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What type of cooling do I need?

What type of cooling do I need? 

The size of your area, the amount and type of cooling you want, as well as running costs will determine which fan or air conditioner is best for your home.

Here’s a few hints to help you make the right selection:



Permanent options, like a ceiling fan or heat pump (air conditioner in summer), are the cheapest heating & cooling options to run, but are more expensive to install. They’re best for large regularly used rooms and can be used to distribute cool air through your whole home when installed with a heat transfer kit.

Ceiling fans

It might be a bit of a rush to install a ceiling fan the same week as an incoming heatwave, but you’ll be well set up in the future without stealing a precious power point in your lounge or bedroom. Ceiling fans also come in handy in winter, as they can help circulate the warm air that sits at the top of the room.

Here’s what to look for if you opt for a ceiling fan:

  • AC or DC motor – AC motors are generally cheaper and only offer a couple of fan settings. The most efficient motors are DC, which offer multiple speed settings and often a reverse feature for use during the colder months to keep warm air circulating.
  • Ceiling height – Needs to be about 2.1 to 2.4m for best performance. If it’s significantly higher, you’ll need to start thinking about extension rods to lower the fan.
  • Blade material – There isn’t much difference in performance between blade materials, but wooden or plastic blades tend to be quieter.
  • Cost – You can pick up a cheap MDF one from Bunnings for less than $100 or you can spend up big on a fancier wooden-bladed model.
  • Noise – There is no truly silent fan. Your best bet is to check the decibels level to see how loud the unit runs.


Portable cooling is best for cooling smaller spaces for a short time, and if you want a portable option. They are inexpensive to buy and relatively economical to run.

Portable Fans don’t cool down the air but instead just move it around. Then, why do we feel the cold? The answer is simple: the moving air creates a chilling effect on the skin which makes us feel colder

Personal Cooling

Simple yet effective, personal fans are the answer if you are always hot.  These will help you stay cool this summer. Use the USB fans anywhere. Simply plug into a USB port and use at the beach, the campground, and more. Some are also battery operated and small enough to fit in your handbag! Personal fans are easy to set up and offer a simple solution to staying cool this summer.

  • Small and portable
  • Easy to carry & use
  • Quick to set up
  • Cool yourself down when studying or working
  • Unique box design
  • USB fan – Can use anywhere. Keep yourself cool at the beach

Air Circulators

Ideal if you need a powerful fan that circulates air through a large space like a warehouse, gym, or large office space.

Air circulator fans offer strong performance and large room coverage, keeping large groups cool during summer events or activities. Use both outdoors and indoors. Choose from pedestal or floor fans depending on what you need.

  • Ideal for large areas
  • Perfect for big offices
  • Strong performance
  • Large room coverage
  • Can be placed in warehouses, gyms and other big work areas
  • Keep your guests cool during your summer events

Pedestal Fans

Ideal for large rooms and lounges. The adjustable height allows you to blow air at your ideal height producing increased air circulation

  • Large Room coverage
  • Adjustable height
  • Oscillation function for improved air circulation
  • Some have a Smart Homes and / or remote controls
  • Some have Variable speed settings for your ideal air flow

Floor & Box Fans

Ideal for large spaces. Floor & Box Fans provide a stronger air flow than most conventional fans

  • Large area coverage
  • High performance motor for greater air flow
  • Protective metal grills for safety
  • Tilt adjustable to direct air flow
  • Most have variable speed settings for your ideal air flow level

Tower Fans

Ideal for compact spaces. Tower fans have a tall design with a cylindrical blade making these ideal for family homes with children.

  • Tall design 
  • Variable speed settings for your ideal air flow level
  • Oscillating function for improved air circulation
  • Picks up less dust than standard conventional fans
  • Some tower fans come with a timer function & remote

Desk Fans

Ideal for small rooms and spaces. Desk fans are small & portable, making them an ideal solution to cool you down in warm temperatures. 

  • Small & portable
  • Some desk fans have oscillating functions to improve air circulation
  • Some desk fans have variable speed settings for ideal flow level

Wall Fans

Ideal when floor space is an issue or the ceiling of your house.  Helps you save floor space and it is the best type of electric fan for places with low height floor.  Installation process is simple & easy. 

