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Old 06.07.2019, 23:20
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How should one use an electric fan?

Sure, you plug it in and hit the button, as I've been doing for many years. Something else I've always done (if I'm on my own) is to point it straight at where I'm sitting, on the assumption that this offers maximum cooling power. I'm talking about both a normal desk fan, and also the bigger floor-standing type.

I now think I may have had it all wrong. I read that it's more effective to point it a cool wall, to produce cooler air rebounding off the surface. And/or to point it downwards. When I mentioned this to a friend yesterday, he said he'd never heard that, but that he had always believed it's best to let the fan swing round, rather than have it on the static setting -- even if on your own.

Have my instincts been wrong all these years? Perhaps this is a future PhD for someone, but just in case the scientific answer is already known, can anyone provide a definitive answer please? Or failing that, some good old anecdotal belief/preference? Thank you.
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Old 06.07.2019, 23:31
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Re: How should one use an electric fan?

I will often point it out the window hoping I will cause a draught.
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Old 06.07.2019, 23:56
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Re: How should one use an electric fan?

This is very interesting. I’ve noticed my dog rarely places herself directly in the way of the fan, though she isn’t exactly the smartest all the time so I wouldn’t take that as too much of a sign. Besides she probably just doesn’t like the dry air.

I’ve often wanted to tie strips of soaked and frozen fabric to the fan in the hopes it would better cool down the air. I have yet to actually put that into practice.
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Old 06.07.2019, 23:57
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Re: How should one use an electric fan?

From google
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Old 07.07.2019, 00:37
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Re: How should one use an electric fan?

A fan does not cool, it only distributes. Point it at a cold wall and the air in the room will just make the wall heat up quicker. Point it at an open window it will blow the air from your room out but this will be replaced with air from the outside, so no solution on summer days. They only give a feeling of cooler due to more airflow over your body so your sweat vaporises faster giving you the cooler sensation, this also is the cause that the moment you turn the fan off it feels so damn hot right away.

Put a bottle of water in the freezer and keep a frozen bottle right up front of the freezer and the fan will actually blow cooler air. (tho your freezer will transport the heat it first sucked out of the bottle into your kitchen...)

Only proper solution is an airco.

And have a good schedule with opening/closing windows/blinds.
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Old 07.07.2019, 01:07
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Re: How should one use an electric fan?

Quote:
....Put a bottle of water in the freezer and keep a frozen bottle right up front of the freezer and the fan will actually blow cooler air. (tho your freezer will transport the heat it first sucked out of the bottle into your kitchen...)
@Marton's Google link mentioned the same idea. I'll give it a go.

I'm presuming this means that a fan should be static rather than swinging round.
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Old 07.07.2019, 09:22
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Re: How should one use an electric fan?

I usually stand in front of it flapping my t-shirt till someone says, “Oi! Stop hogging the breeze!”
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Old 07.07.2019, 10:50
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Re: How should one use an electric fan?

In order to maximize the effect, I always plug it in and switch it on.
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Old 07.07.2019, 13:20
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Re: How should one use an electric fan?

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@Marton's Google link mentioned the same idea. I'll give it a go.

I'm presuming this means that a fan should be static rather than swinging round.
Depends how you set it up. We have a tall fan that sits on the floor. We place a chair in front of it with a frozen 1.5 L bottle of water (2 on really hot days). We let it oscillate sometimes, and leave it static sometimes. Depends on what we're doing.

With a proper window/blind schedule, it helps keep the room much cooler on the hottest days than without the ice bottle. Just be sure to put down towels to catch the drips, and try not to let the fan's electronics get wet.
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Old 07.07.2019, 14:09
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Re: How should one use an electric fan?

I keep mine under the kilt, works wonders.
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Old 07.07.2019, 14:40
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Re: How should one use an electric fan?

People turn off the fans when it's cooler in the evenings. That's when I turn them on full blast for a time with all windows, doors open. It gets rid of the stale air and the house will be cooler the next day.

I have even got up at 4/5 AM to open up all and turn on fans then. Works very well.

On really scorchio days, 3Wishes iced water bottle idea works great.
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Old 07.07.2019, 14:47
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Re: How should one use an electric fan?

