Have you ever had mixed emotions about summer? On the one hand, summer means indulging at the beach and putting on colorful summer clothes, or maybe just a couple of weeks of hot weather. On the other, summer can also mean being sticky and sweaty, and a hot stuffy room or office.
If you’re on a small budget, an electric fan seems like the go-to item. It might be one of the most common gadgets, but it’s not the best portable air cooler out there. In this article, you will find why that is the case and how you can substitute it with a more effective cooler.
Why Electric Fans Aren’t the Best Option
They work by circulating the air in their surroundings. But since they force this circulation, it seems like the air is cooler. It does bring some relief as long as the weather is slightly warmer than usual. If it’s hot, running a fan is like wind in the desert — deceptive and highly unlikely to give relief.
Here are more reasons why you should skip on fans:
- Electric fans are a hoax. They trick you into thinking they are doing something, but the nice breezy feel stops as soon as the fan does.
- They are drying. That’s useful when you need to dry your hands after washing, but otherwise can be a cause for discomfort, such as dehydrated skin and persistent thirst.
- Make Noise. Generally, they emit a safe level of sound, on the decibel scale. However, comfort is very individual and when you’re exposed to the constant murmur of the fan for a long time, it can become distracting or even irritating.
- Need constant cleaning. When your fan is idle, dust settles on the blades, so when you turn it back on, you’re likely to get a dust cloud right in your face. This can be a problem for people with respiratory diseases and allergies. Therefore, it is important to ensure you regularly use mild domestic cleaners or a vacuum.
- You might have to face durability issues. Most fans on the market today are made out of plastic. Since plastic wears out fast, therefore, plastic fans are liable to faster wear and tear hence not durable.
Portable Devices That Are a Better Alternative to Fans
So, fans aren’t ideal, though they are pretty cheap. What option do you have then, if installing an AC isn’t on the table for you either.
Option #1. Portable AC: Are They Worth the Money?
As with any conditioner, the key to it’s cooling properties is in refrigerant gas. It’s contained inside the unit and can significantly chill down the air that is sucked into the cooler. This air is then dispelled into your room gradually changing the temperature inside. Mind that these units can overprocess the air if the model you buy has only one hose connecting it to the outdoors.
Should You Give into the Hype?
They don’t need to be fixed in one location. Though not the lightest piece of machinery you might own, they have wheels. And they only need a window and a plug socket to function.
Can be helpful in muggy weather. If your indoor humidity is persistently over the 60% threshold, an air conditioner can help you balance this indicator. However, the roles reverse in dry heat — parching the air even further can have consequences.
Why Portable AC Isn’t Your Best Choice Either
Use a lot of energy. For instance, a portable AC will utilize 290 watts to cool a 350 square feet room. Evaporative coolers require 15 watts and more hourly. However, this varies with different models and types.
Need a refrigerant to cool the air. Since refrigerants don’t emit smelly gases, they might leak without you noticing. If there are any gas leakages, they can cause poisoning. Therefore, you need a skilled worker to service it hence avoid any leaks.
They are annoyingly loud. Generally, portable Ac emits a safe amount of sound usually ranging between 65dB to 70 dB. However, if you are exposed to its noise constantly, it can affect how you sleep and rest.
Filters require constant cleaning. This fiber or cellulose contraption is there to trap the dust and thus needs to be cleaned often and while you’re at it, make sure every part is dry before putting it back together. However, constant cleaning means they wear out and need to be replaced.
Option #2. Evaporative Air Coolers: Is This Your Best Buy?
These produce cool air through evaporating moisture. They use an extra source of moisture so the running fan doesn’t cause dehydration. The fan is used to pull air from the surroundings. When hot air is pulled in, it is passed through wet pads that take water from a container inside or a continuous supply of water that comes through a pipe. Moisture then evaporates which causes a temperature drop. Therefore, the air that comes out is much cooler.
Living in a Dry Climate? Evaporative Coolers Are the Way to Go
- They can change the quality of air. An appliance like that maintains room humidity within normal ranges. The recommended room humidity varies from 30 to 50%. A swamp cooler is meant to help keep your room humidity within the normal range.
Therefore, It helps you avoid dry air which causes dehydration and its symptoms. They include dry pale skin, persistent thirst, and itchy eyes, among others. Aggravated dehydration can lead to respiratory diseases and heatstroke.
- They are risk-free. The best evaporative coolers are made from durable materials, and not some cheap smelly plastic. Moreover, they don’t require any hazardous gases to operate. Therefore, you’re not risking your health.
- They are all-round budget-friendly. Evaporators have simple makeup that doesn’t need much electricity to operate. In a swamp cooler vs. AC battle, a $100-200 paid once will save you hundreds and hundreds of dollars needed to buy, operate, and maintain an AC. And it’s actually effective, unlike a fan.
- Easy to clean. Since pads are easily accessible, anyone can clean them. Ensure you clean your filters using water and soap. In case of additional filters, they should also be washed well and replaced according to the manufacturer’s advice.
- Easy to carry. If you buy a personal air cooler, a lot of the items in this category come with a handle, and all of them are easy enough for a child to pick up.
Any Cons? They are known to add on the humidity in a room. Therefore, for people that stay in areas with humidity above 50%, they are not your best choice.
Electric fans do have some benefits, including portability and cheap prices. However, they have some disadvantages like they don’t effectively cool air. Therefore, this leaves you with an option to look for better alternatives that effectively produce cool air. Swamp coolers and portable ACs will cool your room to your satisfaction. Moreover, they are also portable and affordable.