.

Additional Features

Some of the following additional features may be important considerations as well.

  • Oscillating and adjustable fan heads: Oscillating heads help spread cooling air around the space. Adjustable heads tilt up or down to the preferred angle.
  • Removable parts: A removable cage or shield allows for a quick clean as part of general garage tidying.
  • Extra-long power cords: 8- to 10-foot cords offer added convenience and portability.

Our Top Picks

Each of the following top picks offers efficient ventilation in different kinds of garages and workshops. These top-quality designs provide outstanding air movement, durability, and value for the money. Each model stands out from its peers in the selected category.

Best Overall

The Best Garage Fan Option: Lasko 20 High Velocity Quick Mount Floor Wall Fan
Photo: amazon.com

A versatile, high-performance fan, Lasko’s 20-inch 2264QM fan offers the features that most users need. With a maximum of 3,460 CFM, regulated by three speeds, the Lasko can cool a variety of home workshops and small commercial spaces with the assistance of a pivoting head.

It converts easily from a wall-mounted to a floor-standing configuration. Its rubber feet dampen noise and protect surfaces. The fan’s metal blades plus its steel cage and frame make for robust construction, earning it an ETL rating to ensure workshop safety.

Product Specs

  • Type: Convertible fan
  • Airflow: 3,460 CFM (maximum)
  • Noise level: 46 to 51 decibels

Pros

  • Versatile floor or wall-mounted fan
  • ETL safety rating
  • Three speed settings
  • Relatively compact

Cons

  • Some assembly required

Best Value

The Best Garage Fan Option: Hurricane Classic Wall Mount Oscillating Fan
Photo: amazon.com

Wall mounting a garage fan has two potential advantages: It keeps the fan out of the path of foot traffic, and it keeps the airflow clear of vehicles or equipment that could otherwise block it. Hurricane’s 16-inch fan provides versatile circulation via three fan speeds and 90-degree, three-speed head oscillation. To keep airflow in one particular area, simply lock out the swing motion to keep the head in a fixed position. Pull cords provide users with speed and oscillation control in case the wall-mounted fan itself is out of reach.

Despite the budget-friendly price, the fan produces a competitive airflow rate of 2,118 CFM. A steel support neck and grill ensure durability, and the ETL rating ensures safety.

Product Specs

  • Type: Wall-mounted fan
  • Airflow: 2,118 CFM (maximum)
  • Noise level: Unknown

Pros

  • Affordable option
  • ETL listed for safety
  • 90-degree oscillation feature
  • Three speed settings

Cons

  • Some assembly required
  • May be noisy

Upgrade Pick

The Best Garage Fan Option: Maxx Air Industrial Grade Air Circulator for Garage
Photo: amazon.com

Maxx Air’s tough build, which features 24-inch-diameter aluminum blades and a powder-coated steel drum back, puts up with the rigors of commercial use. The fan grill meets OSHA safety standards. The two-speed motor produces an impressive airflow rate of 2,800 or 4,000 CFM, which is adequate ventilation for large areas. The head tilts through 180 degrees for greater control over the airflow. Wheels make for easy transport and repositioning, and the useful 10-foot power cord adds to the fan’s convenience and portability.

The Maxx Air industrial fan comes at a higher price than many of its rivals, but it’s a worthwhile investment for DIYers who spend a lot of time in the shop.

Product Specs

  • Type: Floor fan
  • Airflow: 2,800 or 4,000 CFM
  • Noise level: 52 decibels

Pros

  • OSHA certified for safety
  • 180-degree tilting head
  • Built-in wheels for easy movement
  • Long 10-foot power cord

Cons

  • Pricier than other models
  • Only two speed settings

Best Wal Mounted

The Best Garage Fan Option: Air King 9020 1/6 HP Industrial Grade Wall Mount Fan
Photo: amazon.com

The standout visual feature of the Air King industrial-grade fan is the large wall-mounting bracket. Many wall-mounting brackets, which are often relatively small, tend to restrict the fan’s head movement. However, Air King’s fan allows almost 360-degree rotation both vertically and horizontally for optimum circulation.

The fan includes a powerful 1/6-horsepower motor and offers three speeds. Users control the airflow output of 2,940; 3,330; or 3,670 CFM with a handy rear-mounted pull cord. Despite the high airflow, Air King’s fan runs at a relatively quiet 62 decibels, approximately the same noise level as typical conversation. The 9-foot power cord allows users to hang the fan nearly wherever they wish. The Air King satisfies both ETL and OSHA safety requirements and meets the AMCA standard of 230.99 for efficiency.

Product Specs

  • Type: Wall-mounted fan
  • Airflow: 2,940; 3,330; or 3,670 CFM
  • Noise level: 48 to 62 decibels

Pros

  • ETL, OSHA, and AMCA certified
  • Three speed settings
  • Close to 360-degree rotation
  • Long 9-foot power cord

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Louder than other fans

Best Remote Control

The Best Garage Fan Option: Tornado 16 Inch Remote Control Wall Mount Fan
Photo: amazon.com

The Tornado 16-inch fan’s impressive features include three speeds, 120-degree oscillation left and right, 60-degree vertical tilt, and a timer for 30-minute increments up to 7.5 hours. A handheld remote offers users control of each of these features. It all comes in an easy-to-mount wall unit, and ETL and UL listings ensure safety.

The three speeds give relatively modest airflow ratings of 1,574; 1,799; and 2,075 CFM, so a large area may call for two units. The remote requires two AAA batteries.

