Top 5 Whisper Quiet Window Fans: Which has the Quietest Blow

A window fan is a simple and effective way to improve air circulation in a room. They’re easy to install but are often very noisy.

Hence the need for a quiet window fan. Why sacrifice peace just for a bit of a breeze?

In this article, I offer my picks for the best quiet window fan. I also provide a guide covering selection criteria so you can be armed with the facts when making your decision.

Hopefully, by the end you’ll have a product that meets your needs but doesn’t cause too much noise.

Top 5 Quiet Window Fan

I’ve selected these whisper quiet window fans based on functionality, quality, and, of course, noise level.

1. Top Pick: Vornado 4-Speed Window Fan

  • Dimensions: 5.7 x 26 x 7.2 inches
  • Airflow: NC
  • Speed settings: 4
  • Thermostat: Yes (Digital display)
  • Remote Control: Yes
  • Reversible Airflow: Yes
  • Water Resistant: Yes
  • Adjustable Extender: 26 to 40″ width
  • Warranty: 5 years

This might take the award for one of the best window fans simply because of its design. Sure, this isn’t a massively important selling point, but it looks much sleeker than other window fans.

The long housing and radiator grille helps to contain noise effectively. The unit has multiple smaller fans for greater airflow, too. Usually, this might come at the expense of noise level, but the housing works well in this regard.

A possible downside to its design is that the fans don’t operate independently, like on the Holmes and Bionaire models. But, they’re still reversible and have a heat setting, meaning you don’t lose out on much.

There are 4 speed settings and automatic temperature control. It also comes with foam blocks that you fit around the fan unit when installing. This helps to create a better seal, improving its energy efficiency.

Bear in mind, this fan is only compatible with sliding windows. It must sit horizontally, meaning you can’t fit it in horizontally-opening windows.

Other than that, users reported fitting issues with the foam blocks. They stated the blocks are very thick, meaning you need a large opening in the window. With a bit of careful trimming, this shouldn’t be an issue.

PROs
  • Sleek design insulates noise.
  • 4 speed settings and automatic temperature control.
  • Foam blocks help to create a good seal.
CONs
  • Fans don’t operate independently.

2. Top Budget Pick: Holmes Dual 8” Fan

  • Dimensions: 6 x 25.7 x 13.3 inches
  • Airflow: NC
  • Speed settings: 3
  • Thermostat: Yes (knob)
  • Remote Control: No
  • Reversible Airflow: Yes
  • Water Resistant: Yes
  • Adjustable Extender: 25 to 35″ width
  • Warranty: 3 years

This quiet window fan from Holmes is designed to find windows 25 to 37”. It features an adjustable screen and clip-on extender to help you get the best fit on your window.

It has 2 fans that are 8” in diameter. The 3 settings are intake, exhaust, or exchange, and you can set the fans to spin in either direction. Being able to control each fan independently gives you great flexibility.

The motors are water resistant, meaning you can use the fan even when it’s raining. There’s also a thermostat, giving you control over the temperature too. Of course, it won’t get cooler but does get warmer.

Importantly, this twin window fan is easy to use. It plugs into a normal 120V wall outlet and fits vertically or horizontally into the window frame. All the controls are clear, and you can also buy a one-touch thermostat model.

Some users reported that the fan makes a rattling noise after a few months of use. As a quiet window fan, this is quite a downside. It’s mainly due to its average build quality. But for the price, you get what you pay for. Also, Holmes provides a 3-year warranty, so you’re covered for any defects.

PROs
  • 2 fans that operate independently.
  • Thermostat for cooler climates.
  • 3 settings on each fan.
CONs
  • Can rattle after prolonged use.
  • No remote control

 3. Bionaire 8.5” Reversible Window Fan

  • Dimensions: 6 x 25.7 x 13.3 inches
  • Airflow: NC
  • Speed settings: 3
  • Thermostat: Yes (Digital display)
  • Remote Control: Yes
  • Reversible Airflow: Yes
  • Water Resistant: Yes
  • Adjustable Extender: 24 to 37″ width
  • Warranty: 5 years

Bionaire’s quiet window fan features an LED display as part of its temperature control. While this is a minor feature, it’s certainly helpful for having complete control over the temperature settings.

