Things heating up?

Whether you don't like air conditioning or can't afford it -- you can still keep cool this summer

Most homes these days have air conditioning to help keep out the summer heat.

And even Mike Frentz admits that Frentz & Sons Hardware doesn’t sell as many fans as they used to. “The funny thing is that we tend to sell more fans in the winter,” he says. “Usually it’s because one room overheats and they want to circulate the warm air

But some people can’t afford AC or don’t want to seal up their homes and live in a self-contained environment. That’s where fans remain a popular option. While the breeze they blow across your skin can make you feel cooler (even though they don’t actually lower your body temperature), fans do more than just blow air on you. Properly positioned they can exhaust hot air out of a room while drawing in cool air from the outdoors through other open windows.

Most often, you’ll want to do this on the second floor of your home, where the heat rises and collects. If you’ve got two open windows in your bedroom, for example, you might use a fan in one window to blow the hot air out of the room. A nice by-product of this exhaust process is that by blowing the air out one window, the cooler air from outdoors is pulled in the other window. Remember, though, that this only works at night, when the outside air cools down, Mike says.

“You don’t want to do this during the day because then you’re just pulling in the hot air from out doors,” he says. “But at night, you can pull in the cooler night air and sometimes the temperature in the room will drop 5 to 10 degrees.”

Of course, there are many styles of fans for various uses and we’ll look at some of them here.Submit

Box fans
The most common fan is the 20” box fan. Frentz carries a box fan made by Lasko – a company that’s been making fans for years. This particular model costs less than two cents an hour to operate and features a funnel shaped ring around the fan grid that help focus the breeze where you want it.

Oscillating tabletop fans
These fans come in three blade sizes – 9”, 12” and 16” – and are Submitgood for desks and dressers.

Featuring three speeds, the head moves the air around the room as it oscillates back and forth.

“This is more for a room where you want the air to circulate because just the feeling of the air on your skin makes you feel cooler,” Mike says.

Pedestal oscillating fans
These are the same as the tabletop version, except they stand on the floor with a pedestal making them taller. “This type is nice because the adjustable height and head allows you to aim the breeze anywhere in the room.” Some people don’t like to feel a direct breeze blowing on them, but still want some air circulating in the room. Just point the head of the fan towards the ceiling and you’ll be just fine.

High Velocity Air Circulators
These are very large, all metal fans featuring heavy-duty metal grills, blades and base with a very high speed motor. “The disadvantage to these is that they’re really noisy,” Mike says. “They’re best for moving air around when you’re not worried about sound.

Window fans
Frentz carries a line of window fans made by Marvin, another well-known company in the industry. Just as it sounds, these are made to be installed in a window to either draw in air from the outdoors or exhaust air out of a room, as we discussed earlier. “They’re made to be installed in a window of just about any size,” Mike says. “What really nice about this model is that they have fins on the side the pull out to seal off the edges of the window and keep out the bugs.”