Up your eco coolness and become a fan of fans

paint a rainbow fanSummer’s coming – watch as its warm weather seduces us into abandoning green principles – flipping on the air conditioner (AC) for a fast blast of freeze. Is there a greener way to beat the heat? You bet, and going retro is the smartest way to up your coolness! Look below for this DIY project for fans.

Shade and moving air are the greenest means of fighting heat, making sunshade devices and fans the superheros of natural cooling. Fans have been around since prehistoric times in the form of primitive flat panels flapped slowly by human power to push waves of air across people and spaces. The electric model didn’t come online until the late 19th century, table top units featuring metal blades (usually encased in a protective cage) set atop a pedestal base. Plug it in, and enjoy the cooling (and portable) comfort of artificial wind.

Comparisons between fans and AC are an apples versus oranges discussion as each has a different function.  An AC cools a room by lowering the temperature and wicking off humidity.  A fan simply moves the air, which doesn’t change room temp but can cool bodies within it (as long as the ambient temperature is less than 90° F and humidity lower than 35%, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association).

I just came off a 30 minute treadmill trot and am sitting near an open window typing this. The strong Amman breeze – while warm – is definitely cooling me off – for free.

Here in Amman (and in most Mid East cities) AC’s allure is threefold.  It cools room temps, muffles outside sounds of traffic, construction and exuberant mullahs, and  – since windows are closed – keeps mosquitoes at bay. How can a simple electric fan compete?

By becoming performance art!  I stumbled upon a craft blog that showed how to turn a low-energy-consuming and affordable tabletop fan into a piece of movable art.  An easy DIY project that’s also kid-friendly – (link here for the how-to).

paint a rainbow fan

Slap on some paint in loosely applied stripes, and when your fan is in motion a kaleidoscope rainbow will appear. Or spend a few minutes online, where you can see different painting techniques with a variety of results.

How to paint your fan video below:

So easy.  So green. And so cool.

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