The Lasko 2155A Electrically Reversible Window Fan is the only window fan we found that gets solid recommendations on retail sites. It moves a lot of air, is easy to install and can switch from intake to exhaust with the turn of a dial. It has some durability problems and can be loud on its highest speed setting, but it's still the best choice on the market.
Powerful performance, disappointing durability. Most users are impressed with how much air the Lasko 2155A can move. One says at Amazon.com, "This is truly a WHOLE-HOUSE window fan;" another adds, "I've had a lot of window fans before but none have cooled nearly as well as the Lasko."
Owners call the 2155A's exhaust setting great for removing smoke: A HomeDepot.com review says the fan "cleared a smoky kitchen in mere seconds." However, some posters say good airflow depends on the right configuration of open and closed windows. As another user reports at HomeDepot.com, "Having too many windows open on exhaust mode will minimize air flow through each window so you won't feel a breeze."
In contrast, durability is a weak point. Many users complain at both HomeDepot.com and Amazon.com about units that either arrived damaged or broke down in the first two years of use, often within the first two weeks. Owners also dislike the fan's flimsy construction; several say the switch knob tends to pop off or that sliding panels on either side of the fan break easily.
Lasko provides a one-year warranty on the fan, but consumers had mixed results getting warranty service. One Amazon.com reviewer had the fan replaced at no charge while another left two voicemails and received no response.
A breeze to install and use. Most owners find this fan very easy to install. With its adjustable side panels, it fits into any window between 26.5 and 34.5 inches wide and at least 22 inches high. At 15 pounds, the fan is lightweight enough to lift into the window easily.
The 2155A can be screwed into place for a permanent installation, but users say you could also just stick it in the frame and close the window on top of it. However, a few report that if the fan isn't installed just right, it tends to vibrate, especially on high speed. At Amazon.com, one owner suggests using a level when mounting the fan; another says at HomeDepot.com that it was necessary to shave down the plastic expansion slats to get the fan to sit securely.
Once the fan is in place, owners generally find it easy to use. It has a single control dial that turns to the left to draw air in and to the right to blow it out. A few users say this knob feels stiff, and it can pop off as noted above, but they like being able to switch from intake to exhaust without having to flip the fan over.
Varies with speed. There's some disagreement among users about how much noise this fan makes. Although fans in general tend to be loudest at their top speeds, several owners say the Lasko 2155A makes what one HomeDepot.com review describes as a "knock" and another as a "loud, low frequency noise" only on the low setting. An Amazon.com user mentions a "distinctive noise on the exhaust setting," which may be the same one mentioned in other posts. In any case, this problem doesn't affect most reviewers, who generally find the fan pretty quiet on low speed.
StormGuard is a bonus. One unique feature of the Lasko 2155A is its StormGuard design, which makes it possible to close the window while the fan is in place. Several owners find this valuable, but a few fear that having the fan permanently mounted would obstruct the window in case of an emergency like a fire. One Amazon.com user considers this problem negligible, saying even "an adrenaline-charged 6 year old would have no problem flinging this fan across the room when screwed in." In any case, the fan can still be used without the StormGuard.
Aside from this feature, the Lasko fan's looks are pretty utilitarian. One Amazon.com poster calls it "really ugly," especially since the electrical cord goes into the center where it's visible, but another says this fan has "a cute retro appeal."
Review Credibility: Excellent The Lasko 2155A is the top-rated window fan at HomeDepot.com, where it gets an overall score of 4.2 stars out of 5 from more than 215 users. Owners say this fan is great for both bringing in cool air and exhausting smoke, and it's easy to install. Most also find it quiet, but some complain that it's noisy on the highest speed setting. Several users post concerns about durability, saying their fans broke down anywhere from one day to two years after purchase.
Review: Lasko 16 in. Electrically Reversible Window Fan, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of May 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good About 150 owners give the Lasko 2155A 3.9 stars out of 5 at Amazon.com. Most are enthusiastic about this window fan's airflow, with several reviewers calling it powerful enough to cool a whole house. They also like that the fan is easy to install and is electrically reversible. However, users are divided over the fan's noise level, and there are additional complaints here about durability. Besides reporting mechanical breakdowns, some users say the fan is flimsy.
Review: Lasko #2155A Electrically Reversible Window Fan, 16 Inches, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2013