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Living in Boston means springtime for me usually lasts a grand total of three or four weeks. It's cold in the winter months, then slightly-less-cold in March and April, and then—after a few weeks of warm, mild weather—it becomes disgustingly hot. Seriously—I go from having my windows covered in plastic insulation to a sweaty mess in the time it takes the first pitch of baseball season to cross home plate.
Late last Spring, I decided enough was enough with air conditioners. Window air conditioning units are luxurious, but they're also a great way to run your electric bill up. If you live with roommates and they've all got ACs, forget about it—your bills are sure to take off in the Summer months.
After scouring the web for fans that could maybe hold a candle to my now-defunct air conditioner, I landed on the Vornado 630—an air-circulator for medium-sized rooms.
Initially, I balked at the cost. "A $65 fan? That's absurd." But the more I read about it, the more intrigued I grew. Eventually, I dumped it into my cart, paid for it, and prepared myself for disappointment. Oh, how wrong I ended up being. I'm sorry for ever doubting you, Vornado.
Vornado fans aren't like the big Wind Machines many of us grew up using; even on the highest setting, they don't really blast your face with a visceral gust of air. Instead, Vornados are specifically designed to create a vortex that circulates air across an entire room. In other words, you don't have to be sitting in the Vornado 630's line of sight in order to feel its cooling effects.
That's not to say that the Vornado isn't powerful—quite the contrary, actually. But due to the lack of an initial whoosh that usually accompanies premium fans, you might be fooled into thinking you've been duped when you first plug it in, turn it all the way up, and point it at your face. Just give it some time.
Better yet, open a window, put the Vornado on the windowsill, and let 'er rip for an hour or so. Its effectiveness is undeniable; not only does the Vornado manage to keep a room cool in tough heat, but the air itself is fresh and pleasant. The staleness I often associate with garden-variety fans is no where to be found—we're talkin' sweet, sweet ambient bliss, here, people! My bedroom is easily the freshest-smelling, freshest-feeling room in our apartment.
If you're still uneasy about dropping $60-$65 on a fan, you might want to test the waters with the Vornado 133. It's more compact, perfect for smaller-sized rooms like offices or pantries, and will only set you back about $30.
Of course, if you're really looking to circulate some air, feast your eyes upon the Vornado 660, which is powerful enough to push air up to 100 feet. It'll set you back about one hundred bucks, but make no mistake: This thing's an absolute beast.
All three of these Vornados—the 630, the 133, and the 660—are backed by Vornado's 5-year warranty, which means with any luck, these are the last fans you'll have to buy for several years. Like any fan, Vornados have a tendency to collect blankets of dust on their blades and in their grills. Fortunately, cleaning is as easy as detaching the grill and wiping it down.
If the monochromatic, utilitarian look of these vortex-creating super-fans doesn't really fit your aesthetic, allow me to point you in the direction of the Vornado VFAN Vintage. It's got all power of a standard Vornado fan, but a style that would fit right in at an old 1950s diner. If I wasn't already content with my 660, I might be tempted to spring for the green one.
Again—I know a premium-priced fan sounds a little crazy, but just trust me on this one. I've got the freshest room in my apartment, after all. If you're still in need of some assurance, it's worth noting that Vornados are consistently some of the highest-rated fans on Amazon. Just under 70% of the 630's Amazon ratings are 5-star ratings, and the reviews tend to be positively glowing.