There are a number of different factors to consider when shopping for window fans. These factors will affect the functionality of the fan and ensure its ability to cool down your living space.
Size. The bigger the fan, the bigger its blades will likely be. All factors being equal, fans with larger blades will move a lot more air than fans with smaller blades. This could result in significantly more cooling power.
That being said, some modern fans do quite well even with smaller blades. Their more efficient blade designs enable them to push as much air as their large-bladed counterparts, and you might find them sufficient for your purposes.
Fan strength. You will need a good, strong fan that not only pushes a significant volume of air around, but that also draws warm air outside. Modern designs are pretty efficient, so you could hardly go wrong with a fairly recent model if fan strength is your primary concern. Do keep in mind that more powerful fans consume more electricity, so this could have a significant effect on your electric bill.
Dual blade vs single blade. Dual blade fans tend to be a lot more effective at cooling down a room. They can push more cool air in, and draw out more hot air as well. But a dual-blade fan may not always be necessary, depending on how hot or humid your environment is. You should therefore look into dual-blade designs that let you turn off one fan while keeping the other on.
Reverse control. A reverse control allows you to switch the function of the fan from air intake to exhaust without having to physically turn the fan around. This is actually a lot more convenient than you might think, and it enables you to get more use out of your window fan.
Screen. Having a screen is essential if you wish to use your window fan primarily as an air intake system. This will help keep bugs and various other insects from entering your room, which is important if you don’t have a window screen. Some fans also have humidifier screens that prevent too much humid air from entering the room.