You’ve just come in from outside, and the heat and humidity makes you sweaty and uncomfortable. Most likely, the first things you do are sit or lay on the couch with a cool beverage. You turn on your fan, but you notice that it doesn’t give you the right amount of cooling effect to be worth having on. If this is the case, you may wonder how to make a fan blow cold air, and you’re not alone. We had this problem too, so we started looking at tips and solutions to help improve your fan’s performance. Fans won’t necessarily make the room colder like an air conditioner does, but they do give you cool ventilation if you sit in front of them.
No matter if you’ve already invested in an air conditioner, you don’t need to suffer from the extreme temperatures during the summer months. Fans may be no match for an air conditioner, but there are ways you can learn how to make a fan blow cold air to keep you comfortable, and we’ll outline them below.
There are many types of fans available, and there are also several ways on how to make a fan blow cold air you can try. Doing so will help keep you cool without driving up your electricity bill.
1. Check Your Ceiling Fan’s Direction
The direction you have your ceiling fan circulating will determine if your fan is trying to cool down the room or if it’s blowing hot air. If you want to learn how to make a fan blow cold air, you want to have the blades spinning counterclockwise when it’s hot out. By doing so, this helps push cold air downwards instead of hot air, and it can cool whoever happens to pass by it.
- HappyDIYHome Tip – Changing which direction your fan blades spin between seasons is a great time to clean the ceiling fan. The hottest days will feel better when the air is cool and free of dust.
2. Use Two Fans to Create a Crosswind
You can create a refreshing crosswind by pushing the hot air out of the home while pulling cooler air in at the same time, and you’ll get to take advantage of the crosswind at the same time. Close all of your drapes, windows, and blinds to block out the sunlight during the day when it’s at the hottest temperatures. When the sun sets, open your windows and grab two fans. Put one fan facing out of a window in the room you want to cool.
Once it’s in the window, put the second fan in a place where it’ll create a strong airflow to the first fan. You can do this by facing the second fan inward, either in front of a second window or in a space where it pushes air into the room you want to cool. This helps to remove the stale, hot air while pulling cool, fresh air in.
3. Use Your Home’s Design to Your Advantage
If you do a little experimentation, you can take advantage of the layout of your home to cool it down. For example, tall windows can be a huge advantage for removing the hot air from your home without using an air conditioner. Since hot air will rise, you can put fans as high off of the ground as possible and make them face an open window to help circulate the warm air outside.
A two-story home is very similar. Put your fans upstairs and position them toward the open windows to keep your home cooler. Another option is to add room-darkening fabric to the windows that don’t or can’t open, or to areas that get a lot of sun exposure to help lock the heat out.
4. Use Ice to Create a DIY Air Conditioner
To start and use this trick how to make a fan blow colder, you’ll put your clean floor fan on the ground as low as possible. Put a larger bucket of ice right in front of the fan, and it’s a good idea to use a shallow roasting fan. The fan will blow the air over the ice, and it’ll melt to create a very cool mist that evaporates the sweat from your skin. You can also freeze a water bottle or two and put it in front of the fan to help cooler air circulate. Putting a damp, cool cloth in front of or over your fan is another way to lower the temperature of the indoor air as it circulates.
Ice is very helpful for getting cooler condensed air droplets around the room, and it works well to cool a small space.
5. Angle Your Fans Correctly
While it may feel great to close your eyes and feel the cool breeze from the fan hitting you in the face, pointing the fan right at you or right at anyone else in the room to cool them off isn’t efficient. Instead of allowing your body to absorb the cool air as it hits you, you want to angle the fans so they’re pointing slightly upwards to create a breeze that lifts the breeze to help keep you cooler for longer periods. Pointing a fan toward the opposite wall will also help it bounce the cooler air back and keep it circulating to help you get and stay comfortable.
6. Take the Breeze Outside
The cooling power of your fan doesn’t quit once it goes outside of your home. Even if it’s extremely hot outside, a breezy, shady spot may be more refreshing than any option you have indoors. To boost the breeze outside, consider bringing your fan out with you. As a bonus, a good fan is a great deterrent for mosquitoes, flies, and other flying pests as you relax. Mosquitoes can’t land when there is a crosswind and they detest flying it in, so they’ll stay away.
7. Pair Your Dehumidifier with Your Fan
One of the biggest reasons why you’re trying to learn how to make a fan blow cold air and you get uncomfortably hot during the summer is because the humidity level has gone up. This prevents sweat from evaporating, so your body won’t be able to cool down by itself. A dehumidifier can help as it sucks the humidity from the air.
While this won’t make your house cooler by itself, a dehumidifier will turn wet heat into dry heat, and this boosts how effective your fan is, and you’ll be able to work out how to make a fan blow cold air better. You can get a powerful but quiet dehumidifier that has a hose that allows it to drain continuously into the sink. If you don’t get one, you’ll have to manually empty the bucket, roughly once a day during humid and hot weather to keep the dehumidifier working.
