Uncommon Knowledge

Uncommon Knowledge: Does a Paper Fan Make You Hotter?

August 11, 2015

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Flashback: It’s the last few days of school, there’s no air conditioning, you’re sticking to your desk chair. Suddenly, you remember the stacks of loose-leaf paper tucked in your Trapper Keeper. You draw a quick smiley face with your cherry-scented marker and you quickly fold the paper back and forth, back and forth. You take a moment to admire your handiwork before enjoying the blessed cool air created by your lined paper lifesaver. Life makes sense again. Then, out of nowhere, your teacher utters what should be the official motto of professional educators in the summer: “You know, you’re actually making yourself hotter by using up energy to fan yourself.” According to our research? LIES. Your body loses heat through radiation, thermal conduction, and evaporation through sweat. The latter two occur when the air is cooler and drier than your skin—enter the humble fan. Now here comes the teacher’s argument. Sure, you may feel cooler, but what about the energy you’re expending to move that little fan? Well. When you’re at rest, your body is producing about 100 watts of energy. Waving a fan? Add just one watt. However, with the increased air velocity that the fan produces, you can double your heat loss—that means that for just 1% of the effort, you can be twice as cool. Fan away.

Paper Plane Embroidery Hoop Art | $26.00

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