The electric fan was one of the first significant electrical inventions. It is a vital component of modern technology and is found in computer graphics cards, large LED lights, petrol and electric cars, and the space station amongst many other things. It’s hard to imagine a world without it!
However, it’s important to understand the potential harms as well as benefits of using fans. The evidence base is currently very limited and the uncertainty around the health effects of electric fans during heatwaves remains high. People making decisions about whether to use a fan, or who should be given fans, as part of local or national guidelines and policies need to consider this current state of knowledge when deciding on what to do. There is a clear need for further research in the form of randomised trials, so that the evidence base can be strengthened and this uncertainty resolved. This will enable public health recommendations to be made with greater confidence about the use of fans during heatwaves. electric fans