High temps are breaking records left and right this summer. And if you don’t have central AC, your house is probably feeling like a sauna these days. Enter your savior: the classic fan. This basic, inexpensive appliance can be the difference between misery and comfort, so don’t just set it down anywhere – maximize its potential! By using a few strategic tricks, your home will drop a few degrees in no time. Don’t thank us, thank your fan.
Create a Crosswind
Creating a crosswind is a refreshing one-two punch: you’ll get hot air out while also pulling cooler air in. The first step is to close up your house during the day – close windows, drapes, blinds, everything. You don’t want any sun-warmed heat getting in. Note: This will make your home darker, so if you’re partial to a lot of natural light, you may want to choose being warm over a dark room.
When the sun sets, swing open your windows and grab two standard fans. Place one fan facing out of a window in the room you want the coolest. Then, use a second fan to create a strong flow of air towards that fan. Do this by setting up fan #2 so it’s facing inwards, and is either in front of a second window or pushing air into the room you’re trying to cool. This setup will remove stale, hot air out and bring in fresh, cool air.
Use Tall Windows
This trick is all about getting hot air out. If you have tall windows (lucky you!) place your fan as high up as possible, facing out of the window. A shelf, ladder or stool can help with this. Remember, hot air rises, so the goal is to push as much hot air out of the house as possible.
Switch Directions (of Your Ceiling Fan)
If you have a ceiling fan, switch the fan direction so that it moves clockwise instead of counterclockwise. That way, instead of blowing warm air around the room, it will circulate heat up and away. Be safe and make sure you turn the fan off before adjusting. Ceiling fan a little dirty? Read: Clean Your Ceiling Fans.
Make a DIY AC Unit
Don’t have an air conditioner? Make one! This quick project will have you reaching for a sweater in no time. Place a standard fan on the ground (or as low as possible). Put a large bucket of ice directly in front of the fan. The fan will blow air over the ice, cooling it in the process. It may not be pretty, but it’ll keep you cool. If a big bucket of ice sounds like a lot of work, a wet washcloth will do roughly the same time – just place it over the front of the fan. Tip: Keep one window open so hot air can escape.
Okay, so maybe mosquitoes don’t make a room hotter, but they certainly make a sticky, sweaty day worse. To stop mosquitoes from bothering you, hang out directly in front of a fan. If you have a patio, bring the fan with you! Mosquitoes can’t land in a crosswind and hate flying against it, so they’ll avoid breezy areas.