A s the air conditioner requires us to keep all the windows and doors closed, we end up in the summer trapped in the comfort of our own homes. We breathe the artificial breeze of the AC and dream of cooler days when the sun will allow us to throw a barbecue party into the patio.
Businesses that have their activity centered mostly in a warehouse or a garage have plenty to suffer during a heatwave as well. The workers struggle to breathe through the heat, and some may experience dizziness, dehydration, or even a heat stroke. This leads to poor work performance and slower business development.
The only alternative that seems viable in both cases is a misting fan. The offer is broad, ranging from small, spot-cooling models to industrial units that can ensure a cooler ambient in factories. But is a device of this type as efficient as the companies present it? We are about to find out.
What is a Misting Fan?
It is a machine that produces a fine cool mist and blows it away, thus lowering the temperature of the air around it. It can cover large surfaces and is usually used outdoors, although placing it indoors is possible, as the mist is fine enough not to deposit on surfaces and create puddles. Commercial units can be used in garages, warehouses, greenhouses, or factories, to ensure a more comfortable atmosphere with low energy costs.
Check out our best outdoor misting fans and fill your garden or patio with a cool breeze. You are in for wide-area coverage and oscillation that will keep your guests comfortable and happy, even when the grill is burning at its max capacity.
How Does It Work?
Three processes stand behind this technology, namely convection, conduction, and evaporation. Once you understand how each of these methods works, it will be clear how your fan operates to keep the air cool around you:
- Convection – is a process that implies the removal of heat through currents of air or water. In this case, the air blown by the fan reaches your skin and swipes some of the heat away. However, for this to happen, the air released by the unit should be cooler than 98 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the normal body temperature.
- Conduction – Describes the temperature transfer that happens when a body comes in contact with a good heat conductor (like water). A mister bombards you with a huge number of fine water droplets, each of them cooler than your body’s temperature. They will keep their coolness even if they travel through extreme heat, as the process of evaporation appears and swipes away any part of the water that becomes warm.
- Evaporation – When heat acts upon the mist, it turns into gas and gets absorbed by the air. Thus, humidity is increased.
A misting unit combines a high-pressure water pump and a fan to release the fine mist into the air. It usually comes with a special nozzle where a garden hose can be connected, but some models may come with a water recipient. Thus, once the water source is available and the unit turned on, the water rises to the pump where it is divided into droplets and released through a mist nozzle. The blades spread the mist along with the cool air.
Party Tip: Add a fogging kit to your unit and create marvelous visual effects. If you are the owner of a casino, restaurant, or nightclub, you can use this option to dazzle your customers.
What Are the Benefits?
Is there something you gain if you pick a mister over other air cooling methods? Well, there’s plenty to gain, as long as you use it in the right spot and pick the right model. Here are the advantages of installing a misting device:
It cleans the air of contaminants
China is using misting towers to fight pollution in its cities with a denser population, and this practice isn’t new at all, which means that the results must be visible. Nevertheless, there are scientific studies behind this process, which have shown that if the air bears more water, it will make the particles bigger as they get filled with water. Thus, they either become heavy and deposit on the surfaces or, due to their size, they can no longer pass through our cilia and end up in the lungs.
Therefore, if the humidity is increased, it can reduce the number of particular matters in the air. But, this parameter should be carefully monitored. If the air moisture stays too high for too long other contaminants may find a good medium to grow and spread. Mold and bacteria can multiply fast if the RH overcomes 60%, and you will become more prone to infections, colds, and breathing illnesses.
It is energy-efficient
The misting technology’s biggest competitor is the air conditioner, but when we compare the power consumption rates of the two systems, we observe that a small window AC will consume around 900 watts, while one of the most powerful fans you could purchase won’t overcome 300 watts. If we take into consideration that 1 gal. of water can generate 7,776 BTUs/hour almost as much as an 8,000 BTUs air cooling unit but at a cost that is three times lower, we must admit that the efficiency of a misting unit is incontestable.
