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Keep Your Home Cool With Window Fans
What is a window fan?
A window fan is a square or rectangular fan that fits within a window frame to help pull cool air from outside into the house versus other fans that blow hot air from inside.
Install a box window fan on a windowsill with the window open and secure it in place by lowering the top portion of the window panel on top of it to prevent it from falling.
Once set up, window fans can cool a large space, depending on the size of the window, the fan, and the number of blades. The flat sides blow a steady stream of air in a single direction, so it’s ideal to set up multiple window fans to effectively cool a large room or floor of the home.
Some window fans have twin fans that can switch between exhaust and cooling.
How do I cool my home with a window fan?
Ideally, place inward blowing window fans on the main level of your home where the air is likely to be coolest. Set up multiple window fans near the coolest side of the house (where there’s shade, usually facing north), and have them pull in cool air from outside. Make sure they aren’t set up near sources of bad smells, like a driveway or by the garbage.
Upstairs, set up outward blowing window exhaust fans near the sunniest side of the house so they can blow warm air outside.
You can remove window fans once you no longer need them. To enhance their effect, place a cold, wet towel over one to increase cooling when it’s particularly hot and humid.
What to look for in a window fan
The most important consideration with window fans is that they will properly fit your windows. They come in different sizes, and some can fit horizontally or vertically. Ensure that they are installed on windows that have screens to prevent insects and animals from getting inside your house.
Make sure there aren’t any gaps between the window frame and the edges of the fan, as this will impact cooling. A window fan should cover at least 2/3 of the horizontal width of the window frame.
Note that two or three small window fans are equal in cooling to one larger, more powerful fan, so consider setting multiple ones up in different windows throughout your home, or on the main level, to cool an entire room. They can be used even in homes with air conditioning, allowing you to limit AC usage, which is both environmentally-friendly and will help you cut down on your electric bill.
Look for a window fan that is ultra-quiet, though louder ones can mask outdoor noises. Some have additional features like an electronic thermostat and remote that can come in handy.