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The More Bearable Lightness of Being… with a Ceiling Fan

May 26, 2010

by Ashley Akin

It’s Memphis in May, and it is hot. As anyone who has ever lived through a summer in the Bluff City can attest, the heat can be so oppressive that you may want to stand in your kitchen in the buff with your head in the freezer for the next three months. But your boss would probably frown on that, and you’ll need to keep your paychecks coming if you plan on camping out with the door to a major appliance open until football season.

But take heed: you may already have in your home one of the best tools to lighten your heat-bearing load: the ceiling fan. It may strike you as strange that something invented in 1882 is still one of the best tools to keep you cool, but it turns out the 19th century was chock full of inventions that you likely would rather not do without: the telephone, for example, as well as moving pictures and, ahem, toilet paper. Yep, all of those were invented before the turn of the Twentieth, and I’m not ashamed to admit that they are three of my downright favorite things.

As for the scientific mumbojumbo behind them, ceiling fans can make a room feel up to four degrees cooler, and they only use as much energy as a 100-watt lightbulb. In the Cooper-Young and Evergreen areas, many houses faced the heat for years without central cooling, and the historical preservationist vibe that runs through both communities makes me think you savvy residents probably haven’t done away with them.

So here’s your challenge: knock four degrees off of your thermostat and flip on the fans. You’ll be taking one easy step toward becoming The Smallest User we know is inside of you all. And besides, anyone who has seen an 80’s music video knows that everyone looks sexier windblown.

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