5 tips for making the most out of your fan that cooling pros swear by

Try these expert-approved tips for making the most out of your fan

Learning tips for making the most out of your fan is useful. Here is a black standing fan with ribbons blowing out of it, with a green plant to the left and windows to the right of it
(Image credit: Getty Images / JulieAlexK)

It's a good idea to find tips for making the most out of your fan if you want to max out its cooling power.

I've spoken to HVAC pros to find out their top ways to do this that apply across a range of fans, from portable ones to ceiling ones. Clever angles, cross-ventilation, and cold buckets of ice are going to be your best friends.

When it comes to cooling down a house without AC, making your fan work harder is one of the best ways to make your home fresh and fabulous.

Top tips for making the most out of your fan

Even if you've brought the best fans into your space, you still might be in need of ways to make the most out of them.

If you try these tips and think yours might be the issue, I've also rounded up top-rated fan buys from trusted retailers that might work better for you instead.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article. 

1. Position your fan effectively

A black standing fan with ribbons blowing out of it, with a green plant to the left and windows to the right of it

(Image credit: Getty Images / JulieAlexK)

This is the simplest tip for making the most out of your fan, as it doesn’t require much effort whatsoever.

“Position your portable or floor fans to maximize airflow in the living spaces where you spend the most time,” says Josh Mitchell, HVAC technician and owner of Air Conditioner Lab.

“For example, place a fan across from a window to pull in cooler outside air during the evening or direct it towards the center of the room to circulate air more effectively,” he says.

Be sure to find a lightweight fan, such as the Koonie Rechargeable Portable Fan from Amazon which has over 9,000 five-star reviews from shoppers who like its airflow, quality material, and performance.

2. Adjust your ceiling fan's direction

A white ceiling fan with white walls around it, colorful books on bookshelves, a fire place with flowers and wall art on top, and a tufted button orange seat with a throw pillow

(Image credit: Getty Images / Andreas von Einsiedel)

If you have a fan that’s on the ceiling as well as one that’s on the ground (lucky!), you can maximize how well this fan works for you.

“In terms of ceiling fans optimal blade direction is key,” says Al Fouz, HVAC expert and owner of Abaco Air Experts.

“In summer, set the blades to rotate counterclockwise to produce a cooling breeze,” he says.

Al adds that you can even utilize your ceiling fan during cooler months, switching your fan to move clockwise at a low speed to circulate warm air from the ceiling. This is a smart way to enhance your heating system's efficiency.

3. Elevate your fan

A white fan on top of a brown bookshelf with leafy plants next to it, and white wooden paneling on the walls

(Image credit: Getty Images / Kristina Strasunske)

This is another quick tip for making the most out of your fan, which simply requires you to clear some space on a tall table or bookshelf.

“Positioning your fan at a higher elevation can help circulate air over a larger area,” explains Josh.

“If you’re using a floor fan, consider placing it on a sturdy furniture piece to elevate it,” he adds.

Are you trying to cool down a room in a small space? Try using a little fan for this. The Honeywell Black Turbo Fan from Walmart would be perfect, as it can be wall-mounted, has three-speed settings, and can be felt from over 30 feet away.

4. Place ice in front of your fan

A blue bowl with water and white ice cubes on it, stood on top of a gray surface

(Image credit: Getty Images / Annick Vanderschelden Photography)

For a quick way to make your fan blow out cold air, it’s time to look inside your fridge for the solution.

“Placing a bowl of ice in front of your fan is an inexpensive hack that simulates an air conditioner, providing immediate relief during heatwaves,” Al explains.

I always make sure to have my reusable ice trays topped up in my fridge for this. The ones I use are the LessMo Ice Cube Trays from Amazon, which are flexible, easy to clean, and have no-spill lids.

5. Regularly clean your fan

A close-up of a gray metal fan with a hand cleaning it with a mint green wavy edged cloth

(Image credit: Getty Images / Muhammad Labib Adilah)

Picking up your best cleaning supplies and giving your fan a good clean is a great way to ensure no dirt prevents cool air from reaching you.

“I recommend cleaning your fan's blades and grill to ensure optimal performance,” says Josh. “Dust and debris can hinder airflow and reduce efficiency.”

You can just do this with an all-purpose cleaning spray and a microfiber cloth (the Mrs Meyer’s Cleaning Spray from Amazon comes with a cloth and is one of our top eco-friendly cleaning tools), wiping carefully between all the parts of your fan so not to break anything. 

Top-rated fan buys

By applying these expert-approved top tips for making the most out of your fan, you can keep your place as cool as possible during those warmer months.

If it’s not just you who’s dealing with the heat in your home, learning how to keep pets cool in the summer may also come in useful.

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.