  • Very efficient for air circulation and proper ventilation for a room or outside space like garage
  • Ideal for kitchen and similar places the really get heated

Portable Air Conditioners (PAC’s) & Evaporative Coolers 

Portable Air Conditioners (PAC’s) or Evaporative coolers do cool the air electrically or by water. They  both require some windows or doors to be open to create airflow and allow hot air trapped inside to escape. The cooler process relies on airflow, with warm air passing through a cooling pad, getting moisture, being pumped through the house and finally exiting via open doors or windows. Only 100% fresh air is circulating, rather than stale and recycled air. It also means that evaporative coolers can also be used to cool outdoor spaces, such as terraces and alfresco areas.

Evaporative Coolers

An evaporative cooler is a device that cools air through the evaporation of water. Evaporative cooling differs from typical air conditioning systems, which use vapour-compression or absorption refrigeration cycles.

Benefits of an Evaporative Cooler: 

  • 100% Fresh air: Evaporative process relies on airflow, with warm air passing through a cooling pad.
  • Healthy moisture levels: Evaporative coolers use moisture to cool the air, they won't dry your skin, nose or eyes.
  • Filtered air: As the air goes through the cooling pads, not only is it chilled but is also filtered from impurities.
  • Water tank capacity: The bigger the water tank is, the more hours of cooling you can get before having to refill it.

Feature options may include: 

Features may include: 

  • Ice tank for super cooled air flow
  • Three speeds
  • Three wind modes
  • Oscillation - share the cooling airflow
  • Timer - set to automatically turn off
  • LCD display
  • Remote control
  • Perfect for medium to large sized rooms

Portable Air Conditioners

A portable air conditioner not only delivers strong performance and large area coverage, but it also delivers precise cooling, dehumidifier capabilities, and clean, cool air during humid periods. 

Benefits of a PAC: 

  • Ideal for large areas with strong performance
  • Precise cooling though will require ducting for PACS. 
  • Will provide clean air during humid periods
  • Fresher air means a cleaner home

Before buying yours there are several things to consider first:

  • Size: What is your room size? The size of the main room you will be using your portable air conditioner in will determine the cooling capacity you will need. As a rule of thumb 10m2 equals a 1kW recommended capacity. For example, if you have a 30m2 sized room then you would want a 3kW Portable air conditioner.
  • Noise: Portable air conditioners can be noisy as all the cooling and heating components are housed in the portable unit. Usually there is a decibel rating that can give you an indication of the noise level of the unit but if you are unsure ask your instore if you can test one. The noise can make sleeping next to one a bit of a challenge
  • Ducting: Portable air conditioners don't require difficult installations to be used but they will require external ducting for operation. Your portable air conditioner will need to be placed near a sash or sliding window suitable for the exhaust hose to appropriately duct
  • Cost:  They’re cheaper to buy than a heat pump (you can get one for as little as $400), so they might be an option for renters looking for a bit of relief from the heat and finding a fan just isn’t doing the job. 
  • Mobility: Look for a model with wheels as the units can be difficult to heft around the room.

HANDY HINT: Portable air conditioners are great to cool rooms between 0 to 40m2, and work better with rooms that are more closed off. Closing all doors, windows, and curtains to block any drafts will also dramatically improve the cooling efficiency of your portable air conditioner.

Features may include: 

  • Smart Home
  • Three speeds
  • Oscillation - share the cooling airflow
  • Timer - set to automatically turn off
  • LCD display
  • Remote control
  • Perfect for medium to large sized rooms


Top tips to keep cool this summer

Choose the right fan solution: 

Select a cooling solution that will cool your room or yourself faster and more efficiently. Think about when you’re in the home and don’t waste energy cooling rooms when you’re not using them.

Look for models that have certain features that will assist in keeping you cooler like:

  • Oscillation function – models that have an oscillation feature assist in varying the air flow around a wider room area
  • Variable fan speed – models that have variable speeds assist in moderating the air flow for better comfort control
  • Remotes & timers – models that have remotes & timers assist in better managing the usage effectiveness of the fan
  • Smart Home & WiFi Features – models that you can control remotely to cool you home down before you arrive. 

