How To Use a Desk Fan to Stay Cool at Work
| Reuben Howe
With there not strictly being any legal minimums or maximums for the average workplace in the UK when it comes to working temperature, it’s vital to be prepared for working through parts of a heatwave. Reusable ice cubes can give you reliable, daily cooling throughout the day but a more passive method is also available, and could benefit the whole office!
USB Desk Fans are small, light and easily set up via the simple USB cable. Plug in to a PC or laptop, or other powered USB socket and immediately access directional air flow. This article will dispel some myths about desk fans and teach our lovely readers how to properly set up your USB fan to cool you and the whole room down! There’s more to it than spinning the blades, you need to position it correctly and at the right time!
What is a USB Desk Fan?
Our USB Fan showcase explains how we managed to make such a small unit so powerful, with quad-blade technology that constantly keeps the air moving so you’re saving energy and money while keeping cool.
The main thing to know for this article, to really make the best use of your fan and stay cool at work, is that fans do not generate cold. Fans simply move air around! This is a key fact of how a desk fan works, and doesn’t make them useless at all, but it does mean you need to use them correctly to benefit from the fan’s cooling effect.
How To Position a Desk Fan to Keep Cool
If all you do is turn on the fan and point it somewhere then you’ll move air around the room without it achieving anything. Instead, you need to consider what type of cooling effect is best in your current situation.
1. Point the Fan at You
The most intuitive option, and the one we all probably think of as the intended use, is to turn the fan on and point it at your face or body from the desk. This method certainly has some merit, but is not the most effective way to keep cool over long periods in an office.
This method provides an instant blast of air which we can feel our skin and perspiration react to. It is that air flow, causing contrast between the air around us and our skin / sweat, that makes us feel cooler. Rather than the air around us being actively made colder, the feeling of being cold is instead prompted in us.
Because of this, a fan pointed at you will only affect you, and only for as long as you sit directly in the breeze. The room will not really be cooling down overall, and as soon as you stand up that difference in perceived temperature will hit you straight away.
For these reasons, we recommend another method.
2. Position the Fan in a Window
Here we start to get the pro desk fan strategies! By popping your desk fan up on a windowsill or hanging it behind your monitor pointing to the window you can lower the temperature of the office as a whole. Of course, you won’t have the breeze directly on your face making you feel actively colder, but the ambient temperature will lower to a more comfortable level for everyone!
For this strategy to work you need the window to be open, and the door or window in a colder area of the office / outside to also be open. The fan will draw air from the room and eject it, while air naturally flows in from the other entrance that is cooler. This current is maintained and a draft of cooler air will slowly develop into a lower overall ambient temperature.
This takes advantage of the powerful air flow the fan creates, as well as it’s directionality in the window. If you can’t position your desk fan directly at the people who need it, this is the best option for everyone.
3. Create a Cold Area and Rotate the Fan
So far, we haven’t touched on rotatable fans. This is mainly because, as we have seen, fans need to be directly and constantly on a person for the cooling effect to work. Or, they need to be constantly flowing to a window. In both of these cases, rotation is pointless.
However, in an office set up it may be worth investing more planning into the fan set up and creating a system where a rotating fan is positioned in front of a cold area, even a bowl of ice you refresh through the day! The fan will be constantly fed cold air and blast it out through the whole room thanks to the rotation.
Unless you can engineer a way for the fan to constantly be in front of cold air, do not be fooled into using rotation! Methods 1 and 2 are best for the types of mini fan you will commonly be setting up in your office. If your office has a backside window that faces away from the sun, however, you can open it and set a fan rotating nearby to pull the colder air through the building.
Is a Mini Desk Fan Powerful Enough?
Once you understand the core mechanics of how fans really keep us cool, the application of a fan far outweighs its size. Small fans can be just as cooling, or more, than a large one simply through being used in the 3 proper methods listed above. Does a tiny fan work? The answer is usually down to how you use it!
Regardless, our mini desk fan is designed to be minimalist and focus on including only what is necessary to save you money, carry weight and noise! The UFN100 mini desk fan can stand on the in-built frame or use it to hang securely via the rubberised feet. In addition, the unit has 4 fan blades working in unison to keep air flow strong constantly. The consistent slicing of the air means less noise, and the minimalist design also decreases the chance of components rattling as the fan blads spin.
Before you invest in an expensive tower fan, it is always worth trying out a USB desk fan with the proper application. The results might surprise you and you can go on working through summer while saving yourself some money and, importantly, desk / office space!