Another minor yet useful feature is the included remote. This works up to 15ft away and means you don’t have to get up to adjust the settings.

This level of clarity carries across into its other features. This twin window fan works independently and have intake and exhaust settings. The display board at the top is clear and easy to use; there are buttons and lights to show what settings you’re on.

The fans are 8.5” in diameter, providing superior airflow over other fans on this list. They’re fitted into sturdy housing, which helps to control the noise level. Although there’s no noise rating, plenty of users reported this fan is very quiet.

It’s designed to fit windows 24.25” across and comes with a 13” extender, bringing it up to 37.5”. The extender slides, giving you flexibility depending on the size of your windows.

While this twin window fan has positive feedback for its noise levels, some users report this comes at the expense of airflow. They state that the motors are quite weak so it doesn’t provide the best breeze.

But, other users report the airflow is fine, so the jury’s out on whether this is an issue. The bottom line is that the airflow is standard for this price range, and is probably too low for larger rooms. Small rooms, however, should be fine.

PROs
  • LED screen is clear and easy to use.
  • Fits windows 24.5” to 37.5”.
  • Independent fans and 3 speed settings.
CONs
  • Airflow might be a bit weak.

4. Air King 20” Window Fan

  • Dimensions: 26.25 x 11.25 x 26.75 inches
  • Airflow: 3560 CFM (max)
  • Speed settings: 3
  • Thermostat: No
  • Remote Control: No
  • Reversible Airflow: Yes
  • Water Resistant: No
  • Adjustable Extender: 27 to 38″ width
  • Warranty: 1 year

As you might have seen in the title, this quiet window fan by Airking is massive. Its diameter is more than double that of the other window fans on this list, meaning it moves a lot more air.

It has 3 speed settings: 1100, 1400, and 1650RPM. Importantly, it includes a decibel rating, too. It ranges from 50 to 64dB depending on the speed setting. This is equivalent to the difference between a quiet office and normal speech.

This fan will fit windows 27” to 38” wide and 26.25” high. The height might limit some users, as this is a large opening, even for sash windows. But if you have a large enough window, this could be a good option for you.

You’ll find intake and exhaust settings but no temperature control. This is a minor issue, although you’d expect greater functionality considering the price point.

Some users reported issues with vibration at higher speeds. Of course, this creates far more noise than you want. Users suggested making sure that the fan is tightly installed to the window frame. The fan likely vibrates because it’s not fixed securely in the window frame, so watch out for this.

PROs
  • Large fan diameter has excellent airflow.
  • Adjustable speed and direction settings.
  • Clear decibel ratings.
CONs
  • Might be too large for most windows.

5. Holmes Dual 6” Window Fan

  • Dimensions: 22.7 x 11.7 x 5.3 inches
  • Airflow: NC
  • Speed settings: 2
  • Thermostat: No
  • Remote Control: No
  • Reversible Airflow: No (Need to Flip the device)
  • Water Resistant: Yes
  • Adjustable Extender: 22 to 33.25″ width
  • Warranty: 1 year

This almost silent window fan has nearly the same features and functionality as the Holmes one listed above. Its only real difference is the fan diameter – 6” – meaning it’s suitable for smaller windows.

It has 2 speed settings, but the fans don’t operate independently. Also, you can change the airflow direction; you’ll just need to do so manually. This is just another way of saying, “take it out and turn it around”. Unfortunately, there’s no button to do this for you.

The twin window fan comes with an extender screen and panel, allowing you to fit it to most windows. The screen is helpful if you have a bug problem in the summer, as you can keep the window blocked off.

