A wet towel on the fan?

Fans are a cost-effective alternative to air conditioning in many ways. On some summer days, and of course on summer nights, it seems to be so hot that the fan alone barely promises to cool off. Then a "secret tip" is often brought into conversation - a wet towel on the fan.

Fan versus air conditioning - that speaks for the "fan"

Although air conditioning systems are becoming increasingly popular, the fan is and remains the cheaper alternative. The following aspects speak for the fan:

  • lower acquisition costs
  • extremely low electricity costs
  • easy to install without specialist service (exception for fixed electrical installations)
  • equally cost-effective in maintenance

The last point alone makes for significant cost differences. You can quickly and quickly clean a fan yourself and the climate control system must be commissioned by the air conditioning engineer (observe legal regulations!).

The functional principle of the fan uses sweat on the skin

Although the operating principle is quite comparable with an air conditioning system, it is only much less pronounced. The air conditioner generates cold air. The fan, however, only creates a partial "illusion", but still cools. Our skin is always moist. Especially when it's hot, we sweat even more massive. Sweating takes place exactly for the reason, which is why we also use fans. The moisture on the skin cools.

Effect like air conditioning - only weaker, but felt more intense

This principle can even be compared with an air conditioner. Take as an example a glass filled with ice-cold liquid. The warm ambient air, which now hits the cold glass, has a high humidity, as warm air can absorb more water than cold air. Now the air cools down so much on the cold glass that it has to give off moisture. This is now visible as condensation.

This condensation is also colder than the ambient air, which is why it can also absorb heat that it extracts from the ambient air just like the cool glass itself - it gets cooler. By the same principle, the cooling of the skin by the cooler wetness works. We therefore refer to it as an "illusion" in part because it is felt to be considerably more cooling than actual cooling.

Fans with wet air for more sensible cooling

There are indeed fans that use this principle and produce at least a feeling of stronger cooling. These fans are additionally equipped with spray water nozzles. The water is finely atomized with the air blown away from the fan. It hits the skin of the people in front of it, they perceive the cool water, as it deprives the ambient air heat as already described. The noticeable effect is suddenly very uncomfortable when the fan is turned off. Now it feels steamy warm, literally sultry.

The wet towel as a "simple" water spray fan

That's why experts argue about whether a wet towel on the fan really helps. Although there may be a short-term effect, but the humidity in the room is quite increased. If now the fan is turned off, it is abruptly perceived as humid. In addition, it is risky with the wet towel - and brings a certain amount of time with it.

Pro and wet towel against the fan

The towel must not be too wet. Rather wet, without dripping. Therefore, the noticeable moisture is released relatively quickly, which is why the towel must be moistened again at regular intervals. Another disadvantage is that the moisture is deposited on all objects in the environment. So even on sensitive devices such as TVs, computers, smartphones, etc.

Tips & TricksIf you still want to try it with a towel, you should not put it directly on the protective grid. Instead, you should hang it about a meter away from me. Theoretically, you can attach the towel behind the fan, for example, in the open window opening, from which the fan sucks in the air. But this also makes the fan itself humid. However, high-quality fans should be able to stand this. After all, ventilators in the tropics and subtropics with a humidity of up to 97 percent are among the common cooling aids.
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