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What Fan is Best for Cooling?

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What Fan is Best for Cooling?  

If you take a close look at the fan-based options for cooling, you'll see that there are several designs. Some use the basic form of simply spinning blades in a circle, while others add water to the equation. Even those that have the basic design are available in a few different formats. Which one is best for cooling?

The answer depends on the situation, as well as whether or not the area to be cooled has to remain dry. Here are a few of the top scenarios and which fans are best for them:

In an Area With Cool Air Temperatures

When the goal is to cool people, rather than the air itself, the ambient air temperature is important. If it is fairly cool, basic blade-spinning fans are good solutions. These blow the cool air at the people within range, and this cools the people down. It does so not only by sending more cool air their way, but by increasing the evaporation of sweat.

These effects combine to make the people feel cooler, so they're generally thought of as cooling fans even though they don't actually change the air temperature. They come in multiple formats, including the common grating-covered air circulator type as well as the more industrial-looking drum fan style. Notably, drum fans are also good for causing extra humidity and even wetness to quickly evaporate, making them favorites for flood remediation companies.

When the Air is Hot or When You Want to Cool a Room

Once air temperature rises above about 95 degrees, a standard fan cannot cool people down. In fact, if the air is hot enough, a standard fan will make people hotter instead of cooling them. Then, something must be added to the fan to bring about cooling. That something is typically water.

Evaporative coolers send warm air through a wet pad to cool it before it gets blown out into a room. This method uses evaporation to take the heat out of the air. Because of this, these coolers are good if you want to cool down space, rather than just the people within it. It also counters the problem of the air being too hot to work with a standard fan.

Because of the evaporation involved in these systems, the air in the room will end up being more humid. Usually this isn't a problem, but in certain situations, another solution may be needed.


If outdoor air is cool enough, big drum fans can be quite effective at cooling as long as the people to be cooled will remain in the path of the wind. However, if the day is too hot for that, a misting fan can be a great solution. Misting fans send out a fine mist of water as they blow, and everything within range is cooled by the tiny falling water droplets. Because this water is spread into the air, rather than confined to a pad, these fans can only be used where it doesn't matter if people, animals, and things get wet.

As you can see, the fan that is best for cooling depends on the situation. Be sure to choose carefully to get satisfactory results.

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