Nothing compares to the joy of finding an air-conditioned space on a sweltering day. However, like most luxuries in life, air conditioning comes with a reasonably hefty price tag. The average American spends roughly $120 a month using a central air conditioning unit to cool their home during the summer months. Fortunately, comfort is attainable at a much lower cost. Using a window fan can cut the monthly expense of cooling a space down to as little as $10 since it requires significantly less energy than an air conditioner. Nonetheless, these energy savings depend entirely on how the unit is used.
How does a window fan work?
Indoor spaces tend to feel hotter than the outdoors without proper ventilation. A window fan has the potential to cool an average-sized space down by 10 to 20 degrees. The unit is designed to fit into an open window. A tight seal around the sheet metal mounting ensures efficiency and secure placement. The system works by using one fan to draw cooler air into space while a separate fan directs hot air outside. True, a standard box fan can serve the same purpose. However, two boxed fans are required to achieve the effect of one twin window fan unit. A box fan also lacks stability when placed in front of a breezy window.
The Best Ways To Use A Window Fan
1. Shoo Flies: The More Fans the Better
Most homeowners and apartment dwellers consider the entrance of flies and other insects to be the most annoying drawback of open-air cooling. Using multiple fans at once, however, can deter insects. It requires the proper proportion of intake fans to exhaust fans. For every fan taking in the air, there needs to be one exhausting air to the outdoors. In cases of an odd number of fans, the additional fan should serve as an intake fan to create enough pressure within the room to repel pests.
2. When it comes to efficiency, placement matters
Many homeowners and apartment dwellers make the mistake of assuming that the largest window in their space will maximize the window fan’s performance by increasing the volume of airflow. Surprisingly, this is not always the ideal placement option. Wind direction plays a key role in improving window fan performance. Positioning the unit so that it can work with prevailing winds optimizes its cooling power and conserves energy. Additionally, it is best to place fans intended for intake in shady areas and fans designed for outflow in sunny areas.
3. Size also matters.
Larger fan blades move more air with less energy than smaller fan blades. Therefore, finding the largest fan that can fit within a window is the best way to ensure optimal performance. Homeowners should determine the dimensions of the window that will house the fan unit before making a purchase. Custom-sized or irregularly shaped windows may require additional mounting hardware. Gaps between the window fan unit and the window’s edges inhibit the fan’s ability to perform efficiently. Therefore, it is crucial to block such openings with plywood or purchase a model designed with seals in place.
4. Use the reverse stack effect as an advantage.
In cold climates, heated air has more buoyancy than cold air. It pulls cold air upward through gaps and cracks in the lower level of a structure. This is known as the stack effect. Conversely, reverse stack effect occurs during the hotter months of the year when outdoor hot air directs cooled indoor air in a downward flow. Those hoping to lower energy costs can use this to their advantage by using window fans at night. Lower level fans work to draw in the cooler nighttime air while upper-level fans direct hot air to the outdoors. In the morning, the house or apartment will be in its coldest state. Occupants can preserve this cool air by removing the fans and closing the windows.
5. Be aware of what’s around the fan.
High-quality Window fans cool indoor spaces by drawing in cooler air from the outdoors. Unfortunately, unsavory odors and unhealthy fumes can accompany cool air. Occupants can maintain a healthy and pleasant living space by avoiding trash cans, driveways, and parking lots when deciding where to position window fans intended for intake. Fans in office spaces will cause unsecured papers to travel. Therefore, it is best to install window fans away from desks.
6. Closely monitor temperature fluctuations.
Although highly effective in cutting down energy costs, window fans do not outperform air conditioning in eliminating humidity within an indoor space. Indoor temperatures and humidity can quickly rise or fall by 10 to 20 degrees when fans are used to draw in cool air and expel hot air. This can cause discomfort to occupants and wreak havoc on wooden objects, such as antique furniture or instruments. Thus, it is vital to watch for problems that may arise when using window fans as climate control. It may become necessary to use air conditioning for a period to prevent heat-related illnesses and property damage.
7. Keep safety in mind.
Window fans without adequate screens leave homes vulnerable to pests and criminals. Torn, missing, or structurally compromised screens need to replace promptly. Additionally, fan users must monitor weather conditions and remove window fans immediately during rainstorms. Failure to do so can result in water damage to the home, electrical problems, and fire. Use of window fans in heavily polluted areas can also present health hazards.
In summary, window fans serve as a budget-friendly and environmentally conscious method of regulating indoor temperatures when appropriately used. Multiple fans work in harmony to pull cooler air from the outdoors while exhausting hot air. Strategic placement of each fan enhances overall performance by using factors such as wind direction or climate-driven airflow patterns as an advantage. It also keeps the indoor space pleasant and healthy by minimizing the intake of outdoor odors and fumes. Choosing models with larger fan blades maximizes efficiency. However, it is essential to ensure that fans properly fit into windows to avoid allowing access to pests and criminals. If the use of a window fan results in discomfort or property damage, it is best to use an air conditioner until conditions improve. Nonetheless, thoughtful placement and careful use of window fans allow homeowners and apartment dwellers to beat the heat without breaking the bank.
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