Fans vs air conditioning units: which option should you go for?

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Fans vs air conditioning units: which option should you go for?

We’re having a mini-heatwave in the UK at the moment, meaning lots of us are digging out our cooling units from the back of the cupboard once again. In temperatures like these, there’s nothing worse than that feeling too hot and being unable to cool down. Even if you can make it through the heat of the day, it can still be difficult sleeping comfortably through the night without some kind of cooling system. Whether you have one of the best air conditioning units or one of the best fans, they can be a godsend. 

However, if you’re in the market for a new cooling appliance, then it can also be difficult knowing where to start. We’ve come up with this guide, taking you through the differences between the two so you can work out which device is best for you. 

Before we begin, have a look at our guides on how to clean your AC unit and how to clean your fan, so you’re nicely prepared before you make your purchase!

Fan vs AC: how do they work?

Fans and ACs work in very different ways when helping you to keep cool. Fans blow air over your skin, evaporating any moisture and carrying the hot air away from your body. Fans are particularly efficient because they specifically cool you down, not the room around you. 

Air conditioning units work similarly, but in a far more complex manner. In each AC unit, there’s a coil that’s continuously undergoing evaporation and condensation. Air is pulled into the air conditioner and cooled by the evaporation process, eventually pushing the cooler air out and filling up the room. 

Fans vs AC: how much do they cost? 

There’s also quite a clear difference when it comes to costs between fans and AC units, with an AC unit using significantly more energy than a fan. You could leave a fan running for a full 24 hours and it would still use less energy than 15 minutes of air conditioning. 

It’s therefore clear that fans should be the go-to cooling option if you’re trying to reduce your energy consumption. Oh that being said, have you read about the 3 vampire devices that are adding money to your energy bill? 

Fans vs AC: which works best during extreme heat? 

It should actually be known that fans are best avoided when temperatures start to heat up. When evaporating moisture from your skin, they are also increasing your level of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. The World Health Organisation has even said that when temperatures hit 30 degrees celsius and above, fans don’t help in protecting people from heat-related illnesses. 

On the other hand, AC units are much better at cooling larger areas, therefore perfect for when temperatures are high. AC units also help to remove moisture from the air, reducing humidity and letting your body dissipate heat more efficiently. If it’s above 30 degrees celsius, AC’s are your best bet for cooling.

Fans vs AC: which should you get? 

Determining whether a fan or AC suits your needs the most is entirely dependent on what your needs are. If you live in a cooler climate with low humidity, and you want to limit your energy expenditure, then a fan is the right appliance for you. 

If you live in a hot, humid climate and prefer your entire home being cooler than just yourself, then go for an AC unit. Yes, they cost a lot more than fans, but they’re best if you need something more effective. 

If you’re interested in other cooling products, have a look at this mattress that is supposed to be even better than an AC unit!