It is cheaper
Once again, when compared with an AC unit, the fan wins. With a price range considerably lower than an air cooler, and practically no installation, it is truly an at-hand solution against the heat. In many cases, installing a central cooling system will require drilling holes and home remodeling that will generate additional costs. With the alternative, you just connect the garden hose to the nozzle/ fill the bucket with water, plug the unit in, and enjoy the mist.
It is portable
It is usually lighter than any portable AC unit and can be moved in a couple of minutes. Thus, you can move it inside, if you feel that a moisture boost would benefit you, or even pack it and place it in your RV to keep the air pleasant on your camping trips.
Pick a portable evaporative air cooler for more mobility. Just like misting models, it uses water and a fan to reduce the heat and put more moisture into the air.
What Are the Drawbacks?
In some cases, this fan may not be the best pick. Here are its disadvantages:
It makes the air humid
If you live in an area where humidity is already high in the summer, a machine that will put more water into the air is the last thing you will need. Excessive humidity can fill your rooms with mold and make you feel even more uncomfortable. If the air is too humid, the sweat on your skin won’t be able to evaporate, and, thus, your internal temperature will raise making you feel even hotter.
On the other hand, southern inhabitants will definitely enjoy a good humid breeze when the air is so hot that it evaporates the water in glasses. In this case, the boost of humidity will prevent the effects associated with dry air like aggravated allergies, asthma, breathing problems, skin, and eye itchiness, dry skin.
Some home adjustments may be required
As mentioned, the fan needs to be connected to a source of water. But, in many cases, it may not be as accessible as expected. If the source of water is too far from your patio you may need to buy a longer hose or do some plumbing work before you install your new device. Plus, although systems that use the natural pressure of the water at home, most of them require a pump to be effective, and this increases their price considerably.
Is Maintenance Easy to Perform?
Although there’s some work to do, if you follow some easy steps, this will become a routine job that will get easier and easier to perform. Plus, you will only do it two or three times a summer, when the unit is in use.
Here are the steps for cleaning the head of the unit
- Unplug the unit and move it to an open space where you can disassemble it
- Unbolt the grill and remove it. Wash it with water and mild soap, making sure to remove all the dirt
- Remove the blades and wash them with the same water-soap solution
- Wipe all the components with a dry cloth and place them back into the fan
How to clean the nozzle?
- Remove it from its place
- Tap it gently on a hard surface to remove any calcar deposits
- Let it soak for 15 to 20 minutes in a special nozzle cleaning solution
- Dry it with a clean cloth and place it back
At the end of these operations, plug the unit back in and check if everything is working properly. If you notice some water leaks, it may be time to replace the nozzle. On the other hand, if your unit seems to lose power or doesn’t start anymore, you will need to have it checked by a specialist.
Do You Need a Misting Fan?
- If you already have a central cooling system installed, this type of machine can provide more comfort for your outdoor area, but you must consider that if you combine the two appliances, your expenses will be higher. On the other hand, we are all aware that comfort costs, so, if you are in the position to pay for both of them, you should totally do it, as the advantages are noticeable.
- If you don’t have an AC installed, you should pick a fan of this kind that can work both indoors and outdoors. Thus, you can carry it wherever you need it most and get cooler air with lower energy costs. However, as we have explained, if the humidity is already too high in your area, a window AC may be more suitable, as it comes with a dehumidification function.
- If you are conducting a business that requires for the doors and windows to be kept open, a misting unit will be a blessing for your employees. So, make sure to create good work conditions, and you can expect increased productivity.
Check out our selection of small window ACs if you need a cooling device that can remove moisture from the air. Although you cannot use them outdoors, they keep your indoor space comfortable and the floor free.
The Bottom Line
The portability of a misting unit combined with its low energy consumption rate and the large range of benefits makes it a popular choice among customers. Is it worth all the money? As we have explained, it depends. If you buy it and then realize that it adds more moisture to an already moist area, then you may feel that your money has been poorly spent. But now you have all the details not to make this mistake. On the other hand, if you live in an area with outdoor humidity under 80%, you will surely be pleased with its effects. At the same time, ensure that it is the right size for your space and that you can provide a water source. Or, if you can’t, go for a bucket model. Good preparations bring great results, so expect them when you throw your next barbecue party.