It’s a familiar – and often sweaty – problem to some: The air conditioner is running, but the room still isn’t cool. Resist the urge to turn down the AC temps when it’s too hot. The AC not cooling the home fast enough may not be a result of the AC setting itself – it could be the result of ineffectual air flow. Blocked vents, misplaced furniture, and inadequate insulation can contribute to a room feeling humid and stuffy. Using a little bit of science and a strategically placed fan to your advantage can keep things breezy and cool without exhausting your AC and racking up an exorbitant energy bill.
Small spaces, big furniture? The placement of your furniture can block the flow of air moving from room to room. A quick refresher from science class: Heat rises, and cool air sinks. If the cool air moving from the vents is trapped or blocked by the placement of a sectional sofa, heavy textile curtains, or other large pieces of furniture, you’ll have a cool floor, but not much more. The AC not cooling isn’t the issue at all; your AC is doing its job, but it is hindered. Likewise, the heat in the room has risen, and in a smaller room with multiple walls and a shut door, the hot air is staying put instead of leaving. Your AC is excellent at releasing cool air into the room, but a fan is needed to help circulate that air around – and out of – the room.
Start by making sure that the space is open and vents are clear. No curtains should block ceiling vents or drape over floor vents. (Speaking of windows, make sure that curtains or blinds are closed at the time of the day when the sunlight hits the room – this contributes to the heat.) Make sure no furniture is covering floor vents. Once all airways are guaranteed to be clear, you can increase circulation by placing a fan on the floor pointed upward. This utilizes a little bit of science to push the cool air up, and circulate the hot air down. Place a tower fan or air circulator on the floor near the vent in a room that’s too warm. A tower fan like the Oscillating Tower Fan with Twin Grills offers a compact space-saving design for smaller rooms, while an air circulator like the Cyclone Power Air Circulator Fan vigorously moves air in a larger room.
With the AC not cooling the room, it can feel like you’re sitting in a sauna instead of a study, or the desert instead of a den. While it’s important to keep direct sunlight out of the room on hot summer days, keeping the fresh air out may contribute to the stifling feeling even with the full blast of the AC. “Not cooling” isn’t the right name for the problem then; it’s the air not circulating. A window fan like the 8″ Electrically Reversible Twin Window Fan or the Electrically Reversible Twin Window Fan with Remote Control fits snugly in the bottom half of the window and allows for fresh air to be pulled into the room. (The top half of the window can still be covered with curtains or blinds in direct sunlight to prevent overheating.) These electrical fans can pull in (intake) fresh air while simultaneously exhausting stale, heated air in the room. The Electrically Reversible Twin Window Fan with Remote Control comes with multiple speeds and a thermostat indicating how hot or cool the room is to help you control temperatures, while the lightweight 8″ Electrically Reversible Twin Window Fan can easily be moved to different rooms for maximum usage. A super slim adjustable Twin Window Fan can be positioned quickly and easily to exhaust stuffy air, or placed in a window near a vent to push fresh air to mingle with the cool air from the AC, creating a chilling wind effect in the space.
The connected hallways of the home aren’t just for carrying people from room to room. These key areas of the home are made for flowing ventilation. Houses used to be built with this in mind; older homes may have long “shotgun” style hallways that stretch the length of the house to carry fresh air to all the rooms. Since air vent placement is concentrated on the habitable rooms rather than transitional spaces, there may not be many vents in hallways, creating another hot air/cool air trap. This contributes to the AC not cooling the space. Those who live in homes with low ceilings and poor ventilation can experience that “AC not cooling” feeling in the hallways because of the trapped air. All homes can benefit from a fan placed in the hall. A pedestal fan like the 20″ Oscillating Remote Control Pedestal Fan or the 34″ Compact Power Pedestal Fan with Remote Control can be angled to move air away from a vent in the hall and into other rooms. Point the fan in the direction where you want the air to flow or angle the tilting head up toward the ceiling to move hot air down and out to cycle through to other areas of the home. Leave the doors open in the hall as well, so each room can feel the air flow. These tips can help balance out the AC not cooling, and keep interior temperatures comfortable all season long.