Holmes Products HSF1809R Fan

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Holmes' 18-inch, Remotely Controllable, Highly Adjustable, Stylishly Black, "Floorstanding" Fan Is "Cool, Quiet and Affordable"

May 25, 2010 (Updated Jun 10, 2010)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Powerfully effective cooling. Convenient remote controllability, timer. Reasonable quietness. Chic color and configuration. Adjustability. Affordability.

Cons:To access blades (for cleaning), you must patiently loosen then retighten an unnecessarily lengthy screw.

The Bottom Line: I almost bought Holmes' ten-bucks-cheaper, 16-inch (model HSF1609) stand fan. But now I'm glad I chose this larger and cooler model HSF1809R, with its continually handy (and “back-saving”) remote-control handset.


Preface

Summer's virtually here, and my new billiard room—at the southwest corner, and on the highest floor, of my split-level house—will be needing all the cooling it can get. Apart from having my central air conditioner routinely readied, I recently searched for a "floorstanding"—a.k.a. "stand"—fan to place where the poolroom and snack-bar room "doorlessly" adjoin. I wanted a black model (to match a nearby pub-table-with-stools ensemble, etc.); and I didn't want to spend much money.

Some of my neighborhood stores (e.g., Walmart and Ace Hardware) stocked few, if any, black fans. Other stores (e.g., Lowes) didn't have black ones in "floorstanding" configurations. But I finally found exactly what I needed at a local Target store.


HOLMES' 18" STAND FAN WITH REMOTE CONTROL (MODEL HSF1809R)

Actually, I discovered two viable options at Target. On the one hand, there was Holmes' look-alike model HSF1609 16" stand fan, which cost only $29.99 and appeared adequately large and powerful for my purposes. On the other hand, there was this model HSF1809R, which, at $39.99, cost slightly more than I'd planned to spend. But its greater size and cooling power appealed, and—knowing I might be living with this purchase for at least the next two decades—I shelled out for this relatively deluxe model.

Little did I then know that this model's "remote control" feature (which the HSF1609 lacks) would soon seem a significant advantage in its own right.

Moreover, this model (unlike the HSF1609) includes a built-in timer allowing automatic shutoff at any of four selectable times (i.e., the fan will switch off in one, two, four or eight hours). Doubtless that timer is a selling point for certain consumers; but I myself will seldom, if ever, need it in my poolroom. I did, nonetheless, test the timer (setting it to "one hour"), and it worked perfectly.


Weight and overall size
 
Weighing exactly ten pounds, this fan is pretty easy to lift and move around a room via one primary (plus one secondary) carrying handle (integrated just above the stand's upper pole and beneath the motor housing). Of course, this "18-inch" fan's overall height (adjustable from 44.75" to 54 & 5/8")—along with the 20-inch diameter of its stand's base—doesn't make for entirely easy room-to-room transport (as with a typical tabletop fan).

Note: For more "measurements" information (than you'll perhaps need to know), see the "Addendum" section below.


Operation
 
You can control this fan's "power/speed" and "timer" functions either via the remote handset's pair of keys (described in the next section of this review) or via two analogous, off-white pushbuttons on the black stand's upper portion (slightly below the front, round, protective grill's bottom edge). Though stooping (slightly) to reach the latter buttons isn't inordinately difficult, using the remote (assuming it’s handily within reach) is still easier. Indeed, if you're of average or greater adult height and sometimes suffer from lower-back pain, you'll surely deem this remotely controllable fan's slightly higher cost (than that of the aforementioned—and somewhat shorter—model HSF1609) well worth it.

However, only the on/off, speed, and timer functions are remotely controllable. Thus, you'll still have to grab and push—or pull—a conventional oscillator knob (atop the hindmost motor housing) to activate—or deactivate—the fan's touted "wide-angle oscillation" (horizontally rotational) motion. [I found the range of oscillation to be indeed pleasingly wide.]

Likewise, to adjust this fan's overall height (i.e., the height of the stand's two telescoping metal poles), you'll have to physically grasp and turn (loosen or tighten) a hard-plastic "height-adjustment collar" (where the upper and lower pole sections meet).

