Even if you've got AC, there are lots of good reasons -- fuel economy, love of planet, health -- to leave it off.
Fans make this possible. What did people do before the 1880s, when one of Thomas Edison's assistants got the great idea of putting metal blades on a motor? Fans make even blistering days tolerable by both moving cool air in from outside -- if there's any out there -- and creating an indoor breeze.
Ceiling fans are great if you've got the overhead clearance, but floor, window and tabletop fans are easier. Hampton Bay's (1) free-standing 18-inch pedestal fan delivers a cool blast where you need it, very quietly, and at $29.99 fits most budgets (Home Depot, 428 Ellesmere, 416-609-1800, and others). Three speeds, an adjustable neck and 90-degree auto-oscillation are hot features.Wiarton, Ontario-made Caframo Elan (2) leaves the blades exposed but softens them with rubber tips, in four funky colours. ($65.98, Urban Mode, 389 Queen West, 416-591-8834).
Ricochet (756 College, 416-588-3337) has a fabulous selection of vintage fans in the $35-$75 range. The Electrohome (3) shown comes in at the high end. Just remember these babies were made before safety ruled -- and you might find one in a yard sale.
A twin window fan like Holmes's Accutemp (4) 9-inch digital model helps you blast in some air from outside when it cools down at night. Each of the two three-speed fan heads can be set to do intake or exhaust, and the digital temperature control can be set with a target temp ($54.98, Home Depot).Canuck company Seabreeze has patented its Turbo-Aire (5), which takes its design cues from jet engines to move three times the air of conventional models. It' s also very quiet ($79.98, Home Depot).
Caban is featuring the clean chrome styling of Bionaire's (6) quiet, three-speed, 12-inch convertible stand/table fan. $49.95 (6, 262 Queen West, 416-596-0386).