A/C and fan

My apartment is not getting very cool this summer so I went to my manager to ask for maintenance or service if it needed.
She told me to put a fan right in front of the AC. She claims this is why her apartment is so much cooler.
Now to me this seems like it wouldn’t do much and it might be taxing on the A/C motor in some way. They called for service but it’s going to be at least another week. It’s hot today!

So tell me, is it going to hurt to try this with one of those small wind tunnel fans? Is it helpful at all?

We have a fan hooked to the windowsill above our floor grate A/C and it keeps the bedroom cooler than the rest of the house.

How could it possibly be harder on the A/C motor?

The fan doesn’t necessarily need to be in front of the A/C but should be placed in the room/apartment somewhere to circulate the air around the apartment.
If you have any ceiling fans they should always be kept “on” to achieve this.

I don’t know! I guess I’m just being silly. I just don’t want to do any kind of damage and I know nothing about these things.

Hers is positioned in such a way that both the intake part and the part where the air comes out are both behind the fan. I just thought maybe it might not work out in a positive manner.

It sounds like you might need to change the filter. They’re easy to get at and you can knock some of the crud off them until the repair guy gets there.

Anecdotal, but jeez, I have a giant box fan right in front of the AC unit. My AC unit opening doesn’t point outwards, it points straight up. But cold air sinks, so I imagine it spilling over the edge, and getting sucked into the box fan. And it is significantly cooler if you stand right in front of the fan as opposed to right next to it.

Another great trick with box fans: Stick 'em in your window. If it’s cool out, they suck the cool air in, if it’s hot out, reverse it and it’ll suck the hot air out. Doesn’t work perfect but makes a big difference.


Oh don’t I know about those filters! We have eight cats, so the filter gets cleaned every few weeks.

The fan is in place now, guys. I haven’t noticed any difference yet, but it hit 100 a few minutes ago so the a/c is working extra hard.

Thanks for reassuring me. :slight_smile:

The fan will help you while you are standing in front of it. Otherwise, not so much. If you have a window A/C, it is fairly simple to check out. When you remove the filter for cleaning you are looking at the evaporator coil (lots of shiny aluminum fins that can give you lots of nasty shallow cuts). Is the evaporator coil clean? If not, a clean hairbrush or similar tool can be used to comb the fins. Second, is the unit producing plenty of water to the outside drain? Are the evap coils wet? If yes, then you probably don’t have a freon problem. Last, if it is accessible, is there a whole lot of hot air coming out of the back of the A/C (the part that hangs outside the window? If it’s really hot but there’s not a great deal of it, then the problem is a clogged condenser coil. This is much mmore difficult to clean, since it involves removing the unit from the window and or disassembling it from the outside, but it is one of the most common problems with window units. If there isn’t enough air moving over the condenser, then the unit cannot reject the heat it is drawing in from your home, hence, not much cooling takes place. It also causes the unit to consume more electricity than normal and run longer.

A fan can help distribute air through the room more effectively, so use one. Ceiling fans also help control the heat distribution and offer some cooling while you are under it, but only use electricity and add heat to the room when no one is there. Turn them off when you are not home.

If it’s 100° outside your not going to do much better than 85° or so, 80° at the best. Fans just move air around, not make it cooler. Experiment, putting the fan different places, until you find the best solution for your situation.