We’re in a scorching heat spell now in Albany (late June 2021) and since not all students and others have A/C in (or throughout) their summer apartments, I thought to share a little tip that also has a message. Because we’re always interested in the message. And please stay cool and hydrated!
One way to increase the cooling power of your fan is to place a bowl of water just in front of it, to allow the air of the fan to pass over the water before spreading into the room. (In cases of high humidity this won’t be helpful, but otherwise should have a slight cooling effect, more than you’d expect, though no substitute for actual A/C).
How does this work? What is the science behind it? (I looked this up and asked for help, hope I got it right, and simplified it well enough).
Here’s a few principles to keep in mind:
1) Faster moving, more energized water, evaporates into vapor (gas) quicker.
2) Water-vapor consumes more energy than liquid water does.
3) Hot air has more energy than colder air.
So basically, what’s creating that cooling effect is more water particles (as vapor/gas) in the room, which eats up a little more of the hot air’s energy to support itself as vapor/gas.
The message for us? Usually in a figurative sense we’re interested in warmth, but in this case, on super hot days like these, cooler temps is the desirable focus. So think of it has having desirable and undesirable energy in our lives. We can’t destroy energy, but we can replace or exchange its form, in this case: the water taking away some of that energy from the heat. And in this case, its keeping the bowl of water energized and in constant movement to facilitate the conditions to make that change possible.