Stay cool with the right fans

Become a fan of fans

If, for you, summer heat means sweaty misery, take heart: there are multiple ways to stay comfortable, and not all of them are pricey. Fans, for instance, provide one of the least expensive ways for you to keep your cool.

No longer just the oscillating units perched on a tabletop or roaring away in your window frame. fans now come in many sizes, speeds, and configurations, ranging from hand-held units costing only a few dollars to hurricane-force industrial models with prices running from hundreds to thousands.

Fans should not be considered a one-for-one substitute for air-conditioning. For one thing, they move a lot of air around, which can be a problem if you have papers loose on your desktop. Also, though they’re often quieter than they used to be, fans can still be noisy, and if they’re drawing air in from outside, they can bring in objectionable odors and allergens with it. Finally, if you have small children or pets around, you must keep an eagle eye on them to be sure they stay safe.

Ceiling fans

Odds are, you have one or two of these in your living space already. Long a staple of the sultry South, ceiling fans have made inroads wherever residents of the great indoors want to keep the air moving. Once you experience their benefits, you might want to think about putting one in every room. Pro tip: if you use ceiling fans in conjunction with central air, you can save by setting the thermostat a few degrees higher. You’ll stay just as cool.

Whole-house fans

These units work by pulling air into your home through open windows and doors and expelling it again through your attic’s vents. This sets a cooling breeze in motion throughout your house and purges the furnace-like heat in your attic. You’ll want to be sure the fan you settle on is right for your home’s size, and getting the unit installed will take a little work (you might want to hire an electrician to do it). But once your whole house fan is in, you can set its thermostat and forget it.

Ventilator fans

If your bathroom light includes a fan that comes on every time you flip the switch, you’ve already got some experience with ventilator fans. This fan helps move the moist, hot air you produce taking showers and baths outside. Some types of ventilator fans are meant for specific places, such as basements, crawlspaces, and kitchen hoods. The variety that will help you keep your living spaces temperate purges the air that gets trapped and superheated in your attic during the summer. A cooler attic means the ambient temperature in your living spaces falls as well.

In-line booster fans

This is another way you can amp up the performance of your HVAC. Booster fans come into their own after you’ve shut your system down, when the cool or hot air in your ductwork — which would otherwise remain trapped — continues to circulate, increasing your system’s efficiency and saving you money on your utility bill. These fans are quiet, comparatively inexpensive, and are especially good at making systems with complicated ductwork work better.

Using fans either singly or in combination in your home, you and your family members will likely spend a lot less time standing by an open freezer door or taking a cold bath to chill out.

The information included here was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, however Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company and its employees make no guarantee of results and assume no liability in connection with any training, materials, suggestions, or information provided. It is the user’s responsibility to confirm compliance with any applicable local, state, or federal regulations. Information obtained from or via Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company should not be used as the basis for legal advice or other advice, but should be confirmed with alternative sources.