FANS – No Air Conditioner? No Problem

July 20, 2021


If you don’t have the benefit of central air conditioning in your home, there are still several things you can do to keep your space comfortable during the heat of summer. Improving the air flow with the use of fans can make any space feel up to 4 degrees cooler by creating a wind-chill effect. Four degrees can make all the difference on how well you sleep on hot summer nights.

Ceiling fans: 

  • This is the most popular means for air circulation and can be installed in almost any room.
  • It comes in a vast range of styles, sizes and colors to suite any taste or decor.
  • Must be installed on a fan rated electrical brace box to provide additional support for weight and vibration. We have seen too many ceiling fans hanging from the electrical wires when we arrive for a fixture replacement service call.
  • Since this fan may run non-stop for weeks, if not months at a time, we recommend you buy the most expensive fan you can afford. A good quality fan is usually quieter, less likely to wobble, and has a stronger motor so the bearings will last longer. As with most things, you get what you pay for.

Bath Fans:

  • Obviously it removes humidity and unpleasant odors, but it is also an efficient means of removing summer heat.
  • Bath fans are sized in CFM’s (Cubic Feet Per Minute) which indicates the amount of air flow the fan provides. A bathroom that is used for showers or baths should have at least a 110 cfm size fan to adequately extract humidity and avoid mold and mildew problems.
  • This fan often comes with an integrated dehumidistat which will turn on automatically when the humidity level exceeds a programmed setting. This is a great hands-free feature and beneficial for both steamy showers sessions or hot humid summer days.
  • A bath fan count-down timer is helpful in regulating the length of time the fan will run avoiding the chance of leaving it on unnecessarily.

Kitchen Range Hood Fans:

  • This fan captures air-borne grease particles, and removes cooking odors, steam and heat. Most people don’t think to use this fan to extract heat to cool the kitchen space in summer.
  • Some range hood fans are not vented to the exterior because of structural limitations. These fans usually have a charcoal filter to capture grease particles and neutralize cooking odors. This type of fan won’t vent heat from the room but will still provide a small measure of air circulation.
  • A range hood fan / microwave combination unit is a great space saver but does require a dedicated circuit to be Code compliant.

Attic Fans:

  • This is an excellent asset that will add value to the home.
  • It does not create the wind-chill effect in the living space, but will make a significant difference in the temperature level, especially during the heat of summer.
  • It removes heat and/or condensation that can get trapped in the attic. A hot attic transfers heat to the lower floor. Condensation in the attic causes mold or ice build-up in winter so these fans are well worth the investment. Can be controlled with a manual switch, thermostat or timer.

Portable Fans:

  • Does not need to be professionally installed.
  • Plugs into a standard 15A receptacle.
  • Can be relocated to where air circulation is most needed.
  • Some are compact enough to sit on a windowsill, but then be stored away when not needed.

Additional Tips to Keep your Home cool on a hot day:

  • Close doors, windows and blinds before the heat of the day and don’t open them unnecessarily until the outside temperatures drop below inside temperatures.
  • During the cool part of the day or night, open windows strategically to promote optimum air flow through the home.
  • Install black-out blinds which significantly reduce heat transfer from south or west facing windows.
  • Place a large bowl of ice a few feet in front of a gently blowing portable fan to create a cooling breeze. Replace ice as needed. Always keep electrical cords and components clear of contact with water.
  • Avoid use of the oven and use an outdoor barbeque for cooking as much as possible.
  • Consider increasing your home’s insulation R-value. This will keep your living space cooler in summer as well as warmer in winter.
  • Incandescent lighting wastes about 90% of its energy in producing heat. Consider replacing these bulbs with LED technology instead.

Some experts claim that the cost of running a central air conditioning system throughout the summer exceeds the cost of heating the home in winter. Therefore, the use of fans makes sense for any household budget.


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