The Fan Does Not Always Cool in Hot and Dry Weather

If you don’t have an air conditioner, your first desire when exposed to heat is probably to turn on the fan. But fans don’t always cool you down – it depends on whether you are in a dry or humid place.

Fans run in wet weather because you sweat, and humidity makes it difficult for your sweat to evaporate into the air. Get a cool breeze blowing across your skin – or even air of the same temperature just moving a little faster thanks to the fan – and that sweat will dry, cooling you in the process.

But if it is dry heat, the fan will not help, but may damage. After all, your sweat has already evaporated. A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that in dry heat, a ventilator can make you less comfortable and even potentially put you at increased risk of overheating . Usually, on a hot, dry day, a fan simply blows hot air around your body.

If you already live in a hot, dry place, this tip may not be groundbreaking. But for those of us accustomed to more humid climates, it is helpful to know that if we are traveling – or if we are blessed with a suddenly dry day – other cooling methods may be preferable to a fan.


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