Fans are the unsung heroes of summer heat survival. They offer instant relief, are simple to operate and come in a vast range of sizes and styles to custom fit your needs. If your home is ventilation- and insulation-friendly, a fan could be all you need to get through summer, creating a breeze and moving cold air in and hot air out. Effective on their own (they can make a 3°C difference), fans are also a must-have to get the most out of your air-conditioner or ducted cooling systems by helping to distribute the air through the home. “Combine fans with an air-cooling system… the reduced air-conditioner running costs more than offset the fan energy use,” advises the Your Home Energy Guide. The major categories of fans include standing, tower and desk fans. For open-plan living spaces, it’s best to opt for a standing fan – it can be a more energy-efficient alternative to a ceiling fan. Sleek and unobtrusive, tower fans are excellent all-rounders and stash away easily during the colder months. Desk fans can fit into tight spots and are a great solution for apartment dwellers.

Tip: At night, position your fan close to the window to help encourage cool air to circulate around your home.

Check out our gallery of the best portable electric fans here:

Want more? Try:
>> buyer’s guide to air conditioners
>> buyer’s guide to family fridges
>> top tips for energy efficient appliances