It fits windows 22” to 33.25”. I’d only recommend buying this fan if you have windows smaller than 24”. Above this size, you should opt for another fan on this list with greater functionality.

Although most users praised the window fan’s simplicity and airflow, many criticized its use of the word “reversible”. While this is technically true, it can be inconvenient to remove it every time you want to alter the airflow. Other models have a switch that does it, after all.

PROs
  • Ideal for smaller windows.
  • Smaller fans still provide good airflow.
  • Good balance of quiet and powerful.
CONs
  • Inconvenient to “manually” switch airflow.
  • No remote control

When Should You Use a Quiet Window Fan?

Opting for a window fan over other cooling methods presents some clear benefits.

Benefits Over Air Con

The most obvious reason to use window fans is as an alternative to air conditioning. While 75% of US homes are fitted with air con, their energy usage makes them difficult to justify.

The US Department of Energy states that air conditioners account for 6% of all energy usage in the country, totaling around $29 billion a year for the consumer.

In short, air con is expensive.

A window fan, however, costs around 5 cents a day to run. You’re simply paying for the electricity to power the motor.

Of course, window fan with temperature settings will use more energy, and so will cost more. Depending on the wattage, it could add an extra 2-45 cents an hour to run.

Even so, an electric fan will always be cheaper to run than air con. If temperatures aren’t too sweltering, and all you want is a cool breeze, it’s the better option.

Benefits Over a Standing Fan

The main benefit of a window fan over a standing or desk fan is that it circulates fresh air into a room. This could either be pulling fresh air in or blowing stale air out.

Either way, it improves air circulation along with providing a fresh breeze.

One common reason for choosing a window fan is if you smoke indoors. While this might be a very minor group, it helps to pull out stale air. And even smokers don’t really enjoy the smell of stale smoke indoors.

When Wouldn’t a Window Fan be Suitable?

A window fan might not be the best option if you live in a city or area with higher levels of air pollution. After all, sucking in air from outdoors will also bring pollution with it.

Air conditioners are fitted with dust filters and some even include HEPA filters. So, if you live in an area with questionable air quality, it might be in your best interests to stick with your air con.

Also, a window fan can lead to gaps in your window, allowing bugs in. You can solve this with a screen, but some models don’t offer compatible accessories.

What to Look for When Choosing the Best Quiet Window Fan

Choosing a quiet window fan involves more factors than just noise level. Be sure to consider the following when making your decision.

Type of Fan

Fans fall into 2 categories: intake and exhaust. Intake sucks air in while exhaust blows air out.

Why does this matter? Well, as I mentioned above, there are some situations when you’d rather remove stale air from your home rather than bring cool air in.

For example, the temperature in your home might be fine, but the air smells stuffy and stale.

In this situation, you’d be better to remove air rather than introduce cooler air from outdoors.

Reversibility

To accommodate the need for intake and exhaust settings, most fans are reversible. Well, technically they’ll all be reversible, but some are manual.

This means you need to remove it from the window, flip it around, and then put it back. While not a massive issue, it can be inconvenient if you’ve managed a good fit in the frame.

Most whisper quiet window fans come with a button to do this for you. The joy of modern AC motors is that you can reverse the magnetic field easily. In short, you click a button and it goes from intake to exhaust.

So you can switch from drawing air from the outside to drawing air from the inside.

Better yet, some models have two or more fans that operate independently. It means you can set one to intake and one to exhaust, giving you full air exchange.

Noise Level

When we’re looking for the best quiet window fan, noise level is clearly the most important factor. Unfortunately, most won’t provide a specific dB or sone rating.

But, there are some things to look out for that’ll indicate a quiet fan:

  • Insulating housing will help to reduce noise level.
  • Build quality is vital. Better parts means less wear, and moving parts are less likely to rattle over time..
  • Newer models of fans are usually built better than older ones.
  • Higher speed settings equal more airflow and more noise.
  • Small fans operate at a higher RPM than large ones to move the same volume of air.

