You can consider the automobile, airplane or Internet the most life-altering invention for most of the planet, but in warmer climates our vote is for the simple electric fan. When temperatures soar into the high 80s and above, we unplug the laptop and use that outlet for our favorite fan instead.

Here’s what we look for in a good electric fan: Is it easy to set up? Can it deliver a consistently strong blast of air? And is it quiet enough so that we can still form a thought without sounding like we’re in a wind tunnel? We think these three models of electric fans are your best bets.

Honeywell Air Circulator

A “turbo force” fan? Believe it. This model is small enough for the desk or the floor but packs enough punch to cool small to medium rooms.Amazon

No exaggeration, I own nearly a dozen of these Honeywell fans, including several that permanently reside at friends' and family's homes for when I visit. Identical models sit on my work and home office desks, next to my TV downstairs at home and on my bedside table. They're super quiet but pack quite a punch when it comes to air movement.

Lasko Pedestal Fan

No-tools assembly means you’ll have your Lasko up and running in no time.Amazon

Tower fans are as necessary in Florida as ice tea, insect repellent and sunblock. But they don't need to be super fancy to get the job done. Spare me the remote controls - just give me a quiet fan with three speeds, an easy set-up and a long lifespan. I have this very model in the master bedroom to keep things cool at night - and to provide that wonderfully small dose of white noise to help me stay asleep.

Stanley Blower Fan

The pivoting head can direct the high-velocity air where it’s needed - the floor, ceiling or any point between them.Amazon

As cool as the other three fan models in our list are, there are some cooling jobs where something with extra oomph is required. This Stanley blower fan is perfect for keeping the garage cool while tinkering in the workshop or for pool decks when the cool outdoor breeze suddenly disappears. Beyond cooling, use this Stanley for ventilation or even drying up wet areas. It's the MVP of the summer season.