You also want to ensure that you run your dehumidifier a few hours before you want to go to bed or use the room as this gives it enough time to suck the moisture from the air. There are options that allow you to set a specific humidity level to aim for, and it’ll automatically switch on and off as needed. You want to aim for humidity levels to fall between 40% and 60% to keep it more comfortable in the house and boost how well your fan works.
8. Put Your Fan on the Lowest Speed Setting
When you’re learning how to make a fan blow cold air, you have to understand that fans are actually at their most efficient when you have them on the lowest speed setting. Turning up the power to medium or high will shift more air, but it also uses more electricity, and this generates more noise and heat. Try to keep your fan on the lowest setting it has that produces a draft.
9. Keep Your Fan Clean
When you talk about efficiency, any fan that you use regularly will pick up dust. This dust tends to stick around the intake ventes and on the leading edges of the fan blades. Over time, this dust buildup will make the blades less slippery, and your fan won’t be as effective. A lot of fans that have concealed blades, usually Dyson models, include a dust filter that you can clean. If you want to improve your fan performance, make sure to routinely check and clean it as the manufacturer recommends so you don’t restrict airflow.
If you have a standard fan, and you’re wondering how to make a fan blow cold air as efficiently as possible, you’ll want to clean it every month or so to get rid of the buildup and dust. Start by unplugging the fan, and use a duster to remove any dirt from around the exits and air intakes. If necessary, you can unscrew or unclip the blade cover and give the blades a wipe down. You may need to consult the manual to do so.
You can typically get away with using a damp cloth to wipe down the blades and intakes of the fan, but you should always allow the components to dry and reassemble them before you plug the fan back in. A clean fan will create a much stronger draft when it runs. But, where should you point it to learn how to make a fan blow cold air? Your options will differ based on oscillation. Generally speaking, you want to point a smaller fan at anyone who needs it, and only use the oscillation feature if it’s not possible to cover everyone without out. More powerful options can circulate the air around an entire living room. You may want to try bouncing the airflow off the ceiling, or aiming it at a wall to create a powerful, consistent air swirl.
If your fan gets dusty or has debris build up, it can make it operate less efficiently, and this slows down how effective it is to clean.
10. Open the Windows – Or Keep Them Closed
If you’re looking for ways how to make a fan blow cold air, you may assume that there isn’t a large natural breeze available. However, depending on your climate, you can use the breeze to your advantage. Don’t rush around and open up all of the windows, but, on extremely hot days, especially in the afternoon hours, your house may be a lot cooler than it is outside.
Keep your windows and curtains closed on the sunny side of the house, and only open your windows when you know it’s less humid and cooler outside. This is usually during the overnight hours or in the very early morning. Use the local weather station or a thermometer to compare the figures if possible. If you can’t, you can also simply go by feel to gauge whether or not to open the windows.
If it’s breezy out, opening your windows and having a fan pulling air in can start to cool down the house. Open windows on the opposite sides of the house, and put your fans to either suck air in from a shaded window or blow out a sunny one. You can end up with a nice crossbreeze that cools the space.
11. Salt and Ice
This is such a simple trick how to make a fan blow cold air that dozens of people use it. All you need is coarse salt, ice, and a metal bowl. Fill the bowl with salt and ice, and put it right in front of the fan. Aim the fan in the direction you want to cool down. As the ice melts due to the salt, the fan will quickly spread the water particles around the room, and this helps lower the temperature.
12. Fresh Laundry to Help Cool the Room
The great news about hotter summer temperatures is that you can stop using your dryer until it cools back down. Your clothing will dry fast enough inside of your home, and you can use your fan to help speed up the process. All you have to do is hang your clothing to dry and aim your fan at it to get cooler air flowing in the room. It’s even better if you plan on washing bigger or thicker items like blankets or towels.
13. Adjust Your Double-Sash Windows
Unfortunately, one thing you’ll find when you’re learning how to make a fan blow cold air is that the fan speed doesn’t always guarantee that you’ll get cooler air. In fact, the quality of the air that your fan blows depends on how the air moves in and out of your home due to pressure. Double-sash or double-hung windows are designed especially to direct airflow inside of a room.
To maximize the cooling effect, open the bottom sash to allow the cold air to pass through. Open the top sash to allow the warm air from inside of the house to go out. Generally speaking, this will help your fans perform better. If you want to keep both sashes open, you should put a screen on your windows to keep the insects out.
14. Use a Humidifier Alongside Your Fan
A humidifier will help to keep the air circulating in your room, and this creates better ventilation. It will also work to moisten and chill the air you breathe. A humidifier will add moisture to the air, and the fan then moves the air around the room to cool it. Unlike what many people believe, a fan won’t cancel out a humidifier’s role.
