Anyone who has experienced a heat wave or truly hot weather will tell you in no uncertain terms that it’s crucial to have an air conditioner or electric fan at these times. In fact, many people combine both, but more and more people are deciding to use one over the other.
Fans of the electric fan will tell you that it saves on power costs, while fans of the AC system will happily report that it’s more effective. So, which one should you get for yourself?
Fan vs Air Conditioning
The Humble Electric Fan
The good news is that electric fans have come a long way in recent years and lots of people are even supplementing their main AC with several placed strategically around the home. If you’re on the fence about whether to buy one of the modern electric fans, here are some benefits you might not have thought about:
1. They Are Less Expensive to Run
There really is no getting around this one: electric fans are less expensive to run than air conditioning units. This is a big one for many people who are thinking of reducing their carbon footprint. In a world where we have to be mindful of just how much we depend on electricity, an electric fan is a tempting option during the summer months.
2. Not as Expensive to Buy
This one might be obvious, but it’s still pertinent: electric fans are less expensive to buy. Even the least expensive air conditioner units will set you back a three figure sum, but you can get a good electric fan for a lot less.
3. More Flexible Cooling Option
When your whole home is hot, you really need to cool it down as much as possible. Unless you have a powerful ducted unit, air conditioners generally only cool limited spaces. When you have an electric fan, you can move it easily from room to room. You can even have electric fans set up in different areas of the home for maximum air flow and cooling.
4. Maintenance Is Easier
The average air conditioner requires monthly maintenance, such as cleaning and washing filters. This is especially true for smaller desk fans. They will also require a service by a qualified technician every year. Maintaining an electric fan is very easy: you simply dust off the blades and vents. You also don’t need to call out a technician to service it.
Should You Buy a Fan Instead?
It would seem that electric fans have plenty of benefits, but it’s not all good news. Here are some of the disadvantages:
1. Not as Effective
This is the really big one and there’s no avoiding it: no matter how good the electric fan is, it will never cool a large area like an air conditioner can. Even small air conditioners are more effective at cooling. If you’re in an area where extreme heat is the norm during the summer, an electric fan may not always be a good choice.
2. The Air Flow Can Be Annoying
On a very hot day, you’ll probably have the fan set up right near you blowing at full speed. Some people find this blast of air difficult to deal with, and ultimately the fan is just blowing the air around rather than cooling it down like an air conditioner would do.
What About the Air Conditioner?
Electric fans are a good choice for many people; however, air conditioners offer plenty of benefits, including:
1. More Effective at Cooling
Once again, there’s no avoiding this one: air conditioners are simply much more effective at cooling larger areas of the home or office. This is especially true in humid weather where an electric fan will just be blowing around the hot air. Even if you have lots of fans set up and blowing at full speed, a single air conditioner will be more effective. For most people, this is the single biggest reason to invest in an air conditioner.
Is an Air Conditioner the Better Choice?
Of course, it’s not all good news. Air conditioners do have some drawbacks, including:
1. They Cost More to Operate
This is the big one for most people: air conditioners cost a lot more to run than electric or ceiling fans. Even if you had lots of electric fans running at the same time, a single air conditioner would still be more expensive to run. For anyone on a budget, this is a prime concern.
2. Installation Is Expensive
If you’re thinking about ducted air conditioning throughout the home, be prepared for an installation cost that runs into thousands of dollars. It’s not inexpensive and this is what puts so many people off.
3. Maintenance Is More of a Hassle
The fact is that you can just clean off and dust an electric fan and that’s all the servicing you’ll need. Even if it breaks down, you can just go out and buy another inexpensive one. Air conditioners need more annual maintenance that is also more expensive and more of a hassle.
Ultimately, both options offer pros and cons. What you buy will largely depend on your budget, the size of the area that needs to be cooled, and how hot it gets in the hotter months of the year.