Toggle Toggle

Blog

outdoor patio fan

How Effective Are Outdoor Patio Fans?

Do you have a patio that you don’t use enough because it just gets too hot for much of the year? If so, you’re probably considering solutions to cool it off. One potential solution you might use is an outdoor patio fan, but how effective are they?

Patio fans can be highly effective at moving air. However, they don’t cool air at all, so this limits their effectiveness for many patios.

Situations Where Patio Fans Are Effective

There are some situations where a patio fan can be effective at making your patio more usable. A patio fan is highly effective if you:

In these situations, a patio fan can be a good choice.

Cool Air Reservoirs for Patios

Sometimes, your patio might have access to a nice cool air reservoir. We’re not talking about sucking cool air out of an air-conditioned house: that reduces the effectiveness and efficiency of your house cooling. No, we’re talking about landscaping and layouts that create cool air reservoirs near your patio.

One good cool air reservoir is a cluster of shade trees. The shaded area under the trees is kept away from the sun, and the trees cool it with evaporative cooling. Potentially even more effective is a grape arbor or another vine arbor. Each leaf is a miniature evaporative cooler, and it can make the area under the arbor quite cool. Depending on the vine, though, it might not be pleasant to hang out there: fruit debris and insects can make it less attractive, so exporting the cool air to your well-furnished patio makes sense.

Another potential cool air reservoir is a shaded area behind the house. Or you can use a fan to draw cool air from around a fountain.

The only problem with these types of cool air reservoirs is that they deplete quickly and don’t replenish as fast as you might like.

Enjoying Your Patio When It’s Only a Little Hot

outdoor patio fan for barbeque Another time patio fans can work well is when you are trying to use your patio when it’s not too hot. Your patio can start to feel uncomfortable by the time the temperature reaches 80° F, but a fan can help alleviate the feeling. At this temperature, your body still has many cooling methods to release body heat. A fan helps with all of them.

However, by the time the temperature reaches 90° F, most of your body’s cooling mechanisms are not as effective, and a fan only helps with the one that still works: sweating.

For many people, this means that patio fans are helpful only when the temperature is less than 90° F.

Gonna Make You Sweat

By the time the ambient temperature reaches around 90° F, your body has only one really effective cooling mechanism: sweat. Sweat works by evaporative cooling. When sweat evaporates from your skin, it takes heat energy from your body and the air, cooling you off.

Fans make sweat more effective by moving air over your skin, so more of your sweat evaporates. If you don’t mind sweating, a patio fan can help your patio feel more comfortable. However, it’s important to note that sweating only releases ¼ as much heat as your body’s combined cooling rate at lower temperatures. Your patio will still feel hot, but if you don’t mind that, a patio fan can be effective.

Evaporative Coolers Are a More Effective Solution than Fans

If you don’t have a good cold air reservoir, don’t like to sweat, and want to use your patio when it’s sweltering, a patio fan is unlikely to be effective for you. Instead, consider a patio evaporative cooler. An evaporative cooler can drop the air temperature by as much as 30° F, putting out cool, clean air that makes your patio comfortable even on the hottest days. A mid-sized evaporative cooler can easily keep a 45-foot by 20-foot patio cool with energy usage that’s comparable to a fan. Hang out on a comfortable patio and pay less than $1 a day in cooling costs.

Portacool evaporative coolers are made in the USA and have been for more than 30 years. We are an industry leader, selling evaporative coolers in all 50 states and in more than 50 countries around the world. Plus, we offer best-in-class warranties and customer service. Buy a Portacool now and enjoy years of cooling.

To get an effective and efficient cooling solution for your patio, please visit an online or local retailer of Portacool evaporative coolers today.