What is better, a fan or an air conditioner?

It won’t be long before summer officially arrives, bringing with it the kind of temperatures that are generally found on the surface of the sun and again we wonder what would be better to use, a fan or an air conditioner?

If you want to avoid melting in a puddle of sweaty substance this year, you will want to be prepared and find a solution to refresh yourself in advance.

While some people choose to use a fan to keep spaces cool and well ventilated, others cannot live without an air conditioner.

Let’s see a little history

In the past

The fan has been a way of fighting heat for generations. One of the first models originated in India as early as 500 BC. C. and it was a ceiling fan.

For this to work, the servants, known as punkawallahs, had to pull a rope to make it move.

A more modern version was already developed in the United States at the end of the 19th century. This more modern version featured thinner propellers and a protective brass grille.

Wind-up fan
Wind-up fan

The precursor to air conditioning as we know it was developed in the early 1900s by Willis Carrier in New York.

He devised a device to cool the air through what is known as «control of dew point ».

The dew point is the value of the temperature at which the water vapor contained in the air begins to condense. This is marked by the curve of the maximum water vapor that the air can hold for each temperature.

Carrier worked with paper and was concerned that it would deform due to excess humidity and high temperatures, thus investigating how he could avoid it, he determined that what he came to call “the dew point” was the temperature at which the vapor level in the air it stays constantly.

In order to eliminate humidity from the air by cooling, based on the principle that it loses humidity by condensation when reaching the saturation level, the first air conditioning was designed.

Willis Carrier next to one of his air conditioning machines. Williscarrier.com
Willis Carrier next to one of his air conditioning machines. Williscarrier.com

This new invention changed the way we view cooling today.

Thanks to this today we can combine fans and air conditioners to achieve a more comfortable environment inside homes and buildings in general.

What the future holds

Work is currently underway to develop new versions of air conditioners and electric fans with higher performance and more energy efficiency.

Today we can already find many of the low consumption air conditioners.

Previously, gases were used to aid in cooling that belonged to the CFCs that affected the ozone layer so much and that in the agreement of 1987 in Montreal it was decided to suppress.

Currently it has been changed to R-410A refrigerants which It is listed as an ecological refrigerant that respects the ozone layer.

As for electric fans, these are made with low consumption motors achieving significant energy savings compared to their predecessors.

The new models of fans are capable of turning at higher revolutions at lower consumption, thus cooling the room more effectively.

bladeless fan operation
Bladeless fan operation

Due to the growing awareness that it is necessary to avoid releasing pollutants into the atmosphere due to climate change due to the greenhouse effect, we are seeking to make more and more energy efficient appliances.

If we reduce the demand for energy, the need to generate it also decreases, many times through polluting processes.

So, knowing that both are efficient, why other reasons can we decide to use one or the other?

Let’s compare them to see what advantages and disadvantages each one has


The use of air conditioning generally requires some type of installation, even if it is a portable one, we may need a nearby place where we can expel excess hot air from the room.

The air conditioners can quickly cool the environment and their installation is not too complicated, especially if it is a portable unit like the ones you can find on our website.

On the other hand, if what we are looking for is extreme simplicity, most electric fans will only require a plug.

We will find the maximum complexity to assemble it the first time in case it comes disassembled but it will always be simpler than with an air conditioning.

We will only have to find the place where we want to use it and turn it on, that fast and easy.

Sounds simple right? It usually is, but is it effective?

Ability to cool or just ventilate the room

Air conditioners are based on eliminating hot air to replace it with cold air.

Whether it is a fixed installation air conditioner or a portable one, we will be able to transform the air in our home.

There are those who are not very in favor of these because of the danger of catching a cold if we do not make good use of them and the need for maintenance and prefer the use of fans.

The use of a fan will not cool the air in the room, it will only move it to reduce congestion and with them we will be able to feel an improvement in the thermal sensation.

These are also easy to move anywhere in the room, so we can place it where we prefer it or it is most effective.

We can also decide to use the two systems together, helping one to move both the hot air that must be removed and the cold air that must be distributed more evenly around the room, especially in especially large spaces.

Fans can improve environmental comfort, but they will not prevent us from suffering from heat-related illnesses if it is high.

According to studies carried out, a fan will not protect us from a possible heat stroke if it exceeds 32 ° C and a relative humidity above 35%.

Extremely hot conditions are a potential danger to the health and well-being of children, the elderly, pets and anyone who suffers from a chronic disease.

In conditions like these, it is always better to use an air conditioner to lower the temperature and lower the humidity level.

Regarding size

As for the size of the fans can be very varied, from some small models that we can use on the desktop to cool off while we work on the computer, to standing or tower fans that will be able to cool a larger area. large as the whole room can be.

As for the air conditioners, we also have a wide variety of sizes, from portable ones to those that need a more or less easy installation to other larger ones to cool large areas.

On the other hand, although an air conditioner may require installation and is generally more bulky than a fan, it will be installed in areas where they do not interfere, occupying spaces that have not been used either.

Being located in higher areas they do not break with the decoration and a more clear room is maintained.

The fact of being located in a high area makes its performance much more effective, since we remember that hot air is usually in the upper part and cold in the lower part.

In this way, it is easy to extract the hot air that is at its height and by introducing cold air into the room from the top it makes it distributed throughout the room while looking for its space below.

Air conditioning operation
Air conditioning operation


Portable air conditioning
Portable air conditioning

The most useful thing about fans is that they can be easily carried from one place to another to put them where we need it most.