Analogously, you'll have to physically lift or lower the protective grill whenever you want to adjust the fan's tilt (to direct the blown air upward, downward, or in-between). There are two selectable upward angles; one slightly downward angle; and, of course, the commonly used "90-degree" position. You can hear (and feel) the fan pretty snugly click into each of those four "detent" positions.


Using the infrared remote

The (mostly glossy-black) remote-control handset fits the average adult hand nicely enough. Some users might not like that its light-gray sides (left and right edges) aren't perfectly smooth, but other users might deem those edges easier to grip.

In any case, this remote isn't, er, remotely as complex as the one you likely use with your audio/video entertainment system. There are only two (reasonably large) buttons, each having an off-white hue. The upper button controls the fan speed (you'll repeatedly press it to cycle through "low," "medium," "high" and "off"). And the lower button controls the timer's "duration" (you'll repeatedly press it to cycle through "1 hour," "2 hours," "4 hours," "8 hours" and "off"—in other words, the fan will run until the set duration of time has expired).

Each time you press either control button, the fan provides audible feedback by emitting a high-pitched, easily heard (but not annoying) tone. Via the "timer" button, the fan additionally provides visual feedback as it lights one of four red "duration" LEDs, whose respective, adjacent, off-white labels range from left to right: "1h," "2h," "4h" and "8h".

I've had no problems using this remote to control the fan from nearly 20 feet away; in fact, I successfully tested it (with fresh batteries) at a distance of about 40 feet! Obviously (since it's an infrared remote), you'll need to point the remote's sensor more or less directly at the fan.

Note that the two requisite AAA batteries are not included in the product box.

Also note that on the front of this remote (below the two aforementioned buttons) a "Holmes" logo is printed in rather large, light-gray characters. Thus, if you (like me) habitually place this conspicuously short-and-wide (4.75" x 1 & 7/8") handset beside one or two other typical (e.g., entertainment-system) remotes, you'll likely never confuse it with the others.


This fan is relatively "quiet" (or should I say "less noisy"?)

Purely for testing purposes, I temporarily placed an aging, nondescript, 16-inch, three-speed, tabletop fan (that I occasionally use in a nearby bedroom) near this 18-inch, "stand" fan and operated them alternately. This Holmes fan was noticeably quieter when both units were set to the lowest of their three analogous speeds. Much of that sonic difference was due to this Holmes fan's virtual dearth of vibration noise. And though I noticed much less difference between the two fans' respective noise levels when both were set to "medium" or "high" speed, this Holmes unit sounded, at least, no louder—which is fairly impressive, considering its blades' two-inch-larger diameter.

With this fan running at low speed in its usual location (approximately between my "doorlessly" adjoining snack-bar and billiard rooms), I had little trouble hearing my HD radio playing classical music (or a nearby chrome jukebox playing pop music) without increasing the volume. But at medium (or high) fan speed, I found it necessary to increase that radio's volume setting by about 50% (or about 100%). But since I generally run this largish fan at "low" (instead of "medium" or "high") speed, I find it quite unnecessary to relocate my music player whenever I'm blissfully shooting pool in the main room.     


User manual

The Owner's Guide "booklet" is actually a fold-open sheet of paper comprising six pages of text plus black-and-white illustrations. This document's modest content largely pertains to the nine simple assembly steps, which are rather clearly explained and shouldn't require more than five or ten minutes for the average user to complete. The only required tool is a Philips screwdriver.


Lower your cooling costs!
 
Eventually this affordable fan should pay for itself. In fact, according to a blurb on the colorfully illustrated product box, using this fan (while turning up your thermostat seven degrees) 12 hours per day, 25 weeks per year could save you up to $60 on your annual summer cooling costs. 


Why don't I rate this product "five stars"?

 
Upon completing the assembly of this fan's tastefully styled front grill (which is mostly composed of black-painted metal—whereas the analogous rear grill is entirely composed of black plastic), I was perplexed to see that the "left" and "right" portions of that circular grill's frame didn't quite meet at the bottom. [In other words, there's a modest, 3/16" gap at the very bottom of that front grill.] That inexplicable little anomaly is only slightly noticeable (generally only if you deliberately stoop to scrutinize it), and it scarcely matters to me; nonetheless, it constitutes a minor cosmetic flaw in the otherwise seemingly perfect "fit and finish" of this rather chic product.     

