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SamIAm's avatar

Is it safe to leave a small table top fan on while not home?

Asked by SamIAm (8690points) June 12th, 2010

I get all weirded out by these things… always think certain appliances are going to start a fire or something.

Can I leave my fan on while I’m out for a few hours? The apartment could use a breeze…

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19 Answers

marinelife's avatar

You could, but why waste energy? It will not take additional energy to cool down your place when you get back, but an operating fan does use energy.

SamIAm's avatar

@marinelife : I know, I just feel like my apartment needs to breathe a little more, and having the windows open isn’t working so well today. My allergies have been so bad lately (all indoor related stuff), I always hope a fan will help.

dpworkin's avatar

May I suggest that you place the fan in an open window, facing out? Better results for what you intend.

SamIAm's avatar

@dpworkin : so the blades facing toward the window?

dpworkin's avatar

Yes. It creates a vacuum behind the fan which brings in fresh air from the other open windows.

SamIAm's avatar

@dpworkin: thank you!! and you think it’s okay to leave on for a few hours?

dpworkin's avatar

Can’t hurt. No extension cords, and no pets, though.

perspicacious's avatar

I wouldn’t. I don’t even see a reason to.

LuckyGuy's avatar

A fan running in an enclosed room will heat it up. It will only feel cooler if the air is blowing on you, a warm moist body.
If it’s cooler outside than in your room, then as @dpworkin suggested, it is better to position the fan so inside air is blown outside. That way the heat from the motor does not go into the room. Air will leak in from other places.

I would shut it off while away since it serves no purpose. A small fan runs about 85 CFM cubic feet per minute. If you know the size of your apartment, you can figure how long it will take for a complete air exchange. 800 sq ft with 8 foot ceiling / 85 cfm = 75 minutes. That is not too long to wait.

FutureMemory's avatar

I have electric fans running 24/7 in various rooms of my house, never had a problem.

augustlan's avatar

If you ever do leave a fan running in an open window, make sure it isn’t going to rain!

Jeruba's avatar

I wouldn’t either. Even if you’re sure nothing could go wrong, it just seems safer and wiser not to, and I see no reason to spend the power.

bea2345's avatar

Accidents can happen and in my experience, they happen when I am not looking. Turn off the fan, save a little energy (and money).

skfinkel's avatar

I also don’t like leaving things on when I am not in the house. The little fan is something I would leave off. It will do its job when you return.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, my Grandson keeps a fan on in his room 24/7. I see nothing wrong with it.

Iclamae's avatar

I always turn mine off because a fan did catch fire at my parents’ house when I was little. Fortunately, my mom was home at the time to catch it and deal with it but it’s always bothered me.

I don’t know the circumstances around the fan, like how old it was, how much dog hair was in it, or anything like that. I was too young to ask all those questions.

jca's avatar

i’m into “better safe than sorry” so therefore, i would shut it off while i was out. not just for the sake of why waste the power, but i lived in a building that burned in a fire, and i just don’t feel like leaving a fan on when i’m out is worth the risk. i see no reason to leave it on when i’m out.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t like the idea of leaving things on while out of the house, but my husband leaves a fan on a lot during the summer. If it is a newer fan, which would be safer than an old appliance it is probably fine. Many things are kind of on all day. My DVR, clock, pretty much any appliance with a clock, including my oven and microwave have electricity going through it even when off. I draw the line with things that get hot. I will not run my clothes dryer when I am gone, or leave a crock pot, things like that definitely make me nervous.

If a window is open I hope you are at least 4 floors up.

Coloma's avatar

I leave my ceiling fan and another floor fan on all day when I am away…not that much energy and nice to come home to.

I have never had a problem.

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