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Get the best performance from your electric fans

Get the best performance from your electric fans

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Most people think fans are pretty straightforward home appliances. You set them down, plug them in and sit in front of them. But getting the best performance and use out of your fans isn’t that simple. Savvy fan setups can keep you cooler than you ever expected – and save you some money on energy costs. Here’s how.

Remember your elementary school science
Long ago you were taught that heat rises. This is one of the reasons that the upper stories of houses or apartments tend to be so much stuffier and hotter than bottom floors. Use this knowledge to your advantage in your own home: Setting fans on the floor can be surprisingly effective compared to mounting them elsewhere, according to home improvement blog Apartment Therapy. This is one advantage that smaller electric fans have over ceiling units.

Grab bowl of ice
This trick comes from Apartment Therapy: If it seems like the only air your fan is pushing at you is hot, stuffy air, grab a bowl of ice and place it below the fan’s blades. As the ice evaporates, it will give off a chill, which you fan will then send your way.

Reverse the usual process
Most people tend to think of their fans as appliances that blow breezes at them. But fans are equally good at pulling air away. Window fans equipped for reversible air flow and box fans are extremely popular, as they can exhaust the hot air right out of a room, leaving a cool, fresh space behind. This is especially popular in kitchens, where warm air or odors can build up while you’re cooking.

Get the best performance from the best models
To put it in simple numerical terms, according to Top Ten Reviews, the average AC unit uses about 3.5 kilowatts in a single hour. Run a box fan for a full 24 hours and it will have only used about 2.4 kilowatts.

But if you want to get even more energy efficient with your fans, you can. If you’re looking into ceiling fans, make sure you seek out Energy Star certified models. And when you’re at home, remember to turn off the fan when you leave the room. Fans only work if you’re there to feel the breeze.


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