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Do Fans Cool?

The topic of do fans cool is one that has been debated for decades. As with all debates there are two sides to it. When we say fans, we are referring to products like box fans, pedestal fans, pivoting fans, window fans and so forth. Let’s also get this out of the way from the start – we are a fan manufacturer so our opinion might be slightly bias. What we hope to do in this post is to give you the information to make your own determination.

Why People Say Fans Do Not Cool

This is a fairly simple answer. You will hear fans referred to as “air circulators” because that in essence is what they are doing – circulating the air. The types of fans we are talking about do not have any refrigerant or “cooling” devices attached to them, they simply move the air from one area to another. Because of this there is no temperature change in the air itself. This is more of a scientific answer to the question of do fans cool? So when they say that fans do not cool, technically they are correct. Before you stop, read on for the rebuttal.

Why People Say Fans Do Cool

Scientist make a strong argument that fans do not cool but there are two ways that we hope to show you that they do indeed cool. The first is in a room. In this scenario we can actually use scientific methods to show that fans do cool a room. Here is how they accomplish that.

  1. In any room heat will build up in certain areas – generally in the upper parts of the room as heat rises. Utilizing a fan to distribute the cool air and to disperse the hot air in the room can have an overall effect of cooling the room. This could be an actual temperature change that can be measured or could be a perceived temperature change (more of temperature perception later). Once again, the fan is not cooling the air, it is using the cooler air in one part of the room to cool the warm air in another.
  2. Another way that fans can be used to cool a room is by bringing cool air from one part of the home to another. A prime example of this is when fans are used in harmony with air conditioning. Most air conditioners including central air systems are going to have variations from room to room. Think about your home, is there one room that is always hotter than another? Just like in our first point, using a fan to move that cooler air from one room to another will give you a consistent temperature in your home. In theory this should actually lower your cooling cost. Generally if you have hot and cold rooms, you need to over cool some rooms in order to make the other “warmer rooms” livable. If you have a consistent temperature throughout the home, your AC unit(s) will run less.
  3. The last way a fan cools a room is utilizing cooler outdoor air. Window fans are a great example of this. During the daytime, the temperature of the home will rise and it will either be very hot inside, or you will need to run your AC unit. During the evening and nighttime hours however the temperature outside might drop below the temperature inside the house. The issue is just opening windows generally doesn’t bring the outside air in quickly enough to make a significant change. Using a window fan speeds the process along. As we have a theme going, the fan is not cooling the air, it is bringing the cooler outdoor air and exchanging the warmer indoor air.

Next we move to perceived cooling. Perceived cooling is simply making your body think it is cooler. A perfect example of this is if you stand outside on a hot, sunny day and there is no breeze. It probably doesn’t take long for your body to tell you it’s hot. Now stand out in those same conditions but now a nice breeze starts to blow and all of a sudden your body feels cooler. The temperature of the air hasn’t changed – it’s the same but for some reason your body feels cooler. Now there is a scientific reason for this in that the air is removing the warm moisture (sweat) build up on the skin which is how your body is cooling itself. We’re not going to get too far into that – a Google search can help you understand that process. The point is that our bodies perceive that it is cooler even though the temperature is not. Using a fan is the “breeze” that tricks our bodies into thinking it is cooler, making it more comfortable.

So where does this leave us in the debate of Do Fans Cool? We agree that if you want to get down to the technical level, fans do not cool. However we hope we have given you enough information to combat that argument with a yes, but….

To learn more about the air circulating fans that Air King offers including box fans, pedestal fans, window fans as well as industrial grade fans and more, utilize the menu links at the top of this page.

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