As your body heats the air around you, it creates a motionless ‘bubble’ of warmer air around you.
A fan effectively cools you down by circulating the warm air away from your body.
Unlike an Evaporative Air Cooler, a fan doesn’t actually lower the temperature of the air.
Like Air Coolers, Mist Fans (Misting Fans, Misters) are based on the principle of evaporation. They both use a pump, water and a fan to throw out cool air. But that’s where the similarities end. The way they actually cool the body is very different.
The Air Cooler works by throwing out cool, moist air like an ocean or lake breeze.
A Mist Fan, on the other hand, works like sweat does to cool the body. It first sprays fine water droplets (mist) on the body, and then uses a breeze to evaporate these droplets, cooling down the body.
While a Mist Fan is more effective than the standard fan, it can be problematic around objects that are water-sensitive like electronics or paper.
Studies have shown that dry air can escalate the spread of seasonal viruses, and worsen respiratory conditions such as asthma or allergies. “Dry air is a key factor that impairs a person’s ability to fight off respiratory viral infections [like the coronavirus],” says Akiko Iwasaki, an immunobiology professor at the Yale School of Medicine.
A recent detailed study conducted at the U.S. Army’s high-level biosecurity laboratory at Fort Detrick found that an increase in humidity levels from 20% to 80% can decrease the half life* of the virus on surfaces from 18 hours to 6 hours.
Evaporative Air Coolers produce moisture and can increase the humidity in a room quickly which makes them one of the best cooling solutions to help relieve symptoms of respiratory illnesses and possibly help to reduce the survival rate of viruses.
A study published in Nature, covered in the NY Times, found that “ensuring even minimum levels of outdoor air ventilation reduced influenza transmission as much as having 50 to 60 percent of the people in a building vaccinated.”
There are growing concerns about Central Air Conditioning which circulates the same air through the room, potentially spreading infectious droplets and aerosols. According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), there should be at least 3 air changes in the room per hour.
Evaporative Air Coolers can keep you cool with the windows open, pulling a constant stream of fresh air that can help reduce the risk of virus transmission inside an otherwise enclosed building.