How to Use Window Fans

Using window fans to help cool your home can be a very efficient and economical way to provide comfort as well as helping the environment.

How to Use Window Fans

When used properly, window fans can reduce energy costs and help draw the heat away from your home. Proper placement of window fans can make a big difference in how your living space feels. With just a few simple steps, you can use window fans to bring down the heat and make your home a more inviting place to relax and unwind.

Determine the type of weather you have outside to see if using window fans will work for you. If it is humid or hot during the evenings outside, they will not cool the house properly.

Decide how many window fans you want to use and where you would like to place them. You want to also have fans being used to draw the hot air out of the home, using about a 60/40 ratio with more air being drawn in than blown out.

Place intake fans in windows that are on the east side of the home near shady areas and exhaust fans on the west side of the home where the air is hotter in the afternoon. Always keep the intake fans on the opposite side of the home from the exhaust fans.

Attempt to place window fans in areas where they can take advantage of the outside wind direction if possible and check wind direction periodically, but always keep in mind to place the intake fans on the cooler sides of the home such as the eastern and northern sides. It doesn't do any good to place the fans with the wind direction if you are blowing hot air into the home.

Keep fans blowing through the house in one direction for better cooling ability. Do not create a situation where the fans are blowing against each other.

Place fans inside the window frame and close the window down on the fan to keep the air circulating one way. If needed, use cardboard or wood to close the gaps in the sides of the window so the fans will continue to blow one way.

Run the fans during the coolest part of the day and in the evening for the best cooling effect. Close the window blinds or drapes during the heat of the day to keep the home cool.

Things You Will Need

  • Window fans


  • Whenever possible, place fans facing out of windows in upper stories or in the attic to draw hot air up and out of the home.


  • Do not place window fans in windows near garbage cans or anywhere else they will draw in fumes and odors.

About the Author

Carl Pruit has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in service journalism and travel. His work has appeared on various websites. Born and raised in California, Pruit attended Contra Costa Community College in San Pablo, Calif. and received an associate degree in the administration of justice.