Do fans actually cool the air?

It’s just the end of May and the scorching heat has already become unbearable. Hasn’t it? So what do you choose to stay cool during such bad hot days? Do you still rely on fans or are happy with keeping the temperatures low with air conditioning?

If you are among the ones who utilize fans to keep themselves cool and also save on your electricity bills during summers, we have a question to be answered – Do fans actually cool the air?

Fan just cools you down and not the air

You may feel that fans keep your room air cool. But that’s not true. All that fans merely do is to make you feel cooler. Fans do not do anything to cool the air. They just move the hot air surrounding your skin, blowing away the heat around you. This helps your body’s natural cooling process to work more efficiently, thereby, cooling you down. Here are some of the attributes of ceiling fans, which allows you to understand the mechanism of it, as to how it cools your body.

Leaving the fan on in an empty room is total waste

So basically, a fan can help lower down your body temperature but, it will do nothing to cool the hot air inside any room.  If you are not in the room and are still leaving the fan on, thinking that it will ease the heat in the room by cooling the air, you’re wrong. If you are not in the room and have still left the fan on, you are just wasting energy resources and adding on to your monthly bills with some more electricity costs.

A fan near a window can help bring cooler air inside

It is true that a fan does not cool air. But there is an exception to this rule. If the temperature of air outside your house is cooler than the air inside, then you can utilize a fan to draw in some cool air from outside. This can be done by placing a fan near the window. This way the cooler air from outside will enter the room and the hot trapped air inside will escape through the window, leaving your room a bit cooler if not much.

You should not that in this case too, the fan is not making the air cool but it is just drawing in some already cooler air from the outside environment.

Fans cool you off using your sweat

There is a theory that says, a fan uses liquid water to cool off using evaporation. When liquid water evaporates and turns into water vapor, the process uses energy that comes from the remaining liquid water. The result is that the remaining liquid water gets cooler as evaporation cools water.

For us humans, this liquid water is – our sweat. Fans utilize your sweat to cool you off. When the air moves around your body sweat quickly, evaporation takes place, which gets your body cool off.

In fact, a fan can slightly warm the room

Rather than having cooling effect in your room, a fan can warm up the place slightly. This is because a fan uses energy to move the air around in your room, which generates some heat in the fan motor’s coils. Also the friction in the fan’s bearings and the fan blades hitting the room air can actually produce a small amount of heat due to friction.

Conclusion

Fans do not cool the air or cool any room. They just move the air around so rapidly that it makes you feel cooler as the warm layer of air near your skin gets replaced by somewhat cooler air due to evaporation of sweat on your skin. This makes you feel cooler.