Performance/ airflow is increased and strain on the motor lessened by removing the front ( and back, too-but it's usually not so easy) of the safety cage thing that encloses the fan blades. (Not for tower fans, obviously)

When you're still feeling hot, take a fine mister spray bottle and spray cold water in front of the fan, so that the fine mist lands on you. Works wonders, evaporative cooling.
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Old 07.07.2019, 15:40
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Re: How should one use an electric fan?

The reason that having a fan blow air over you makes you feel cooler is that the moving air facilitates evaporation of the sweat. Evaporating sweat is how we cool down when it's hot. The air that the fan blows at you is at the same temperature whether the fan is on or off.
Hanging damp cloths in front of the fan will in principle cool the air down, again as the evaporation (this time of the water in the cloth) will cool the air.
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Old 07.07.2019, 16:40
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Re: How should one use an electric fan?

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The reason that having a fan blow air over you makes you feel cooler is that the moving air facilitates evaporation of the sweat. Evaporating sweat is how we cool down when it's hot. The air that the fan blows at you is at the same temperature whether the fan is on or off.
Hanging damp cloths in front of the fan will in principle cool the air down, again as the evaporation (this time of the water in the cloth) will cool the air.

For the same reason, showering with your clothes on then sit in front of the fan should be best. You will experience the wet-bulb temperature effect.
However, please plug in the fan before you shower..
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Old 07.07.2019, 16:40
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Re: How should one use an electric fan?

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Sure, you plug it in and hit the button, as I've been doing for many years. Something else I've always done (if I'm on my own) is to point it straight at where I'm sitting, on the assumption that this offers maximum cooling power. I'm talking about both a normal desk fan, and also the bigger floor-standing type.

I now think I may have had it all wrong. I read that it's more effective to point it a cool wall, to produce cooler air rebounding off the surface. And/or to point it downwards. When I mentioned this to a friend yesterday, he said he'd never heard that, but that he had always believed it's best to let the fan swing round, rather than have it on the static setting -- even if on your own.

Have my instincts been wrong all these years? Perhaps this is a future PhD for someone, but just in case the scientific answer is already known, can anyone provide a definitive answer please? Or failing that, some good old anecdotal belief/preference? Thank you.
Shame on you. Such a blatant waste of world resources
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Old 07.07.2019, 16:45
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Re: How should one use an electric fan?

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Hanging damp cloths in front of the fan will in principle cool the air down, again as the evaporation (this time of the water in the cloth) will cool the air.
Euh not really. One can't make heat disappear, one can only absorb it in a closed environment. So where does the heat in your example go?

Besides that you would make the air in the house more moistures, so it would even feel warmer when not in the airflow of the fan.

There are only two effective methods to cool a room.

1. Bring cold in.
2. Move heat out.
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Old 07.07.2019, 16:45
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Re: How should one use an electric fan?

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Shame on you. Such a blatant waste of world resources
ah, nothing changed I notice.
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Old 07.07.2019, 17:04
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Re: How should one use an electric fan?

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Euh not really. One can't make heat disappear, one can only absorb it in a closed environment. So where does the heat in your example go?

Besides that you would make the air in the house more moistures, so it would even feel warmer when not in the airflow of the fan.

There are only two effective methods to cool a room.

1. Bring cold in.
2. Move heat out.
Yes really. Each gram of water absorbs 600 cal during the phase change to vapor.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evaporative_cooler
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Old 07.07.2019, 20:49
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Re: How should one use an electric fan?

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In order to maximize the effect, I always plug it in and switch it on.
Fair enough, but I think I covered that one off with my first line.

More support for the frozen block in front of the fan, I see. Sounds definitely worth trying. Thanks.
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Old 07.07.2019, 20:58
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Re: How should one use an electric fan?

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Yes really. Each gram of water absorbs 600 cal during the phase change to vapor.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evaporative_cooler
Yes, and how does that bring the heat out of the house? You need an airflow for that which bring that warmer air out of the house, and thus it will be replaced with air from outside the house, but on the warm summer days I do not want air from outside to be sucked into the house. Would make no sense.
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