How Fans Cool You Down

How does a fan cool you down if it doesn’t actually make the air cooler?

A fan actually makes the room warmer (but not enough to notice). Because the electric motor of the fan isn’t 100% efficient, it generates heat. The blades of the fan themselves even generate heat via friction as they rub against the air. Thankfully these effects are tiny and unnoticeable.

Fans make you cooler through two processes: conduction and convection.

When cool air is in contact with your body, the heat from your body is transferred to the air through a process known as conduction. The problem is that eventually the temperature of the air touching you begins to equalize with your body. It stops absorbing heat.

Fans work by what is essentially a wind chill effect. The air from the fan replaces this stale warm air with cooler air. As the old air is blown away it takes the heat with it and is replaced by newer cooler air that’s ready to absorb your heat. This process is known as convection (the same as the ovens, but in reverse).

It works the same way if you’re perspiring. The evaporation of sweat cools you, but eventually the humidity of the air touching your skin reaches 100% and evaporation stops. The fan replaces this humid air with fresh dry air, allowing the process to restart.


Do you wish your office was a little cooler? Small and quiet personal desktop fans can keep you cool when you don’t control the thermostat.


If you want a more stylish fan, vintage models are available.


Or you can get a fan that moves air 100 ft. Check it out.