15. Build an Ice Fan Cooler
Putting ice in front of your moving fan can help decrease the air temperature. An ice fan cooler is one way how to make a fan blow cold air to keep the room cool on a hotter day. It’s best to use it in the immediate area you want to cool to get the best results, and it’ll work better in a smaller room.
- Position your fan a few feet to where you want to sit or lay, and closer is better.
- Fill a big bowl with ice or fill two liter bottles with water and freeze them.
- Put a towel on the floor in front of the fan.
- Put either the bowl of ice or frozen bottles on the towel. This towel works to absorb any condensation that builds up. You can also use a serving tray to catch the condensation or a shallow bowl.
- Turn your fan to the setting you desire.
16. Build an Ice Air Conditioner Fan
This fan is more widely used in commercial settings over residential ones. In a commercial application, you’ll have a chilled water system that circulates the water through a set of coils. This is also popular to use in some bigger residential applications, but a chilled water system is very pricey. You can apply the same principle to this quick DIY setup using a few common items, including:
- Remove the front grill on the fan using a screwdriver.
- Get tie wraps and strap copper tubing to the front grill area, making sure to cover the whole grill as much as you can. Leave roughly a foot on both ends of the tubing to make the connection using vinyl tubing. You don’t want to get it so tight that it restricts airflow.
- Reinstall the front grill on the fan.
- Slip your vinyl tubing over the ends of the copper tubing and secure it using hose clamps.
- Attach the other end of your vinyl tubing to a fountain pump.
- Tie-wrap both ends of your vinyl tubing and the power cord. You want to make sure you leave a few inches between the two ends of the tubing as one will be the supply and one will be the return. Whichever one is the return should fall higher than the pump height.
- Put your pump assembly in a cooler.
- Add ice to fill your cooler, and add water to roughly ⅓ full.
- Plug in the fan and the pump.
- Watch the water go through the vinyl tubing.
- Once both ends are full and the water starts to circulate, turn the fan on to your chosen setting. You may want to use something to catch the condensation as it drips to prevent a mess.
If you plan on building a fan to help cool down the room, you want to be very careful to avoid shocks from the electricity being by water.
Consider Various Types of Fans
There are several types of fans available that will work when you’re learning how to make a fan blow cold air. Fans are staple appliances in many homes, especially during relaxing or sleeping. Along with ceiling fans, you can get:
- Misting Fans – These are suitable for outdoor areas, and they release a misty air to help create a chilling breeze.
- Pedestal Fans – These adjustable, tall, oscillating fans are great to help you cool bedrooms or living rooms.
- Table Fans – Table fans are compact and small, and they’re great for smaller rooms. You can put them on desks, countertops, and other platforms.
- Wall Mount Fans – Using a wall mount fan is a great way to keep the room cool and prevent it from eating up your floor space. Along with working well in the living room, they also work in outdoor patios, garages, and home gyms.
- Window Fans – Window fans are great for helping to create cross ventilation in a room and get stuffy air out.
How to Make a Fan Blow Cold Air – FAQs
Learning how to make a fan blow cold air is a trial and error process that generates a lot of questions. So, we’ve rounded up some of the most popular ones below.
1. How much energy does the typical fan use?
On average, your fan will have a wattage rating of 39.3 watts. When you consider all of the types of fans you can use in a home, ceiling fans are supposed to have the lowest wattage. Standing or table fans are next, and you can compute the average wattage they use to run using the following formula: kWh = fan wattage x duration of use (in hours) /1,000.
2. Is it okay to run a fan at night?
Although fans can work to keep you comfortable as you sleep, using it overnight can be unhealthy, especially if you have asthma or allergies. A fan can improve the air circulation around a room, it also shifts dust and pollen. If you inhale it, this could make it hard to breathe. So, if you decide to use a fan at night, make sure the blades are clean and free from excessive dust or pollen.
3. Does a fan suck air from behind?
Fans tend to blow air directionally, and they suck in air from behind. So, they remove heat by cooling the air as it passes through.
4. How much air can a fan move?
You measure this in CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute), and it’s the volume of air that your fan will move when it’s on high. It’s a key metric to keep in mind when you’re comparing ceiling fans. The average fan will move 4,000 CFM, and the more powerful fans will move roughly 10,000 CFM.
5. How long can you continuously run a fan?
You can leave your fan running continuously for eight hours at a time without worrying about fires or unexpected ceiling damage. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to push your fan to the limits.
6. Should you leave fans running all the time?
Fans can have a huge impact on the air circulation and temperature in a room, but it depends on how many people are in the room. Leaving fans running when there is no one in the room is wasting electricity. Also, the motors in the fans will produce heat when it runs, so you should shut them off when you leave the room.
Now you have 16 options on how to make a fan blow cold air, and you can see which one works best for your needs. You can mix and match a few to see if it helps lower the temperatures in the room and keep your cool as the summer temperatures rise.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.