How to Position Fans to Cool a Room

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Updated December 17, 2022

If you are new to the world of indoor breeze-creating appliances, you may want to learn how to position fans to cool a room. The best fans, after all, are only as good as where they are placed. So how do you use a fan, and what are some tips for placement to maximize the cooling efficiency of your various systems? Keep reading to find out.


  • Fans don’t create a cool breeze on their own, but they can be placed in such a way to maximize pre-existing cold air and reduce energy bills.
  • Start by placing fans near open windows to create a cooling cross breeze throughout the home, as long as outdoor temperatures are decent.
  • You should also put fans near air conditioning vents or a window air conditioner, and make sure to change the directions of any ceiling fans to match the season.

How to Place a Fan to Cool a Room

There are many fan designs out there and just as many spaces where they can sit, which is important if you are learning how to measure fan size. In other words, there is no universal method for proper fan placement, though there are some recommendations for use, such as learning how to change fan direction. Additionally, placement varies depending on your fan type, such as if you are learning how to use a window fan. It also depends on any additional features it may have, like learning how to make a humidifier with a fan.

Insider Tip

Another way to keep things cool is to clean your fan regularly to ensure maximum efficiency.

Here are some troubleshooting tips to make sure your can cools you off, including choosing the right fan direction for summer vs winter.

Create a Cross Draft

Use your windows to your advantage to create a cross draft. To do this, simply place a fan in front of the window when it is opened, and then arrange other fans to create a clear path of air from the window to various parts of the room or even the whole house. Cross drafts go a long way to keeping your home cool, but they only really work when there is at least a moderate level of wind outside. In other words, they won’t do much on dry, hot, and humid days. Now if you’re concerned about staying cool outside on the patio, a misting fan can be an effective method, like the one we discuss in this Lasko 7050 review.

Change the Blade Direction

This is only applicable for ceiling fans, but changing the direction of the blades to match the current season can help a lot with maximizing efficiency. During the summer months, your ceiling fan blades should spin counterclockwise, as this pushes cool air down from the ceiling to create a nice and pleasant breeze. By the same token, the blades should spin clockwise during the winter months. You can change a fan’s direction via a switch near the mount.

Follow the AC

When all else fails, follow the HVAC system. Place fans near the air conditioner vents so that they push cool air instead of stagnant air from the outside.

STAT: A basic science lesson is that cold air is naturally heavier than warm, meaning it will sink to the area near the floor while the hot air occupies the higher space. (source)

How to Position Fans to Cool a Room FAQs

Do fans actually cool a room?

Fans don't cure dry heat on their own, but they can create a temperature difference when paired with evaporative coolers or a standard AC unit.

Where do you put a box fan?

Box fans should be placed throughout indoor spaces to reduce indoor temperatures. Place an air circulator fan near windows or in front of a bucket of cold water or an ice pack to further help cool the air.

Why not just buy an AC for cooling a room?

Air conditioning systems are great, as they are more effective than a bucket of ice or a window fan. However, these systems are expensive to purchase and operate. Fans help cool down indoor temperatures using just air circulation.
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