Which Fan To Use When: Boost Your AC's Cooling Power With The Right Appliance

Air conditioning's cooling power really is unsurpassed. However, sometimes your AC could use a little boost, not only to help cool the room down but to make that cooling power more efficient. In those cases, using a fan is one of the top choices, but you have to be sure you're using the right fan for the job. Your air conditioner has a built-in fan, but that will work as well as the cooling unit itself; what you need is a fan external to the system to help that cool air along.

When You Need Cool Air Now

You've just gone inside after gardening, walking, or doing something else that has made you feel too hot. The air conditioner is on and the house is cool, but you're still sweating and wishing for the next ice age. What you want here is extra cold air, but sticking your head in the refrigerator and making the air conditioner even colder aren't the right steps.

In this case, get a small personal fan, a desk fan, or a box/stand fan and set it to not rotate. This is when you need to have that extra air blowing right at you to help stop the sweat and help you cool off. Sit by that fan for a few minutes until you've cooled down.

When the Room Is Cooling Unevenly

Even the best-laid air conditioning plans can have their stubborn room corners. It can be due to odd room layout or furniture placement. In these cases, you're getting nice, cold air in the main section of the room, but if you move into a corner to get something or sit down, you end up in a warm pocket.

Two different fans can help you here. One is a portable room-circulating fan. This is not a rotating stand fan; those are better than nothing but send uneven blasts of cooler air around the space. A room-circulating fan looks like a regular desk fan but is configured to spread air around the room. If you were to stand in front of one, you'd feel some cool air but not the straight blast like you'd get from a plain desk fan. That's because the air is being sent out more to the sides where it can reach a larger part of the room. Place this fan with its back to the air conditioner; it will suck in the cool air and spread it out.

The other option is a room ceiling fan. This, though, needs to be installed. If you have one now, ensure it's turning in the right direction -- counter-clockwise for most fans -- to send cool air down toward the rest of the room. Rotating clockwise is the setting you want in winter when you want cool air to be lifted away from people in the room.

When You Just Turned on the AC

If you just got home and didn't have the AC on, or it was on a higher setting to save energy, the house is likely very stuffy. If you have a whole-house fan separate from the air conditioning, turn that on for a few minutes. That will send warm air outside the house.

If you don't have one, grab that desk fan and place it in the window facing out. When you turn it on, it will suck in warm air in the house and send it outside. Do that for a few minutes, and then close the window and let the air conditioning take over.

You can also get dual window fans that have one fan that blows air in while another blows air out for more exchange. Again, though, use only for a few minutes.

Contact an air conditioning repair or installation company, like Pristine Air Conditioning Corp, to have your air conditioner inspected if fans still don't help you cool down.