Do Doorway Fans Work?

We’ve all seen them – small and cute fans that stick to a door’s frame, claiming that they can improve warm air circulation around your home.

And this is definitely important. There is nothing worse than getting cooked out of the stove room, during which all the other rooms in the house stay much cooler.

But do they really work as well as they might seem? Welp, the only way to find that out is to read on further…

They do, but not as well as you might think

A doorway fan will certainly help you move warm air around your home better when heating with a wood stove, fireplace, furnace or what have you.

That being said, in no way shape or form does it work as well as even the cheapest box fan you can find at your favorite big-box store… Yeah, it’s that simple.

Why box fans work better

They are simply bigger, and I mean a whole bunch than even the most expensive doorway fan you can find on the market.

To put it the other way, you can get a lot more “fan” for a lot lower of a price.

Top of the line doorway fans can cost as much as 60 bucks. You can find a decent box fan for at least half the price, if not the third.

Move more air

This is a big one. A larger box fan can move a whole bunch more air, compared to a tinier fan that’s just hanging there on a door frame.

Moving more air means you can heat more rooms, as well as doing so quicker.

And this is really the reason why box fans are a much better choice. They work better for what you pay for.

How to use a box fan the right way

Now it does make a ton of sense to think that if you want to move the warm air from your heating room to the other ones, you should place the fan directly behind the wood burner and point it towards where you want the heat to travel.

I hate to break it to you, but that’s absolutely the wrong way of thinking.

The way you should actually do it is place the fan the other way around; that is, the fan should blow the cold air from the place you want to heat into your stove room.

I don’t really know the exact science behind it, but it seems to have something to do with the fact that cold air is denser, hence heavier, and because you blow exactly this kind of air into the room where your heating appliance is, the warmed up air escapes through the top easier, heating the room (that you actually want the heat into) better.

Doing it the opposite way, that is, placing the box fan behind the wood burner and blowing the warmer air into colder rooms isn’t horrible, but a lot worse than the “illogical” way.

I’m telling you, try out the way I explained and you’ll see that those cold rooms will not only warm up quicker, but also get warmer by many more degrees.

But doorway fans could still be a better choice for you

You see, having a box fan on the ground is not a good look, it just isn’t.

Doorway fans are such a more elegant way of helping heat your home better.

I mean, they don’t take up any space on the ground, don’t really come into your way when going about your day; they are tailor made for an exact reason (though don’t work near as well as a general purpose fan… Go figure).

I’ll tell you this – If you already have a box fan or two, try them out first. You may fall in love with them and forget about this whole doorway thing fan to begin with.

But if you find them a nuisance (more of an eyesore actually), go ahead and buy yourself a pair of doorway fans. They may be all that’s required to satisfy your heating needs.

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  1. Interesting information re: the box fans vs. doorway fans. I installed a (free) 4″ fan from an old phone system in the upper corner of the doorway to the dining room. I can definitely feel warm air coming in from the living room, where the wood stove is. But – I’m always open to suggestions and ideas and will keep the box fans in mind – aimed the other way! Maybe their not just for summer.

  2. Hit enter right when I spotted my typo – should be ‘they’re’ not their. I also noted the time stamp is 5 hours ahead, so maybe this site is overseas from where I am. Either way – the firewood principles are the same!

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