Electric fan warning: Staggering amount staying cool in heatwave is costing YOU


A red weather warning for heat has been put in place for parts of England on Monday and Tuesday, with the rest of the UK on an amber extreme heat warning as temperatures are set to reach 40C in some areas. As a result, supermarkets and shops are selling out of electric fans as Brits flock to stock up ahead of the rise in temperatures.

Sales of electric fans have increased by up to 1,630 percent in the last week, according to online marketplace OnBuy.

But according to numbers from Uswitch, and based on the electricity supplier’s standard variable tariff, it costs 1p to run a standard desktop fan for an hour, or 8p for a typical eight-hour working day.

This figure goes up if it is kept on at night, with it costing 24p over 24 hours, or £1.68 over seven days.

Pedestal fans cost more, at just under 2p per hour they can cost 16p for an eight-hour working day.

Running a pedestal fan for 24 hours costs 41p a day, meaning it can add on £2.87 to your energy bills after a full week.

Some are opting for more expensive portable air-conditioning units, which are costing 28p an hour to run.

But most expensive of all are built in air conditioning systems, costing 75p an hour, or a staggering £126 a week.

And not only is this bad for our bank accounts, air conditioning systems account for a fifth of the electricity used in buildings around the world, meaning they are bad news for the environment with a lot of the power coming from stations that emit greenhouse gases.

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Will Owen, an energy expert at Uswitch.com, says: “We’ve all got used to the fact that staying warm is more expensive than ever but the same is true of keeping cool as we enter the first heatwave of the year.”

He adds that while many people working from home won’t have a perfectly chilled air-conditioned office, there are things they can do to keep their home cool.

“While air-conditioning units are an effective way to keep a room cool, they consume a lot of power and could bring about a nasty surprise when the next energy bill arrives. With high energy prices, it’s important to keep energy bills down even in the summer months.”

A health alert has also been issued alongside the weather warning, with neighbours and family members urged to check on the elderly, young children and babies, and those with underlying health conditions who may struggle in the heat.

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To combat the rise in temperature, Brits are being told to keep windows and curtains closed in rooms that face the sun and to avoid all but essential travel.

The Met Office recommends drinking plenty of water, not consuming too much alcohol, and dressing appropriately for the weather.

Train stations across the country are urging travellers to carry water with them at all times, with emergency services on high alert over the next few days.

It comes at a bad time for the NHS which is already dealing with a spike in the number of Covid cases.

Across the globe, emergency services are battling wildfires as a result of the record-breaking weather.


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