Fan with a wet towel – how to cool down in summer

by Michaela

A fan and a wet towel make the heat in summer more bearable. So it makes sense to combine the two and place the wet or damp towel over the fan. But what sounds like the perfect way to cool down is actually counterproductive and may even be harmful.

Wet towel over the fan: Sultry heat instead of cooling

Often it gets very hot in the summer, especially in offices and small flats. In these cases, a fan provides quick cooling. It is said to be even cooler if you place a damp towel over the fan or hang it a few centimetres in front of it.

  • In theory, this should cause the fan to lower the temperature by evaporating the water in the damp towel. The fan then distributes the cool air better in the room. It is clear that this method cannot compete with air conditioning – but in fact it is even counterproductive.
  • For one thing, the towel usually gets dry and warm quickly. Then it prevents the fan from circulating the air and makes you feel even hotter.
  • But even if you change the towel regularly, the heat feels like it is rising, as the Building Climate Association has found out. The reason: the combination of a wet towel and a rotating fan drives up the humidity. This makes the air feel muggier and thus hotter.
  • In the end, however, it depends on your individual feeling whether you prefer a slightly lower temperature with high humidity or a slightly higher temperature with dry air. So it’s best to test the method out for yourself.

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