The debate of fans versus air conditioners seems to have been decided long ago, but more consumers are using fans as they seek to lead a more green lifestyle and save big on energy costs as well.
In addition, fans have gotten more technologically advanced and can sometimes do more to cool a limited space than even an air conditioner.
So, we open the debate of fans versus air conditioners once again.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Fans
Let’s first look at the advantages of fans:
- Fans cost far less to operate than an air conditioner. They are also far less expensive to buy and maintain.
- Fans are far more transportable than air conditioners and can be used in multiple locations in the home, office or apartment. They are also easily stored after use.
- Fans are the right choice for those concerned about the environment. They do not produce harmful gases and they save electricity, leaving a much smaller carbon footprint.
- Fans are better for specific or temporary cooling tasks, such as sitting at your desk and wanting to feel refreshed or wanting to cool the living room down on an especially hot day.
- Fans are easy to assemble (if any assembly is needed!) and simple to set up and operate.
- Fans are much less hassle when it comes to maintenance, too. You only need to keep the blades clean, not replace filters, drain water and recharge refrigerant.
- Fans now look much sleeker than their earlier versions. Tower fans are beautiful to look at and fit nicely into the corner.
- Fans can also provide cooling through a misting action, which many tower fans include. This brings the cooling of the air to a level even beyond what an air conditioner can do.
- Fans also make far less noise than their predecessors. They can be much quieter than an air conditioner in some cases.
Now, for the disadvantages of a fan:
- No matter how powerful the pedestal or tower fan you have, it simply cannot cool a large area as effectively as an air conditioner can, even a window model. This is especially true if you have rooms that receive a lot of sunlight. If the temperature outside is high with elevated humidity, a fan will do little to cool even a small area in your home unless you sit right in front of it.
- If you are sitting near a typical table or pedestal fan, the blowing of air right onto you is not very pleasant.
- The blades of a fan can present a minor safety hazard, especially if you have small children in the house.
- If you do not clean the blades of a fan, they will simply blow dirt and dust all over the area where the fan operates.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Air Conditioners
Now, for the advantages of an air conditioner:
- If you need a large area cooled down, an air conditioner is the only choice. Even multiple fans cannot do as effective a job. This is especially true if temps run into the 90s and it is humid outside. At that point, a fan will only blow hot air around.
- Today’s homes are more difficult to cool than older homes because architects have not prioritized air flow and ventilation, due to the preponderance of air conditioning. See any awnings, porches and skylights in modern homes? Not many. Those same designers also loved windows and view, which create a sort of greenhouse effect in homes and offices. Today’s homes are also not as compact in many cases, have multiple levels, etc. To cool down the average home today, you would need multiple fans on every floor.
Finally, the disadvantages of an air conditioner:
- They cost up to 100 times more to operate than a ceiling fan, for instance (central air versus one fan). Even multiple fans are far less expensive than central air conditioning.
- Air conditioners require a much higher initial outlay as well, sometimes several thousand dollars to install central air.
- They produce harmful gases that combine with other gases to threaten the ozone layer.
- They can be difficult to install and require regular maintenance.