Installation also matters. If the fan doesn’t fit properly in the window frame, it could rattle. This is an unnecessary and annoying noise.

Make sure you choose the right size for your window and that any extenders fit securely.

Window Size and Type

All window fans will be suitable for use in sash or sliding windows. Their standard setup is horizontal.

But, some are fine to be used vertically. These are designed for windows that open horizontally, such as hinged or sliding sash.

Make sure you check carefully before purchasing that the fan is compatible with the type of windows in your home.

Equally, window size is important. Most window fans are around 4” wide and come with a clip-on extender. You might even be able to buy further extenders to make them even wider.

Just measure your window before purchasing and you’ll be fine.

Safety

Safety is always an important feature when buying something like a silent window fan. Blades spin pretty fast and can cause injury if someone sticks their fingers in.

At the very least, a fan should have a blade cover. A screen will provide greater security for the window and will also prevent bugs from getting into the house.

Power

Fans operate on standard 120V mains electricity. But, its power settings are important when thinking about room size and airflow.

In short, more powerful fans will move more air. Most window fans don’t provide a CFM rating (Cubic Feet per Minute), the standard rating of fan airflow power.

Instead, look for the fan’s RPM. A higher RPM generally means greater airflow.

But, this can come at the expense of noise level. A fan rotating at 1600 RPM will make more noise than one operating at 1000 RPM. It’s simple physics of aerodynamics.

You should ideally look for a fan that includes room size information rather than going on RPM alone. It’ll give you a greater indication of the fan’s power level in a real-world setting.

Ease of Use

No fan is difficult to use. Generally, you plug it in and turn it on.

The only real inconvenience with a window fan is fitting it. Opt for one that easily fits into a window frame without any extra parts. That said, some come with seals, which can help.

Clear buttons or dials make a massive difference, as do LEDs to indicate settings.

Price

The price you’re happy to pay for a product is relative. Up to a certain level, higher prices mean better quality. Equally, the most budget-friendly options usually cut corners on functionality or build quality, or both.

A suitable quiet window fan will be around $50. It might include some extra features, but importantly it’ll move air quietly with a reasonable airflow rate. Manufacturers in this price range often don’t state the fan’s CFM, probably because it’s quite low.

Starting around 100$, the jump in quality, airflow, and noise levels is very noticeable. In my opinion, if the fan is meant for a highly frequented room, I would advise spending a bit extra for a better product.

You could pay up to $200 for an amazing window fan if you wanted to. Either way, do some research, set a budget, and stick to it.

Extra Features

There are a few extra features worth mentioning that you’ll find on a silent window fan. These are:

Remote control

This speaks for itself. Having a remote control means you don’t need to get up to change the settings or turn the fan on or off.

Temperature settings

Some fans include a heating element, which can be helpful for bringing in warm, fresh air. But, this won’t be much more energy-efficient than running a heater, as electric heating coils are expensive to run.

LED screen

Again, not a massive bonus, but having a small screen is helpful for displaying things like temperature and speed settings.

Final Thoughts on Quiet Window Fans

Hopefully, this article has helped you to narrow down your choice for the best quiet window fan.

Mine is the Vornado 4-Speed Window Fan because it’s easy to use, quiet, and has great airflow. What’s more, it’s at a very reasonable price point.

If you’re on a budget, either the Holmes Dual 8” Fan or 6” version will be fine. While they’re lacking some features, they still do the job.

What are your thoughts on the benefits of window fans and noise levels? Have you been using your fan as a source of white noise to cover distracting sounds? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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Ludovic
Ludovic
Ludovic uses his technical experience as a Mechanical Engineer to compile Soundproofing DIY guides. You’ll often find him breaking down complex topics to make it clearer for others. He also finds inspiration in sharing mindful habits.

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