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Ever wonder just why you feel cooler when you stand in front of a fan, even though the air doesn't actually get cooler? The reason is something called "evaporate cooling." Basically, the moving air causes moisture on your skin to evaporate. As it does, the evaporation process cools your skin so you feel more comfortable. To take advantage of this effect, position room fans for maximum air circulation. If you're using a window fan, open another window across the room to provide good cross ventilation.
Paddle fans are another popular version of the room fan and can help keep your home cool. While attractive, these ceiling fans are costly to run and an inefficient way to cool your home. One advantage paddle fans do have over other types is a reversible motor. By controlling the direction of the blades, you can use the fan to "pull" colder air up in the summer and "push" warm air down in the winter. Fans installed at the peak of cathedral ceilings can be very effective in winter by helping to recirculate warm air that would otherwise be wasted.
Whole House Fans
Probably one of the most effective and efficient low-cost systems for cooling your house is the "whole house fan." Not to be confused with smaller attic fans, these large fans are mounted in the ceiling of the uppermost floor of your home. They work by drawing air from open windows in the house into the attic, where it is released through enlarged vents to the exterior. The airflow in the house can be controlled by the number and location of open windows, as well as the speed of the fan, which usually has several settings. Also, by using a time switch, you can set the whole house fan to run for an hour or so while you're falling asleep, then automatically switch off at night. The whole house fan then automatically switches off and won't run all night when the temperature drops.
Get tips for using your attic to keep the whole house cool