“ Brand: Signature „
After trawling an approximate 20mile radius around me in search of a fan to help me through the hot nights we are currently *enjoying* I couldn't believe my luck when I wandered into my local Tesco Extra and spotted about 40 of these fans stacked on a delivery truck! It felt like I had struck gold - it was even a pedestal style which had been my initial preference, although by now anything would do! I grabbed one immediately and asked the price (again, would have been irrelevant!) and was chuffed that it was only £20.
Even though it was almost 10pm when I got home, I wanted it up and running for that night so I got to work. The fan comes in a fairly flat cardboard box approximately 50cm square, and not too heavy, so it was easy to carry, manoeuvre and unpack.
About the fan
In the box are all the parts and the instructions, which are written in excellent, fluent gibberish. Fortunately I found the putting together fairly obvious and self explanatory, but I acknowledge I do like doing this kind of thing and if I had been relying on the instructions I dread to think how long it would have taken.
The stability of the fan is down to a basic slot-in criss-cross arrangement of the two feet pieces. These are made of metal and once slotted together they are fixed by screwing the bottom section of the pedestal (also metal) firmly to it. Inside this bottom section is an extending section which provides the margin of adjustable height for the fan - it is approximately 30cm long. The motor and operational body section of the fan is housed in a plastic casing and this is fixed to the pedestal with an easy-to-operate screw. Finally the fan blades and cage are fixed on, the blades are grey plastic and the cage a white metal mesh. The blades are screwed on and the fan cage is fixed with simple grips around its edge. In all (including the time it took to read and then abandon the instructions) it took me 25 minutes to put together up and running.
As well as being height adjustable you can alter the tilt of the fan so that I was able to angle it downwards slightly to point the fan directly where I'd be lying on the bed! Just behind the fan cage is a switch to make the fan oscillate and this works very smoothly, through a 90 degree angle. It has three speed settings, and whilst the third is noticeably stronger, even the first setting is more than enough to have its desired effect.
So, the important bits...
Number 1: Does it cool?!
When looking for a fan, this is surely the number one requirement! It works brilliantly. My bedroom is not huge approx 4m x 3.5m I think, and I switched on and left it running on the highest setting for half an hour. The room gets really hot and had not had the window open that evening as I'd been out - it was stifling. After half an hour even though the room wasn't cool, it was noticeably more comfortable. It's important to remind myself I have only purchased a fan, not an air conditioning unit! In bed, the effect of the fan was absolute bliss. In my room it was standing about 1m - 1.5m away from me and the lowest setting was all I needed to have the desired effect. In fact I needed to pull my duvet up over my legs as I got a bit chilly without, but the fan was still so nice that I wanted to keep it on. I woke up a couple of hours later properly cool and needed to switch it off.
I'd say this fan is superb for cooling in the kind of dimensions of room I've described and bearing in mind I was mostly on the lowest setting it would be more than adequate to have an effect in a much larger room too.
Number 2: Is it noisy?
In the deluded days when I was considering my *options* about which of the huge range of fans I could choose from, this was the main criteria I was looking for in reviews of products. In the event of course, I would have been happy it had have had the noise of a pneumatic drill next to my bed if it had cooled me, but still. I'm always slow to drop off to sleep but obviously for me that's been much more of a problem during the heat. That said, I'm not someone who gets hung up on noise - I don't mind ticking clocks or traffic noise for instance, they don't disturb me or keep me awake per se. So for me, I found this fan to be brilliant in the lack of noise department.
Inescapably with a fan, there is the noise of the blades going round but this is extremely quiet indeed, and behind that there is a feint hum of the motor, which was more noticeable. It is like an aeroplane (bear with me here) miles up in the sky - when you can hear it but only far, far off, and obviously it's continuous. I can appreciate that if you are someone who notices noises then this could potentially be a problem. I wasn't expecting it to be silent and was expecting it to be noiser - in view of the cost and its effectiveness, my report would be that I am amazed at how quiet it is, and I dropped off to sleep with it on.
Number 3: Is it ugly?
It's not a piece of furniture I would have chosen, but it looks good for what it is. Obviously everything is new and shiny at the moment but it seems to be built of lasting materials and being white it looks fine against my light coloured walls in my bedroom. It stands about 4 feet tall in total and with the criss-cross design of the feet you can get it to sit snugly in the corner. I think it looks just fine.
Number 4: What will it do to my bills?
It is a 50W machine and will add around 1p per hour to your electric bill on full power if my electricity monitor is anywhere near accurate. I did a quick calculation, and figured it was probably worth that!!
This was an absolute gem of a find. For £20 it's a really effective and pretty quiet fan, more than up to my requirements on both counts. It looks good too and when this weather's over and it's time to get the heater out again it will be only a matter of undoing a few screws to box it back up for next time (well here's hoping!!)