What is a Box Fan?

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Updated July 25, 2022

If you’re shopping for the best fan, you may wonder if a white box fan is the most premium option for your home. Today’s box fans offer a cool breeze and air circulation that assists your air conditioner’s energy efficiency. Additionally, the compact design saves indoor space, like tower or window fans. So, if you’re unsure what type of fan you need, stick around to learn what is a box fan.


  • A box fan is a lightweight, portable device that delivers home air circulation and a cooling breeze.
  • Box fans should operate in an open space near an open window or door for maximum airflow.
  • Ensure the unit is clean to prevent airborne viruses and dust from contaminating your space.

Get the most out of your high-performance box fan with our guide on how to use a fan. Additionally, see our guide on the tower fan vs box fan debate to learn which model has a quieter operation and stronger airflow.

Insider Tip

You can place rubber feet on your white box fan to ensure quiet operation.

What are Box Fans

A box fan circulates the air with blades encased in a square covering. Most units come in a white box, which has been the basic design for generations. There are numerous slots on each side so the fans can push air through the unit.

Pick an even spot for the floor installation, or you’ll need to know how to stop the fan from wobbling. Additionally, if your fan blades are too small, you may wonder why can’t I feel my fan.

How to Use a Box Fan

Place your box fan in an open space allowing unobstructed airflow through your room. Additionally, you can use multiple box fans to pull and push air from your home. You can use the fans in the evening to pull cool nighttime air into your home.

Experts recommend placing your box fan near a window or installed behind your window screen. While some models offer battery-powered options, we recommend using a wall socket for consistent airflow power.


Do not run the box fan too close to a wall because it will limit the flow rate of the fan.

Benefits of Box Fans

Box fans have a compact, lightweight, energy-efficient design, making them an excellent pick for a quick breeze or general circulation. Additionally, box fans require minimal installation and are easy to store while not in use. These fans increase air circulation in your home, lowering your AC or air purifier cost.

STAT: A 2020 US EIA (Energy Information Agency) survey showed that 41.9% of American homeowners use a floor fan. (source)

What is a Box Fan FAQs

How do I clean a box fan?

Experts recommend cleaning your box fan with a microfiber cloth or thin dust wand. Additionally, you can use compressed air, but you should take the unit outside first. Lastly, some models feature removable grates that grant easy access to the blades.

What type of motor is in a box fan?

Most white box fans use an induction motor to create blade movement. Additionally, these types of motors can utilize speed adjustment options.

How loud are box fans?

Box fans typically have a decibel rating (dB) of 55 to 65 dB. That said, new models are offering louder and quieter operations depending on your needs.
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