Ceiling fans can be one of the cheapest ways to beat the summer heat – if they do their job properly. A fan that doesn't circulate the air enough can be frustrating, but a fan that blows too hard even on its lowest setting can be just as annoying, especially when you're trying to sleep.
"When reviewing fans at CHOICE, we look at a number of key performance factors," says CHOICE fan expert Denis Gallagher.
"A great fan will deliver a wide variety of air movement options to suit your particular requirements. This includes a good range of high-speed settings for the living room as well as a couple of good breeze-like settings to help create an ideal sleeping environment.
"We also assess ease of use, which covers things like assembly and installation, as well as controls using the wall switch or remote."
Hunter Pacific Majestic Coolah: A less than majestic performer.
1. Hunter Pacific Majestic Coolah
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 53%
- Price: $256
Sadly, the 'Coolah' failed to live up to its name. On the highest setting, it didn't deliver enough air movement for living areas, but on its lowest setting in the bedroom, it proved too strong to be comfortable.
Is there anything it does do well? Er, not really. It does have a distinctive design and its blades are made of wood, and our experts rate it OK for ease of use. But its pull switch isn't as easy to use as a remote or wall switch.
Martec Elite: Cheap to run, but disappointing overall.
2. Martec Elite
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 54%
- Price: $299
Like the Coolah, the Martec Elite also disappoints in the bedroom and in living areas, although it did score slightly better than the Coolah for high-speed cooling.
On the upside, it is relatively cheap to run, with our experts estimating it will cost just $15 to run for one year.
Read the full Martec Elite review.
ThreeSixty Modn-3: Not a great choice for bedrooms
3. ThreeSixty Modn-3
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 61%
- Price: $289
With a 52-inch blade span, three aluminium blades and wall control, this fan looks pretty sleek. And our testers found a couple of positives, particularly that it generates good air movement at the highest speed.
However it only has three speeds, which could be an issue for some users and it only generates very little air movement at its lowest speed, which means it's probably not the best choice for your bedroom when you want to keep the fan on overnight to stay cool without disrupting your sleep with loud whooshing noises.
A remote control is available as an optional accessory but it won't help the performance as it too has only three speeds available. One handy feature is that you can add a light kit later if you need to brighten up the room.
Read the full ThreeSixty Modn-3 review.
This model's limited speed options underwhelmed our experts.
4. Lucci Air Airfusion
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 63%
- Price: $239
This AC fan has the same limited speed options for controlling airflow as the Modn-3.
But unlike the Modn-3, you need to make the choice at the time of purchase whether you want a model with or without a light, which might prove inconvenient for some.
It comes with a remote with the same three speed options and light control (if you have a light included).
Read the full Lucci Air Airfusion review.
Brilliant Vector: Not so brilliant
5. Brilliant Vector
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 63%
- Price: $189
You can buy this fan with or without a light, but be sure you make the decision at the point of purchase as you won't be able to add it later. Available in black and white and suitable for indoor or outdoor use, you can expect good air movement performance at the highest fan speed, which means it could be a good inexpensive option for the verandah outside.
But it's probably not a great choice for the bedroom as the air movement at its lowest speed may be too strong when you're trying to catch some ZZZs.
Read the full Brilliant Vector review.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.