a fan of fans
Summer is here. In San Francisco that means cold and foggy and don’t forget an extra layer. We have a couple months until the temperature really starts to rise (knock on wood), but when I moved to the East Bay I moved into temperatures that average an additional five degrees. The first improvement I made in my house was to install a ceiling fan. Fans are amazing. They are energy efficient and designed to take advantage of our bodies natural evaporative cooling system. Whole house fans are also incredibly effective in most climates, but they aren’t beautiful objects like most fans.
I just returned from a trip to Mexico where I was reminded that summer means flattening heat most places. Our translator had a folding fan like a character in a Jane Austen novel. At the end of the trip she gave me my own fan and a promise it will be even hotter when I return next month. It turns out Jane Austen lived at the height of the fan’s popularity in Europe, but perhaps unsurprisingly it’s an ancient technology, evident in early Greece, China and Japan. It’s surprisingly effective, and I think it’s due for a resurgence as our planet’s temperatures continue to climb (see this amazing graphic).