Exact temperature setting for fans to be ‘most efficient’ – gives a ‘cooling breeze’

BBC Weather: UK forecast continued heatwave conditions

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Whilst the hot weather is great news for those making the most of summer, the sweltering temperatures could spell spiralling electricity bills. Auto energy switching service Migrate estimates almost half the population use electric fans to help them stay cool during the hot, summer nights.

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Sarah Broomfield, energy expert at Uswitch.com, said: “Fans are a great way to keep cool when it’s hot, but if you’re worried about your energy bill there are a few tricks to keep your costs down.

“The average fan uses about 40W of power, which is similar to an old-style incandescent light bulb, and will cost you about nine pence a day if you use it for eight hours.”

Andy Kerr, founder at BOXT agreed but noted that a box fan will use “considerably more”.

He said: “Different types of fans consume different levels of power and deliver different levels of efficiency. 

“So if you’re using a standing fan, you can expect to pay 9.52p per night, however, if you have a box fan, you’ll be paying considerably more, at 16.35p every night.” 

Fans typically come with a variety of speed settings.

One of the easiest ways to reduce energy usage and spending is to put them on the lowest speed.

Sarah said: “Fans are at their most efficient on their lowest power setting, so pick the slowest speed that gives you a decent cooling breeze.”

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If you’re on the highest setting, the fan will be working harder and using more energy to keep your cool.

But it will still have an impact on your temperature when it’s operating at a lower speed, so don’t automatically just reach for the highest setting.

Set the fan to oscillate, so it moves from side to side too – as this will move more cool air around the room.

When the temperature rises, you might head to the loft or garage to dig out a fan you’ve not used in months.

But you must ensure that it’s clean and working efficiently before you turn it on.

If the fan has gathered a lot of dust, it can affect how well it works. Clean it by removing any dust on the blades or elsewhere.

The expert said: “If you’ve just got your fan out of the garage or attic it may have accumulated a lot of dust, which can reduce the efficiency of the mechanism. 

“Give your fan a good clean, removing any dust from the blades and any other surfaces.”

It will also mean it’s not blowing dust around the room.

The placement and position of a fan could also make all of the difference.

Sarah said: “You could place your fan in front of an open window to improve its cooling effect, but if it’s an especially hot day, this may mean blowing warm air through the house. 

“A better trick is to place a bowl of ice cubes in front of the fan, which will give you a lovely cool breeze.”

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