Cooling tips to get the most out of your fans:

  • Steadiness of the base: Steadiness is a significant safety factor to consider. If you have kids or pets, they are likely to trip a fan over which can cause damage to the fan itself or to its surroundings. There are two common types of fan bases: x-shaped and round. A round base is considered steadier, and therefore safer for your family.
  • Speed settings: Choose a fan with several speed settings.
    • If you plan to use your fan only for small spaces (bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.), two speed settings are enough
    • As for areas bigger than 20 sq.m, at least three settings are recommended. The higher the speed, the more air goes through the fan in each timeframe.
  • Number of blades: More blades equal greater productivity. A common number of blades is between three and five. That means even more air movement, in multiple directions. 
  • Noise level: Are you a light sleeper fed up with lying in bed on a warm night while a loud fan buzzes away? Then you should consider a quiet fan, so your sleep will not be interrupted. If the fan’s noise level is under 57 decibels, it is quiet enough for someone to watch television, listen to music, or even sleep with the fan on. Look for our whisper quiet range instore. 

Cleaning Tips:

Fans require regular cleaning to ensure trouble free operation

  • Ensure that the fan is switched off from the power supply before removing the guard.
  • Unplug the fan from the power supply before cleaning.
  • Use a damp cloth (not wet) to wipe the exterior of the fan to remove dust and dirt.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and fluff from around the grills.
  • Ensure the fan is dry before plugging back into the power supply.
  • Do not attempt to dismantle the fan. There are no user service able parts. 
  • For service or repair, contact an authorised electrical service technician.

Safety tips:

Always choose a safe location for the fan, keeping in mind the safety precautions outlined below: 

  • Ensure all packaging has been removed from the unit before use. This appliance requires no installation, it should be used solely as a portable appliance. 
  • Keep all objects at least 1 metre from the front, sides, and rear of the appliance.
  • Place the fan on a dry, level, and sturdy surface.
  • To reduce the risk of fire or electrical shock, do not use fans with any solid-state speed control device. 
  • Unplug or disconnect this fan from the power supply before servicing
  • Do not use the fan near an open flame, while cooking or use any other heating appliances.
  • Avoid contacting moving parts. Never insert fingers, pencils, or other similar objects through the guard.
  • If the power supply cord is damaged, it must be replaced by the manufacturer or its service agent or authorised electrical service technician.
  • The use of an extension cord or power board with fans is not recommended

Mitre 10 recommends you read and follow the specific instructions in the user manual of your selected model.

Personal tips to keep cool:

  • Wear short-sleeved, loose clothing, for example you dress lightly to go out on a summer day so do the same indoors. 
  • Drink lots of water as cold drinks lower your body’s core temperature and cool you down quickly.

Tips to keep your home cool:

  • Shut the windows and doors early in the morning It’s natural to want to open doors and windows to let the ‘fresh’ air in, especially first thing in the morning. But the likelihood is the outdoor temperature is going to be warmer than indoors by mid-morning so close the doors and windows and keep that cooler air inside. If the temperature is due to drop overnight, throw your windows open before you go to bed and allow the cooler breeze in.
  • Draw your drapes, blinds, shades and curtains closed (particularly on the north side of the house) which can keep heat from getting inside in the first place.
  • Insulate your roof cavity’s as they can reach up to 60-70 degrees in summer and that’s the leading cause to heating up your home. Insulation helps to keep the home cool in summer and warm in winter. 
  • Open the bathroom window when showering, keep the bathroom door closed and vent the heat and humidity outside, rather than back into the house. 
  • Wash and dry clothes when the day is cool and do any laundry early in the day or late at night, don’t forget use clotheslines as they generate no heat in the house.
  • Turn off unnecessary heat-producing devices and power-off electronic appliances when you’re not using them. 
  • Keep heat-producers away from your thermostat as a closely located TV or water heater may convince your thermostat that it’s hotter than it really is.
  • Ditch the incandescent light bulbs, these can waste about 90 percent of their energy in the heat they emit. So, replacing them with energy efficient LED bulbs will make a small difference in cooling your home, but also reduces your power bill.