This mobility is much greater for smaller fan designs and can be placed on the desk, in the kitchen or on the living room table according to our needs.

In fact, the ease of being moved from one place to another would be practically applicable to most fans, whether they are small or large, such as those standing or column, only excluding the ceiling fans that are installed permanently. .

This ease of being able to be moved from one place to another is not exclusive only to the fans, since if we have a portable air conditioner it can also be moved from one room to another.

However, even though they are portable units, they may have some requirements to function effectively, such as access to a nearby window through which to extract both hot air and excess moisture.


energy efficiency level

If what we are looking for or need in our home is to cool the air, we are going to need an air conditioning.

A fan does not perform this function, since its only consists of moving the air from one place to another, achieving a decongestion of the environment through the breeze.

If you want to know more about how a fan manages to cool us down, read this article.

Many times the function of a fan is enough to make us feel more comfortable at home if the need to purchase an air conditioner.

In addition, on certain occasions or circumstances it is more advisable to use a fan, as in the case of cooling the bedroom at night while we sleep, especially in the case of babies.

If we want our baby to rest comfortably without suffering from the heat but at the same time we do not want it to get cold, it will always be preferable to use a fan, in this case preferably a ceiling fan.

And if what we are looking for is to cool the house, a fan will not suffice.

For this, it is necessary to remove the hot air from the room and bring in cooler air.

If we do not have or are not planning to buy an air conditioner, we can wait for the cooler hours of the day, such as at dusk, and open windows and with the help of a fan, let in fresh air from outside that will make the air from inside which is hotter.

As the outdoor conditions change again, we must make sure that everything is closed again to prevent hot air from entering the home.

If we don’t want to have to wait to be able to cool down our home and be able to do it at any time, it will be much easier to get an air conditioning.

In this case, you will have to make sure to keep the house with doors and windows tightly closed to keep the environment cool regardless of how hot it may be outside.

Energy consumption

Consumo energetico

In general, a fan will always consume less energy than an air conditioner whenever we are comparing a similar use of the capacities of each system.

Although the advantage of using an air conditioner is that when it reaches the desired temperature, as long as it is not excessively low, it will stop without consuming more, while a fan that does not have a timer will be running until let’s stop it manually, its accumulated consumption being higher than that of an air conditioner.

If we use the air conditioner responsibly, just placing the thermostat a few degrees below the current temperature, we will achieve that its total consumption will be relatively low, not exceeding in many cases that of a fan.

On the other hand, in most cases we are talking about energy efficient units designed so that if we make normal use, their installation will be profitable.

In addition, we have already commented that air conditioners work with ecological refrigerants that respect the environment and the ozone layer, so this would not be an excuse to discard their acquisition.

On the other hand, responsibly used fans also consume very little energy.

These are equipped with low consumption motors that are usually very efficient; However, if we take into account the amount of time that we are going to have it running to feel comfortable, since as soon as we stop it we immediately feel heat again, the accumulation of all that time running will equate the consumption of a power appliance. air conditioning.

A fan is quite affordable to buy, although we can find air conditioners that are too.

Noise level

Noise level

As for noise, it will depend on each model of fan and air conditioning and the use we make of each one of them, there being models of both that can become very silent as well as others that are louder.

This will depend on the power and size of each one of them so that it is more or less noisy.

Normally, air conditioners tend to be larger and more powerful than a fan, so their noise level will be higher.

Although if we install a split element air by placing the ventilation unit outside, the noise level inside the house can be very low.

Although to a great extent most of the noise will depend on the use we make of the device and may be higher if we make a less responsible use using it at maximum power.

Even if we have a small fan installed improperly on a surface with the base poorly supported, it can make a lot of noise due to vibration.

If the noise level is something that matters to us, we should look at that data before selecting the unit to buy, whether it is a fan or an air conditioning.

Purchase price

Purchase price

In general, a fan will always be cheaper than an air conditioner and they are also easier to use although they will not be as effective in cooling your home.

If you are clear that you only need to be comfortable at home and do not require cooling, then a fan may be all you need to relieve the heat.

But if you want total control of the climate in your home and are willing to shell out the higher cost of an air conditioner then you should go for this option.

So what kind of gadget do you choose?

If the summers in your area tend to be suffocating and you want to avoid being able to suffer from heat stroke either because you or someone in your family, whether they are children, the elderly or people at risk for suffering from some ailment, you should choose purchase an air conditioner.

And you can always choose to use a fan as a complement to an air conditioner to facilitate fresh air reaching every corner of your home.

So you already have everything you should know about each of these devices to decide on one of them.

In our portal you can find a unit that meets your needs, no matter how existing they are.

Table fans

Table fans to cool you where you need it.

Industrial fans

Industrial fans for warehouses, gyms and large spaces that must be ventilated.

Bladeless ceiling fans to add a touch of style as well as cooling.

Bladeless ceiling fans to add a touch of style as well as cooling.

Standing fans

Standing fans if you want to be able to cool a larger area and in turn move it to other spaces.

Bladeless fans

Bladeless fans for designer ventilation.

Misting fans to create a cool breeze.

Misting fans to create a cool breeze.

Column fans

Column fans if you are looking for a point of sophistication.

Ceiling fan

A ceiling fan to always have it at hand.

Portable air conditioners to be like a penguin in summer.

Portable air conditioners to be like a penguin in summer.

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