Product Specs

  • Type: Wall-mounted fan
  • Airflow: 1,574; 1,799; or 2,075 CFM
  • Noise level: 45 to 60 decibels

Pros

  • Remote control; easy to operate
  • ETL and UL certified
  • 120-degree oscillation
  • Three speed settings

Cons

  • Less powerful than other fans
  • Remote batteries not included
  • Relatively noisy on highest setting

Best High Velocity

The Best Garage Fan Option: B-Air FIRTANA-20X High Velocity Electric Floor Fan
Photo: amazon.com

At 4,650 CFM, the B-Air Firtana-20X spreads cool air over a large space for those on a modest budget. This 20-inch floor-standing fan provides the most powerful air movement of all its peers via three speed settings (1,253/1,360/1,507 RPM). Its 360-degree head rotation offers precise air direction.

Low-cost garage fans often suffer from poor build quality, but the all-metal construction of this model should prove durable. While it can be wall mounted, it is frustrating to find that a bracket is not included. The device’s 12-pound total weight facilitates movement, but the short cord limits it.

Product Specs

  • Type: Floor or wall fan
  • Airflow: 4,650 CFM (maximum)
  • Noise level: 70 decibels minimum

Pros

  • Compact but powerful fan
  • UL listed for safety
  • 360-degree tilt
  • Three speed settings

Cons

  • Noisy, even at slowest speed
  • Wall hanger not included
  • Power cord is only 5 feet

Most Flexible

The Best Garage Fan Option: Vornado EXO5 Heavy-Duty Shop Air Circulator Fan
Photo: amazon.com

Flexibility ranks as the key feature of the Vornado EXO5; users can position this garage fan just about anywhere. A stable tripod allows for placement on the workshop floor or on a workbench. A powerful three-jaw clamp attaches to shelves, racking, scaffolds, or other surfaces. The three-speed motor provides outputs of 133, 191, and 225 CFM. Vortex airflow and a pivoting head increase efficiency.

While better suited to personal use than the cooling of an entire shop, it makes a great choice for DIYers who move around frequently and wouldn’t benefit from a large stationary model. The motor is Ingress Protection rated 54 (IP54) to resist water and dust, so it can handle typical job-site environments.

Product Specs

  • Type: Floor fan
  • Airflow: 133, 191, or 225 CFM
  • Noise level: 51 to 63 decibels

Pros

  • Stable tripod design
  • Three speed settings
  • Optional clamp for attaching to surfaces
  • Dust and splash resistant; great for job sites

Cons

  • Limited airflow
  • Louder than other fans

Best Portable

The Best Garage Fan Option: Ryobi P3320 18 Volt Hybrid Battery or AC Powered Fan
Photo: amazon.com

An 18-volt rechargeable lithium battery (not included) keeps this fan running for 5 hours or more on a single charge and eliminates the need for an outlet. It’s also compatible with any standard two-pronged plug when in range of an outlet. Ryobi measures the airflow speed in revolutions per minute (RPM), which are 1,400 or 2,100 RPM from the 7.5-inch fan with a pivoting head.

This fan offers numerous positioning options with screw holes for mounting or hooks for hanging. While this is more a personal cooling device than a whole-room fan, Ryobi offers one of the best portable options on the market.

Product Specs

  • Type: Convertible fan
  • Airflow: 1,400 or 2,100 RPM
  • Noise level: 15 decibels

Pros

  • Flexible placement options
  • Plug-in or battery-powered
  • Ultra-quiet operation
  • Lightweight and easy to carry

Cons

  • Battery and charger not included
  • Only two speed settings

Our Verdict

Selected for its convertible design, three air-speed settings, and safety standards, the ETL-certified Lasko garage fan is our first choice. Placed on the floor or mounted to the wall, this model offers an impressive 3,460 CFM on the highest setting.

If your work demands even more cooling power, the Maxx Air garage fan makes a better bet. This industrial-grade floor fan meets OSHA standards and produces up to 4,000 CFM, with convenient portability features including a 10-foot power cord and built-in wheels.

How We Chose the Best Garage Fans

Garage fans can help dispose of dust and particles in the air as well as keep the work space cool. Selections for the best garage fans depended upon their airflow output, noise level, mounting options, and special features.

The featured picks come with multiple settings for light or heavy circulation, and the list includes diverse airflow ratings to accommodate different workshop needs. Most of these fans also operate relatively quietly in the 46-to-60 decibel range.

We prioritized models with one or more safety certifications and made sure to include options for all garage fan varieties. Additionally, certain fans stood out for their useful extras, such as timers, built-in wheels, and long power cords.

FAQs

Now that you know about some of the garage fan options out there, here are a few of the most common questions about these products.

Q: Where should a fan be placed in a garage?

Wall-mounted fans that are placed in high places and face away from the wall in a garage offer temperature regulation and remove particles from the air effectively.

Floor-mounted fans distribute air horizontally throughout the garage, which cools the room. They are portable enough to achieve air circulation wherever needed.

Q: When is the best time to buy a fan?

When working with lumber or noxious chemicals on a project, a fan can help reduce the fumes, dust, and particles in the garage. A fan is also a good investment for anyone planning to work in a garage in the summer heat. The best time to buy a fan is usually in the fall, once the hot weather is past.

Q: How much power should a garage fan have?

Garage fans should have high velocity and power of 3,000 to 6,000 CFM. The average one-car garage can rely on a 3,000-to-4,000 CFM fan for air distribution, while larger garages should employ a 4,000-to-6,000 CFM fan.