Turn Off the A/C This Summer: Use This Instead



I hate working/living/sleeping in the heat. But I also despise high electricity bills and breathing in stagnant refrigerated air. Just one of our A/Cs in the RV pulls a whopping 22 amps. You’d think more people would refrain from using them all the time, yet, today was our first warm  — not hot, just warm – day of the year, and walking through the park I could hear most of the A/Cs humming away.

Since it cools down pretty significantly during these early spring nights, we haven’t once touched our two A/Cs, choosing instead to find other ways to cool down during the pre-maturely hot Texas days. We accept that at times we might feel hot and even sweat a little.

That’s life.

Whatever the case, running the A/C constantly is not a fulltime solution. It’s an energy hog and not really healthy for you.

Still, I want to keep somewhat cool during this summer.

Enter the fan.

I’m not talking the ceiling fan in our RV that spits out some measly weak air currents every now and then; I’m talking a real, super duty fan that will make it feel significantly cooler (on average, a good fan will make you feel about six degrees colder).

With summer temps breathing down our necks, the husband did some intense research for a good, solid and effective fan to cool down the RV in lieu of using the A/C. I’m sure at some point we’ll break down and crank that puppy up, but using some high-quality fans will severely delay that moment and make it easier to refrain from using the A/C constantly this summer.

This time around, we wanted to buy the best, kick-butt fan we could find.

Why all the research for the fan? We’ve been down the “cheap fan from Wal-Mart” road and we prefer to not go down there again.

Here was our criteria for the perfect fan:

  • It must blow some powerful and intense breezes.
  • It must be quiet. (We once bought an industrial fan that could blow a house down, but could also blow your eardrums out as well.)
  • It must be compact. (We live in an RV. ‘Nuff said.)
  • It must be light and easy to move around.
  • It must be energy-efficient.
  • It didn’t have to be oscillating, but should produce good air movement in the entire room.
  • It must be well-made and have a ton of good reviews.

So, did we find “the” fan?

We pulled out the brand new fans (two) yesterday to put them to the test during the heat of the day. These fans are a dream! Super quiet, small, and powerful; we watched “Tangled” on television last night and didn’t need to turn up the volume… and we were cool as cucumbers.

Here’s what we got:

IMG_0366 Clara cooling herself in our new Vornado fan.

We ended up choosing two highly-rated Vornado Midsize 630 Air Circulator, 3 Speed CR1-0074-06 fans; one for the kids’ room and one for our room. We started out using it in the livingroom yesterday and it was so easy to move it to the bedroom when we went to sleep. It’s light, sturdy, pushes out an immense amount of air, and with its “tornado” design, it circulates air throughout the entire room so you don’t have to be right in front of it to feel refreshed.

What I like the most? It’s soooooo quiet!

What my husband likes the most? It’s only uses .5 amps. That’s one-half of an amp. Compare than to running just one RV A/C that sucks up a frightening 22 amps!

Want to save money this summer? Invest in a good fan like we did before the heat really arrives and all the good fans get taken. You can snag one here at Amazon.com and get free shipping (that’s where we bought ours).

Let me know if you have one and what you think about it. Here’s to staying cool this summer without going broke!


Rambling Heather April 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm

We need a fan for our master bedroom. It is a loft upstairs and gets hotter than the rest of the house. My search is on!

Margie Lundy April 2, 2011 at 4:10 pm

We do fans too, whenever we can. That and the breeze from open windows in a small space is usually great. When it hit 113 in LA though, we cranked that AC without concern, shew! But we try to avoid the summer heat too and head north! It’s a great plan, we just sometimes get surprised. :)
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Melanie April 2, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Howdy, Heather! Oh, I know all about loft and attic rooms. Any place up high is going to boil during the summer. Ben, our son, sleeps in a loft off of the livingroom and he has his own personal fan up there. Somehow he survived last summer, but I think we ran the A/C a little more than we needed to. We’ll see how he does this summer… and whether he bails and ends up sleeping on the floor of the girls’ room.

Margie – Isn’t that one of the perks of living in an RV? We’re headed to the mountains of New Mexico when things start boiling around here in Texas. My goal is to avoid using the A/C as much as possible. But, yeah, 113 is ridiculous. When you’re experiencing something like that you just want to survive it… the more A/C the better. We’re so happy to have two working A/Cs just in case. (Last summer, one wasn’t working for a goodly part of the trip.)

Courtney Baker April 2, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I’ve really enjoyed our window fan. It helps shoot the breeze right through the RV. No need for AC… yet!

Melanie April 2, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Hi Courtney!

A window fan is a great idea, too. Ideally you’ll be in a cool place during the heat of summer. I have a feeling we’ll be getting scorched here in Texas sooner than I thought. :(

Steve Roy April 3, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Hey Melanie,
I’ll tell you, my family and I have zero tolerance for heat. We have our central A/C on 24/7 in the summers. We also have window A/C units in each room upstairs as well as large fans.

We live in Maryland where is very humid in the summer, so window fans don’t work well.

Our electric bills are about $350/month, which is pretty high, but I think it’s worth it!!
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Melanie April 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Hi Roy — I hear you about the heat. I’m kind of that way, too. But I’m trying to learn a little tolerance this summer. I honestly think it’s all relative… the more discomfort you allow yourself, the nicer just a little breeze feels to you. Too often we think that being a little uncomfortable is bad for us… it isn’t.

The ideal, though, is to live somewhere with perfect weather. I’m thinking spring-like weather year-round. And then you don’t have to run the heater or A/C all the time. Think of the money you would save, right?

Robert Williams April 3, 2011 at 7:54 pm


Your choice is a solid one, and I love that fan both for its lack of noise, and the amount of volume it moves. We ran across a fan made specifically for RVers, also the Vornado brand, that I love too, and thought it might be another solution for you. Its called an Under Cabinet Air Circulator (no idea of a model number) and I have a pic of it here: http://bit.ly/go2frV

I won them in a MODs contest, and although they don’t move, I’ve installed them at the computer and in the bedroom, and they work great in those locations. If we end up off the grid more this summer, I plan to pick a couple more up for the bunks and mount them on their ceilings so they can point them where they want. I put them near windows, so I can pull in the outside air if necessary. The thing I like is that they are always there, and never underfoot. I can run the fan in the bedroom without having to set it on a surface, and can aim it either toward me for the direct cooling effect, or away from me just to get some air moving.

I’m still an AC guy when I can, but I also dislike the amount of energy they use and try to keep it to a minimum, when possible. Great post!

Melanie April 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm


Thanks for the comment and reassurance that we bought the right fan!

I’m so interested in your set-up — wow! I gotta say, that’s really cool and ingenious for an RV. It makes all the sense in the world to attach the fan under a cabinet or shelf. Very, very smart.

Thanks for sharing!

Susan Barrett April 7, 2011 at 10:38 pm

I have one of these fans in my bed room and it’s kept me from needing the A/C at night so far.

Anne March 12, 2013 at 9:59 am

Going back to the basics is fun :) I love my ac. But then a fan is the simplest and efficient solution. In climates as high as in my country… fan wouldnt be an option. It is 38 degrees celcius where i live and I am so grateful that I had the sense to purchase my ac last year.

We do have fans … to circulate the air.

chaits March 18, 2013 at 6:35 am

In my country an AC is a must. With temps. rising to 38 40 C. and humidity, there is no way out without an AC. A fan is used as a basic necessity. Good post though.

chaits March 18, 2013 at 6:38 am

great post. but in our country we def need an AC as the temps soar up to 38 Deg. C and the humidity is unbearable. We have to use the fan as a necessity.

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