Summer's in full swing, so here are our favorite fans and air conditioners in case you need help keeping cool.
After spending 50 hours researching air conditioners and reading up on the best publications that test them, we spent an 13 extra hours testing the most promising to find the air conditioner we'd put in our own windows. That turned out to be the the Frigidaire FFRE0833Q1.
The Frigidaire's cooling capabilities are on par with competitors like LG, but the Frigidaire is 12 percent more efficient and eight pounds lighter than our runner up and one of the only affordable ACs that can keep up with and exceed the new Energy Star standards. Speaking of efficiency it has a sleep mode designed to keep you cool through the night without guzzling power. There's also a 24-hour on/off timer, though unfortunately it can't be set on a weekly schedule. One of our favorite details is the remote control, which displays the current temperature of the room so you can keep it at your preferred degree.
The particular model we tested is rated at 8,000 BTU, meant for spaces between 300 and 350 square feet—about the size of a comfy living room or master bedroom. You can expect any model in the 33Q1 series to perform well, so if you need to chill a larger or smaller area, pick the one with the corresponding BTU rating.
While other air conditioners may cool down a room just as effectively, none do it with the same efficiency, polish, or finesse of the Frigidaire.
A great fan can push cold air from one room to another while helping to equalize the temperature of a room by snuffing out any especially hot or cold areas. For this purpose, we prefer the Vornado 660 as it's designed to take up the least amount of space while displacing the largest amount of air for a fan in the $100 price range.
The Vornado is perfectly suited to be used on a floor or placed on a desk. It's quite small, about a foot wide and 13 inches tall. Despite it's fairly compact size, it managed to outperform the competition in its price range with ease. In our tests, it was capable of creating an air stream 100 feet long on the highest setting – nothing to sneeze at. The Vornado doesn't sound like a jet engine either, rather it's quite the opposite with a noise output that can best be described as a whisper.
Adjusting the horizontal and vertical angle of the fan is simple and smooth thanks to the nicely designed chrome glide and the four speeds are controlled by solid, push-button controls rather than the flimsy controls favored by most fans in this price range. It's so well-liked that we recently discovered a Vornado being used by engineers on a research submarine, who tested several fans and settled on the Vornado to keep them cool on 8-hour missions in a hot little cockpit occupied with two other sub operators.
We have a couple other fan recommendations as well: the Lasko 2554 42" Wind Curve if you want a tower fan for smaller spaces and the Lasko Air Flexor 3637 if you want to spend less and don't mind significant fan noise.