7 ‘Cool’ Tips for Keeping Rooms Cool With Fans

Matt Marandola
Written by Matt Marandola
Updated January 17, 2022
Modern living room with a fan
Photo: JRstock / Adobe Stock

Cooling a room with fans goes beyond just flipping a switch

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Fans are great for circulating air, but there’s more to the game than simply turning on the fan and expecting to feel cooler than before. Despite making you feel cool, fans don’t actually cool the room. Instead, they focus on circulating air, which can help you feel cool but doesn’t necessarily make the room colder.

Here are seven great tips for keeping your room cool with fans.

Ceiling Fans

A bedroom with large windows and a fan
Photo: Bmak / Adobe Stock

Ceiling fans reside exactly where you’d think: on your ceiling. They either push cool air down or help draw warm air up, depending on the direction that you set the fan to. The larger the blades, the more surface area your ceiling fan will circulate air through.

1. Set the Ceiling Fan to Spin Counterclockwise

One of the best tips for cooling a room without AC is to make sure you have the ceiling fan set to spin counterclockwise. By spinning counterclockwise, the fans push down cool air into the rest of the room. Remember to switch it back during the winter months to spin clockwise, so it can pull the cool air up instead.

2. Clean the Ceiling Fan

Since ceiling fans are designed to pull up the air, it’s inevitable that they will collect dust. Over time, too much dust can hinder airflow. Making the fans less efficient. One of the best times to clean ceiling fans is when you’re making the switch from the warm seasons to the colder seasons.

3. Consider Updating Your Ceiling Fan

There are plenty of different types of ceiling fans out there, with the newest models helping produce more airflow than older versions. You might benefit from switching out a standard ceiling fan for a dual ceiling fan instead.

Window Fans

Window fans sit in your window and blow in cool air from the outside.

1. Turn Them On When It’s Colder Outside

The downside to window fans is that they are only really helpful when it's cooler outside than inside. So the best time to use them is typically at night when the temperature outside is lower than the temperature inside the home.

2. Combine With Other Fans to Create Crosswinds

To maximize the window fans in your home, you might want to put them in two separate locations. One in the hottest room of the home and the other in the coolest part of the home.

Set up the fan that will blow air into the home in the cooler room. You then set up the other fan to push warm air out in the hotter room. This should create an artificial breeze that helps cool down a majority of the home.

Pro Tip: Keep the interior doors open during this time to maximize airflow. Any closed doors will only hinder the amount of air flowing through the room.

Tower Fans

Fans placed in front of the curtains in the room
Photo: bouybin / Adobe Stock

Tower fans are tall, skinny fans that plug are easy to move, and simply require an outlet to plug into. They oscillate from left to right to help circulate air.

1. Place a Bucket of Ice in Front of the Fan

While modern AC systems are nothing short of a miracle, there’s nothing wrong with going the old-school way of making the air cool. Simply fill a bucket of ice and place it about four to 6 inches from the fan itself. When the air circulated from the fan runs over the ice, it’ll cool down and actually help lower the temperature in the room.

For maximum cooling, pick the coolest corner in the room (if there is one).

2. Adjust the Oscillating Speed

Since the tower fan works by oscillation, you may need to adjust the speed at which it oscillates to start noticing a difference. Typically, tower fans have two settings, one to control the oscillation and one to control the fan speed itself. Sometimes a higher fan speed doesn’t make up for the fact that the fan takes almost a full minute to come back to you.

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