Before electricity, people fanned themselves manually with hand fans. This was tiring and inefficient.
There is ongoing uncertainty about the effectiveness of electric fans during heatwaves. Research in the form of randomised trials is needed. These would help inform decisions made by individuals, public health professionals and for inclusion within local or national guidance and policies.
Power consumption varies by fan type. The most efficient fans are ceiling, box and tower fans. Smaller desktop / table and pedestal fans can be more expensive to run.
When AC electricity is supplied to electric fan it flows through the capacitor, the capacitor delivers high energy to stator windings resulting in magnetic field that energizes the rotor windings. The rotor windings convert the electrical energy into mechanical energy and drive the shaft bearing assembly. The shaft bearing assembly spins the blades attached to the housing and throws air out.
Check the fan’s power rating, usually in watts, on the label or user manual to find out how much electricity it consumes at full speed. Multiply the wattage by the number of hours you use it daily to determine the average monthly cost to operate your fan. Use our Shopping Tool to see if your electricity provider is costing you more than they should. We’ll match you with the best plan based on your home’s size, location and usage.
Electric fans can be mounted on the wall, in a window or as portable floor, table and battery operated hand-held models. They move air by using axial, centrifugal or cross flow.
When AC is supplied to the fan it passes through capacitor which delivers high energy to stator windings. Stator windings energizes and develop the rotating magnetic field which in turn rotates rotor. The rotary motion of the motor causes it to throw blades.
The thrown air creates cooling effect and also provides ventilation in spaces. This is essential for human health and well-being. However, the health impacts of a particular use of an electric fan during heatwaves are unknown and recommendations about their use need to be strengthened (Hajat 2010). Such advice needs to be based on the most recent evidence. Research in the form of randomised trials is urgently needed. This will help inform public health decisions and heatwave policy in countries around the world.
The best way to keep your electric fan working well is by regularly cleaning it. You can use a vacuum cleaner with a dusting attachment or a damp cloth to clean the blades and housing of the fan.
Always make sure the fan is turned off and not in operation before you begin cleaning it. Failing to do so might result in fire, burns or bodily injury. Never use gasoline, paint thinner or benzene to clean the fan.
If your fan has a removable filter, you can wash it in mild soapy water to remove impurities like spots caused by limescale and discolouration from food particles or aerosol beauty products that accumulate on the surface of the metal. Always dry every component completely before reassembling and plugging the fan back in. You should also check the manufacturer’s warranty before taking apart the fan – doing so might void the warranty. You can usually find replacement parts at your local hardware store.
In order to ensure proper fan operation and safety, never subject the fan to external forces that might interfere with normal fan functions. This might cause damage, fan failure or bodily injury. For example, do not pull or pinch the lead wires, as this might damage the surface of the wires and hinder normal fan function.
Furthermore, make sure that the fan is securely anchored to its installation device. In case of improper attachment, the fan might fall and be damaged or hurt someone. In addition, do not use a Fan at voltages, temperatures or any other parameters that exceed the specifications given in the Product Information Sheet, as this might result in substandard performance or fire, bodily injury or electrical shock.
Research is needed to resolve uncertainties about the benefits and harms of electric fans during heatwaves. This may help guide local health and public policy decisions. This is especially important for socially vulnerable populations.