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Comparing fans and air-conditioners as cooling solutions for the home

contemporary interior design of a condominium living and dining room
(Design: Wee Studio)

Around these parts of the globe where heat is ever present, cooling solutions like fans and air-conditioners are ubiquitous, and almost certainly a necessity. Each has its merits and drawbacks. 

Fans are in a completely different league, compared to air-conditioners. Simpler in design and function, they have the modest task of moving air around, be it cool or warm. Due to the their simple mechanics, fans are inherently more economical to operate, with usage numbers that air-conditioners can never meet. Subpar temperature management and the tendency to recirculate warm air, however, mean fans have a narrow scope of use. Better suited for open spaces that have sufficient air flow, fans ventilate more than they regulate.

Air-conditioners are the best appliance to combat against the potent heat of South-east Asia. Its temperature regulation — and ability to create a whole different climate — is unrivalled. Howver, there is no escaping the fact that it uses substantially more power than the conventional fan, oftentimes up to tenfold increase in energy consumption. In that regard, it is not the most economical option, nor is it the greenest approach. 

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