Equally inexplicable is the excessive (one-inch) length of the silvery screw that connects (tightens) those left and right halves of the front grill frame at the bottom. That screw should have been only about 5/8" long. But its terminal portion inelegantly protrudes leftward of the black-plastic connection point where you insert it. Given its location, that excessive screw length is scarcely visible; but (factoring that particular screw's numerous threads per inch) it does double the time required for tightening or removal. And you'll indeed have to remove that screw eventually to clean accumulated dust from the five, black-plastic blades of the fan. (Of course, that should typically be a very infrequently necessary chore.) At least such "screwing" is simple enough and not too exasperatingly time-consuming. (It might take some consumers at least two minutes to fully tighten or remove that item.)

[Though that all admittedly amounts to a trifle, it never ceases to amaze me that such long-established manufacturers (as Holmes) invest so many resources into designing technologically and stylistically advanced products while sometimes overlooking something as fundamental as the logical length of an indispensable screw or bolt costing but a penny or few!]

Finally, in the interest of "ergonomics" (i.e., I'm wary of any object—even when its edge is so smoothly beveled and rounded—that I could stub an unshod toe against), I somewhat wish the 20-inch diameter of the stand base were a couple of inches smaller. Of course, such objects are inevitably made of lightweight (albeit generally adequately strong) plastic nowadays, and I duly appreciate that that larger diameter enhances this fan's stability—especially if the two-piece, metal pole is telescoped to maximum height. Anyway, I'm nitpicking, because that big base, er, basically looks nice—and is configured acceptably—just as it, er, stands.


THE UPSHOT:

Considering that such fans generally last many years, I deem this Holmes product a better than decent value at $39.99 (at Target stores or target.com). Not only is this the most visually appealing fan I've ever owned, but also—because of its remote handset—it's the easiest to operate. And its built-in timer could be a continually handy feature for certain consumers. If you're absolutely sure you'll never use the remote or the timer; and if you could make do with somewhat less cooling power and height, you could save ten bucks by choosing Holmes' look-alike 16-inch model (HSF1609). But I'd confidently wager that living with this model HSF1809R would quickly convince you that remote controllability is a welcome, if not indispensable, advance in electric fan design.


Addendum:

The below information might further help prospective buyers. (Note that all these hands-on measurements of mine are approximate.)

Thickness of the various black molded-plastic portions of unit: generally about 1/8"
The black power cord's length: 6 feet
Power cord's terminal plug type: black; two-pronged; polarized
Maximum gap width between the protective grills' thin, parallel/tapering/intersecting bars: about 3/8"
Overall front-to-rear depth (excluding stand base but including front metal grill, rear plastic grill, and hindmost motor housing): 10.5"
Stand base height: 2"
Stand base diameter: 20"
Gray-plastic (push/pull) oscillator control knob: diameter = 5/8"; height = ½"
Silvery ("chrome") "Holmes" logo plaque (at front grill's center): diameter = 3 & 5/8"
Space (gap) for inserting hand to grasp the primary carrying handle: 5.75" x 1.25"
Infrared remote handset dimensions: 4.75" (L) x 1 & 7/8" (W) x 5/8" (D)
Overall height of fan: adjustable from 44.75" to 54 & 5/8"
Lower (of two) telescoping metal-pole sections: diameter = 1.5"
Higher (of two) telescoping metal-pole sections: diameter = 1"
Number of black-plastic fan blades: 5
Number of red LEDs (indicating timer-setting duration): 4
Number of selectable positions for (up/down) angle of fan: 4
Number of fan-rotation speeds: 3
Owner's manual (fold-open sheet): Size: 7.5" (H) x 5.5" (W) when folded; 6 printed pages
Corrugated-cardboard product box (container) dimensions: 26.25" (H) x 21.5 (W) x 5.5" (D)
Limited warranty: 3 years (covers "defects in material and workmanship")
Manufactured in: China (where else?!)


Recommend this product? Yes

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