In a country where air con is a luxury, fans often become our only way to cool down when stuck inside or trying to fall asleep. So when the heat becomes unbearable, it's time to dust off your fan, maybe retrieve it from the loft, and get the blades whirring around again.
But what happens if your fan fails to deliver and you still remain sweaty and sticky? You may have made a mistake setting it up. Getting a fan to run to its max efficiency involves more thinking than just plugging it in and letting it spin.
Even if you feel as if you’re cooling down well, you might be able to get more out of your fan by avoiding some common set-up mistakes. Here are the four main mistakes to avoid when setting up your fan.
4 mistakes to avoid when setting up a fan
These are the four main mistakes to avoid when setting up your fan:
1. Placing your fan on the sunny side of the room
In your home/flat, there are always rooms which are naturally cooler or naturally warmer than others. When you are choosing somewhere to place your fan, you should choose one of these cool rooms to station your fan. You should also make sure it is always in the most shady part of the room.
If you place the fan in a sunny area, then you risk pushing warm air throughout the room rather than circulating the cooler air. This goes for your home and office. If you don’t have many rooms in your house, then just try to find the shadiest area and place the fan there (as this is likely to be the coolest).
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2. Running the fan continuously
When it’s baking hot outside, wanting to have a constant breeze indoors is understandable. However, it’s recommended to switch the fan off often, especially making sure not to have it running at night time. Being exposed to a fan for hours on end can increase your risk of cold and allergy as it stirs up pollen and dust, directing it into your face (and respiratory system).
Constant fanning can also affect the skin and eyes by drying them out with constant airflow. There’s also the risk of waking up with a dry throat as the fan increases how quickly moisture evaporates in your throat (be careful, open-mouth sleepers).
3. Putting the fan by the window during the day
During the daytime, temperatures are typically higher outside than inside. To keep the heat out during this time, it's important to close windows and doors while darkening the rooms. When it comes to fans, they can’t actually change the air temperature, unlike air-con.
Unfortunately, some people still place their fans on the windowsill with the window open. This doesn’t cool the incoming air but instead brings warm air from outside into the room. To avoid this, wait until midday or later to turn on the fan after closing the windows.
4. Elevating the fan
Have you got your fan on top of a cupboard or propped it up on a desk or set of drawers? Bring it down. Warm air tends to accumulate near the ceiling, while cooler air is closer to the floor. For the best results, place the fan on the floor and angle it upward.
This helps circulate the air, creating a mix of temperatures and an overall cooler room. To make the fan become even cooler, try putting some ice in a bowl in front of the fan, this helps chill the air being pushed around.
Our top 4 electric fans
If you’re looking to buy a fan or yours has seen better days, we have four which can help you enjoy the hottest of days. If you want to see more fans and check out tips for keeping your house cool, check out our guide to the best fans to help you beat the heat. Here are our four favourite fans:
This stylish Scandi-style tower fan delivers cooling power with a price tag that won’t make you break a sweat. It has a unique and stylish design and is available in a variety of heights to suit every space. The fan comes equipped with three-speed settings, an 80-degree oscillating range, and a convenient two-hour timer to help keep you cool for longer.
This smart fan has an app that controls cooling settings from your phone, has voice control capabilities and is completely bladeless. It has three wind speeds, a powerful 50W motor, and an 80-degree oscillating range for quality cooling and air circulation. The free smartphone app allows you to control your device remotely, and the voice control feature is compatible with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant for truly convenient cooling.
This small, portable fan proves that size isn’t everything, with cooling power that can be felt up to seven meters away and a 90-degree oscillating head. The versatile fan can be used on various surfaces, from floors to desks, and promises to keep you cool without keeping you up due to its discreet, quiet design. This fan allows you to customise your comfort with three variable speed settings to suit every situation.
This pedestal fan comes equipped with a powerful 55W motor and a 16-inch rotating fan head. The fan is made with an adjustable height function allowing you to adjust your fan to fit your space. Its versatile design is accompanied by an easy-to-use LED display and remote control that allows you to adjust speed and timer settings across four different modes. The timer function also allows for up to 7.5 hours of continuous cooling.
If you want to read more expert-recommended round-ups and product guides, check out our Household page, where you’ll find more home recommendations, including the best mini dishwashers, the best handheld vacuums, and the best water flossers.
Finn Byrne is a Digital Writer for Immediate Media. He works across several brands including The Recommended, RadioTimes.com, MadeforMums and BBC Gardeners’ World. Finn has previously written for publications including MyLondon, The Mirror, The Express, and The Star. When not writing Finn enjoys spending time on the football pitch and getting stuck into a book.